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Microsoft Producer

Learn about Microsoft Producer.

Reviewed: Patrice-Anne Rutledge

Date Created: December 1st 2003
Last Updated: February 27th 2009

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Producer Test Drive

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Producer Test Drive

To try out Producer and see if it's the right tool for your presentation needs, go to the Microsoft Producer Download page in the Microsoft Download Center. With a high-speed connection, Producer downloads in several minutes. The Producer 2003 page offers additional information, demos, samples, tutorials, and case studies.

To quickly create a basic Producer presentation (the first part of the Training demo you previously viewed), and learn about Producer's main features along the way, follow these steps:

  1. From the Producer 2003 Evaluation Guide page on Microsoft's Web site, download the TryItFiles.exe executable and extract the PowerPoint and Windows Media files you'll use in this test drive.

  2. Open Microsoft Producer by selecting Start | All Programs | Microsoft Office | Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint 2003.

  3. In the Microsoft Producer dialog box, select the Use the New Presentation Wizard radio button and click OK.

  4. When the New Presentation Wizard opens, click Next.

  5. In the Presentation Template step, select a template to specify the appearance of video, audio, slides, and HTML, including whether slides and HTML are fixed or resizable. You can experiment a bit by selecting some of the templates and seeing how they look in the preview window, but for this example stick with the default template before clicking Next. Figure 2 illustrates this step of the wizard.

Figure 2 - Let the New Presentation Wizard help you define the layout of your Producer presentation.

  1. In the Choose a Presentation Scheme step, you can select a font style, size, and color as well as background colors for different areas of your presentation. Do so, and then click Next.

  2. In the Presentation Information step, enter the title of your presentation and optionally, the presenter's name and presentation description as well as an image for the introduction page. Click Next.

  3. In the Import Slides and Still Images step, select the slides and images that you want to import into your Producer presentation, such as an existing PowerPoint file. In this example, click the Browse button, select Int_train.ppt from the Browse dialog box (this file was included in the sample files you downloaded), click Open to return to main wizard, and then click Next.

  4. In the Import or Capture Audio and Video step, you can use the Browse functionality to import existing video or audio files. In this case, import the sample file Int_train_begin.wmv. If you import multiple files, use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to ensure they're in the order you want them to appear in your presentation.

    To capture audio or video at this stage, click the Capture button to open the Capture Wizard. This tool enables you to capture from any device that supports the Microsoft DirectShow application programming interface (such as a Web camera, digital camera, VCR, and so forth). It also offers the ability to narrate slides with video and/or audio, capture still images, or record audio.

  5. In the Synchronize Presentation step, click Yes to synchronize your PowerPoint slides with the audio and video you imported or captured and then click Next.

  6. Click Finish to complete your presentation. Producer imports the selected audio, video, and slides and opens the Synchronize Slides dialog box (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 - Behind the Synchronize Slides dialog box you can see a preview of your slides as well as a timeline that matches audio and video to them.

  1. Click the Set Slide Timing radio button and press the Play button (the large arrow in the middle of the dialog box). Your video starts playing; click the Next Slide button to specify when the presentation should move to the next slide.

  2. When you're done, click Finish. The Microsoft Producer interface appears with the Preview Presentation tab selected.

From here, you can preview your presentation, made additional modifications and enhancements, as well as publish your presentation to your computer, a network drive, or a Web server through the Publish Wizard.


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