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FlashSpring Pro

Reviewed:

Date Created: August 25th 2006
Last Updated: February 25th 2009






Introduction
About FlashSpring Pro
Download and Installation
Using FlashSpring Pro
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

To buy a product that converts PowerPoint presentations to Flash SWFs is no longer an easy decision to make -- what with twenty-plus offerings out there! And since each of these applications has something different (and seemingly better) than the other, this decision can be downright confusing.

FlashSpring Pro is one such application -- what does it do different, how does it perform, and what is my opinion? Read on...

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About FlashSpring Pro

FlashSpring Pro is from CPS Labs, a company based in Russia -- which provides IT services and solutions you can learn more and download a trial version of FlashSpring Pro from their site...

They also have a free version of FlashSpring that does very basic conversion, but for anything else, you'll have to look at their Pro version.

Unlike other PowerPoint to Flash converters, FlashSpring Pro also lets you travel the other way by inserting Flash SWF movies inside PowerPoint slides.

My contact at FlashSpring Pro for this review was Yury Uskov - thank you, Yury.

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Download and Installation

Download the installer from the their site, run the setup routine and follow the instructions.

When installed, the add-in creates an FlashSpring Pro Toolbar within PowerPoint as shown in Figure 1 -- if you don't find it there choose View | Toolbars | FlashSpring Pro Toolbar.

FlashSpring Pro Toolbar
Figure 1: FlashSpring Pro Toolbar

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Using FlashSpring Pro

When installed, follow these steps to convert a PowerPoint file to SWF using FlashSpring Pro.

  1. Open any existing presentation -- for this tutorial, I am using the Indezine sample presentation.

  2. With the presentation open, click on the Publish icon, as shown in Figure 2.

    Publish
    Figure 2: Publish

    When clicked, this opens a Publish to Flash dialog box (see Figure 3). The dialog box has three tabs, which are explained below:

    Publish presentation
    Figure 3: Publish options

    Publish: is where you can provide a title to the presentation, choose the destination folder for the Flash SWF output, publish the presentation into a ZIP-archive, decide which slides you want to include and choose the flash publication setting.

    Settings: is where you can set the size and frame rate, apply ink annotations, and control Flash movie settings.

    Compression: is where you can set preferences image quality, audio compression, etc.

  3. After all the tweaks are done, click on Publish button to convert the presentation to a SWF file.

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Toolbar Options

All the options on the FlashSpring Pro are explained below:

Flashspring pro toolbar
Figure 4: FlashSpring Pro Options

  1. Publish (see Figure 3 above) allows you to convert a PowerPoint presentation to Flash SWF and set the parameters.

  2. Playback (see Figure 5) allows to set flash presentation playback parameters.

    Playback settings
    Figure 5: Playback Settings

  3. Insert Flash (see Figure 6) allows you to insert Flash SWF movies inside the active slide in the open PowerPoint presentation.

    Insert Flash Clip
    Figure 6: Insert Flash Movie

  4. Help takes you to the FlashSpring support page.

  5. About displays the FlashSpring Pro splash screen.

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Pricing and Support

FlashSpring Pro costs $149.00 for a single-user license. Multiple user licenses are available.

Email support is complemented by a small online FAQ.

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Conclusion

FlashSpring Pro does support all the simple animations in PowerPoint but if you apply a more uncommon animation such as "Color Typewriter", then the output won't have any animation.

Having said that, the product is easy to use -- and works great in a majority of scenarios. It's certainly one of the better designed PowerPoint to Flash converter products.

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