Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: August 25th 2006
Last Updated: February 25th 2009
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...
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.
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.
Figure 1: FlashSpring Pro Toolbar
When installed, follow these steps to convert a PowerPoint file to SWF using FlashSpring Pro.
- Open any existing presentation -- for this tutorial, I am using
the Indezine sample
- With the presentation open, click on the Publish icon, as shown in Figure
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:
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.
- After all the tweaks are done, click on Publish button to convert
the presentation to a SWF file.
All the options on the FlashSpring Pro are explained below:
Figure 4: FlashSpring Pro Options
- Publish (see Figure 3 above)
allows you to convert a PowerPoint presentation to Flash SWF and
set the parameters.
- Playback (see Figure 5) allows
to set flash presentation playback parameters.
Figure 5: Playback Settings
- Insert Flash (see Figure 6) allows
you to insert Flash SWF movies inside the active slide in the open
Figure 6: Insert Flash Movie
- Help takes you to the FlashSpring support page.
- About displays the FlashSpring Pro splash screen.
FlashSpring Pro costs $149.00 for a single-user license. Multiple user licenses are available.
Email support is complemented by a small online FAQ.
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.