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Slide Executive 2.4

Reviewed:

Date Created: March 27th 2008
Last Updated: February 27th 2009






Introduction
Novatrox and Slide Executive Desktop
Download and Installation
Cataloging Presentations
Creating Presentations
Updating Duplicate Slides
Pricing and Support
In Conclusion


Introduction

For organizations and individuals who have been creating PowerPoint presentations for years, these presentations represent a very significant pool of content that needs to be synergised for reuse and reference -- aiding in the creation of new slide content.

Cataloging your presentations to the slide level is therefore a very important aspect of slide management, and our review product does just that and more.

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About Slide Executive Desktop

Slide Executive 2.4 is from Novatrox AB, a company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Novatrox was founded in 2000 - you'll find more information on the company at their web site...

Essentially, Slide Executive is available in two formats:

  • Slide Executive Desktop 2.4 works as a desktop application -- it is the newer version of the same application that we have reviewed in the past...
  • Other than Slide Executive Desktop, Novatrox creates the Slide Executive Professional version which is an online service comprising a web based slide library and document management system that enables a subscriber to store presentation content in a single slide library, from were you can access and search for the presentation or slides you require.

While both formats work towards the same objectives, the Desktop version is more suited for use by an individual user.

The following are some of the key feature of Slide Executive Desktop:

  • PowerPoint presentation slide library keeps your presentations organized and easily accessible. It scans the folders you select for existing presentations and indexes them. The PowerPoint presentation slide library is thereafter kept up to date by ascertaining which files have been added, changed or deleted.
  • Search tool helps you find PowerPoint presentations or slides that can then be used in a new or existing presentation.
  • Drag and drop slide into place: Slides can easily be dragged from existing presentations or from search results onto new virtual presentations.
  • Quick Export: These virtual presentations can then be exported as conventional PowerPoint presentations.

My contact at Novatrox for this review was Liber Rodriguez - thank you, Liber.

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Download and Installation

Download the installer from their site, run the setup routine and follow the instructions. You'll end up with a Slide Executive Windows Edition program group in your Windows Start menu (see Figure 1 below).

Slide Executive Windows Edition
Figure 1: Slide Executive Windows Edition

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Cataloging Presentations

Follow these steps to manage your PowerPoint presentation repository:

  1. Go to your Windows Start menu and choose All Programs | Slide Executive Windows Edition | Slide Executive Windows Edition (see Figure 1 above).

  2. When the product is launched for the first time after installation, you'll see a message box (see Figure 2) that informs you that the program will now index (reindex) your presentations.

    Indexing (reindexing)
    Figure 2: Indexing (reindexing)

  3. This is followed by a warning message, as shown in Figure 3-- this asks you not to launch PowerPoint while the indexing procedure is being done.

    Warning message
    Figure 3: Warning message

    Click OK to proceed.

  4. Depending upon how many presentation you have in your system, Slide Executive will scan all presentations in your system -- this might take a while (see Figure 4).

    Indexing presentations
    Figure 4: Indexing presentations

  5. When done, this brings up the Slide Executive interface, as shown in Figure 5.

    Slide Executive interface

    Figure 5: Slide Executive interface

    There is no presentation added yet -- to add a presentation folder, click the Settings button as shown in Figure 5 above -- alternatively, you can choose Tools | Settings.

  6. This opens the Settings dialog box that you can see in Figure 6.

    Settings dialog box

    Figure 6: Settings dialog box

    This dialog box has four tabs, which are explained below:

    • General (refer to Figure 6 above) tab allows you to check or uncheck the actions that Slide Executive performs during startup. It also lets you set common indexing options, as well as choose which files type should be indexed.

    • Included folders (see Figure 7) -- this tab allows you to select the folders that you wish Slide Executive to index and search within. Slide Executive will search within all subfolders of a specified folder. Selecting an entire drive will be very time consuming -- but you can always choose that option, and let the indexing occur overnight.

      Included folders tab
      Figure 7: Included folders tab

    • Default templates (see Figure 8 ) -- here you can select the default template to use -- this template is used when you choose to apply the Quick export option. This tab also displays all the PowerPoint templates that have been indexed using Slide Executive.

      Default templates tab
      Figure 8: Default templates tab

    • Views (see Figure 9 ) -- this tab allows you to choose the number of columns you want to see within the search results or catalog -- alternatively, you can set a fixed width for the thumbnails viewed.

      Views tab
      Figure 9: Views tab

      Click Apply and OK to apply the changes.

  7. When these settings are changed/applied, click the Check Folder icon in the interface, as shown in the figure below.

    Check Folder

    This starts the indexing of the presentations within the folders/locations you added earlier in the Included folder tab. Depending upon the number of presentations or slides involved, this might take a while (see Figure 10).

    Reindexing of the presentations
    Figure 10: Reindexing of the presentations

  8. Once the reindexing is done, you can find the thumbnails of all the slides within the interface, as shown in Figure 11.

    Added presentations
    Figure 11: Added presentations

    On the left side you can see the Folder pane, which essentially displays the list of presentations uploaded. Double click the presentation on the left to see the content slide(s) on the right side of the interface.

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Creating Presentations

Follow these steps to create a virtual presentation that you can thereafter save as a conventional PowerPoint presentation:

  1. Choose the New Virtual Presentation option in the toolbar by clicking on the relevant icon (see figure below).

    New Virtual Presentation

  2. This will open a new virtual presentation window within the interface, as shown in Figure 12.

    New virtual presentation
    Figure 12: New virtual presentation

    Now double-click any of the presentations already indexed in the catalog -- you can view both windows by choosing any of the Tile options in the Windows menu.

    Thereafter, just drag and drop the presentation into the New Virtual Presentation window. Slides from more than one presentation can be added (see Figure 13).

    Just drag and drop slides
    Figure 13: Just drag and drop slides

  3. From the main menu choose File | Save Virtual Presentation, and give a name to the presentation. You can hereafter find this virtual presentation under the Virtual Presentation tree in the Folders pane, as shown in Figure 14.

    New Virtual presentation
    Figure 14: New Virtual presentation

  4. To export any virtual presentation to a PowerPoint file, select the virtual presentation and then choose File | Quick Export Virtual Presentation. This brings up a Save as window -- here you can give a name and location to save it as a PowerPoint presentation (.PPT).

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Updating Duplicate Slides

Slide Executive Desktop includes a very useful feature that can help you find duplicate slides, and replace them all with an updated version of the original slide. This feature is very helpful because it provides the ability to replace duplicate slides in other existing presentations on your computer with one from a specific presentation.

This works very intuitively -- Slide Executive catalogs the content in the slide outline and compares that with the outline of other slides to ascertain duplicates. To access this option, you'll choose Tools | Find Duplicates and you'll be presented with a list of duplicate slides in your catalog (see Figure 15).

Duplicate slides
Figure 15: Duplicate slides

If you look at Figure 15 above, you can see that Slide Executive does not ascertain duplicates by the template or background of the relevant slide -- rather it is based on the outline content of the slide.

From this display, you can simply click on the thumbnail preview of the slide that you want to be the master (hierarchally influencing the other duplicate slides) -- Slide Executive will then update the slides in other presentations with the updated content (replace the specific slide with the master). This option works only if you have PowerPoint 2002 (aka XP) and later -- older versions such as PowerPoint 2000 don't allow Slide Executive to support this option.

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Pricing and Support

Slide Executive 2.4 is priced at US$168.11 and is available for online purchase.

Support options include email and telephone responses.

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In Conclusion

Slide Executive Desktop is a very capable product that now supports PowerPoint 2007 as well. At this price point, it's a steal -- buy it before they increase the price!

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