See Also: The Michael Doyle Interview
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: August 4th 2001
Last Updated: February 25th 2009
PowerPoint is everywhere - on the web and CD-ROM, even on the Pocket PC and streaming media. A slew of new generation add-ins take PowerPoint even further - specialized distribution strategies are no longer the exclusive domain of programmers of exotic languages.
One such solution is Impatica. And Impatica sets its own lingua as well - you Impaticize a PowerPoint presentation. Needless to add, Impatica stems from an English term called "impact". So, what is impact, Impatica and Impaticize - let's go on a journey to Impatinirvana! I hope I did not get you scared. And it was indeed needless - the world of Impatica is as genteel as the water in the springs.
Let's imagine a scenario - you want to make your presentation available online. Your requirements may not be that generic - sometimes, you may need to email a presentation too or send it to a mobile phone or PDA. Impatica fits the slot impeccably.
Impatica is a PowerPoint add-in product from the company of the same name. It's core technologies are centered around applets created using Sun's Java - the very same technology available in almost all of the present day browsers. No wonder, Impatica uses the term 'plug-in free streaming rich media' in its hard sell to PowerPoint veterans. That statement in itself is debatable since Microsoft no longer includes the Java Virtual Machine since Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. Anyway, you can still opt to download the Java Virtual Machine as an additional component through Windows Update.
In many cases, pictures say it better than words - so, I'll request you to view an Impaticized presentation before anything else.
Here it is, click the link below to open it in a new window. Just click anywhere on the resultant window to go to the next slide - and close the window after you've viewed the entire presentation to get back here.
If the presentation fails to run, you probably don't have Java installed on your system.
I'm sure you would have noticed the lack of a mechanism to go to a previous slide in the presentation you just viewed. Actually, this sample was something too basic for Impatica - I let this be simple, so that you can have a clearer vision of Impatica's output (Later, during this review we will go the whole way creating a full-featured Impatica presentation - meanwhile, you could view many interesting Impatica demos at the Impatica site - http://www.impatica.com).
Since this review was written, Impatica has provided an update for all existing customers which includes navigation elements within a presentation. New customers get the updated version anyway.
Impatica can do much, much more. What about the procedure? Well, Impatica lets you save all your energies for working within PowerPoint itself - after your presentation is created, just drag and drop it over the Impatica icon on your desktop to instantly Impaticize your presentation! That's exactly how I created the sample presentation you viewed.
However, your presentation may require a little housekeeping before being Impaticized. All elements should preferably be styled using the slide and title masters - a pure textbook approach to creating presentations.
PowerPoint is quite a complex program - yet Impatica seems to have replicated many of its nuances - which I believe is a great achievement in itself. If you need to Impaticize an existing presentation - the best route would be to Impaticize it straightaway without editing - thereafter preview your presentation - this will provide you with a better understanding of the workarounds and glitches you need to be aware of.
To try out any of the interactive examples on this page - or just to test the waters yourself, you'll need a copy of Impatica. You can purchase the product online from the Impatica web site - you'll find more details in the 'Pricing' section towards the end of this article - or you could request an evaluation copy of Impatica here...
Once you download the product, a one-click procedure will get you on the installation route. This is the time to enter your unique code supplied during purchase or when you requested the download - alternatively the program will function in evaluation mode.
A manual for Impatica in Adobe's PDF format is also available from the site for download. It's a nice, detailed manual - wish more manuals were created this way.