Cumulus Office Suite
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: August 26th 2003
Last Updated: February 25th 2009
The Cumulus Office Suite includes a specific PowerPoint filter in addition to the Compound Document filter - this filter creates better thumbnails and previews of presentation slides. Many functions of the PowerPoint filter are dependent on an instance of PowerPoint being installed on the client machine since Cumulus often loads PowerPoint in the background to perform cataloging.
The PowerPoint filter captures thumbnails, slide notes, slide text and font names from cataoged presentations.
Apart from the PowerPoint filter, the Cumulus Office Suite also includes the PowerPoint AssetStore and the Cumulus add-in for PowerPoint. The AssetStore works transparently and integrates within Cumulus itself. The add-in offers many more possibilities - let's explore the add-in.
The Cumulus add-in needs to be loaded within PowerPoint to work using the Tools | Add-Ins menu option. Once loaded, you'll find a Cumulus icon within PowerPoint's Standard toolbar (see screenshot)
Cumulus also adds the Insert | Slides from Cumulus option within PowerPoint (see screenshot)
To use the icon or the menu option, both PowerPoint and Cumulus (with the active catalog) need to be open at the same time. You first need to select the slide thumbnails in Cumulus and then switch to PowerPoint and click the Cumulus icon. This inserts all the slides from various presentations into the active PowerPoint presentation.
In addition to inserting slides within PowerPoint, Cumulus also inserts an option within the Insert | Picture sub menu called 'From Cumulus..' This works exactly in the same way as inserting slides other than inserting graphic images rather than slides. You can insert any picture cataloged in Cumulus this way as long as PowerPoint can accept the graphic format being inserted. That's a shame though - it would have been a nice touch to allow formats PowerPoint cannot import directly like Photoshop, Freehand or Photo Paint through this route since Cumulus has conversion filters built in anyway.
Other than that small grouse, Cumulus works flawlessly with PowerPoint.
Cumulus Single User costs just US$99 and the Office Suite costs another US$49. It is amazing that you get an industry standard professional DAM tool at this price range.
Using the Cumulus Viewer add-on module (another US$499 for unlimited use), you could perhaps create an entire presentation bank on a cross-platform CD for executives on the move.
All put together, Cumulus helps you insert graphics into PowerPoint; it lets you insert slides for different presentations as well. Finally, finished presentations can be again catalogued within Cumulus to be accessed, used and retrieved - even distributed. That's an entire presentation workflow!