Visual Flash Plug-in
Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: September 14th 2009
Last Updated: September 14th 2009
Many PowerPoint users have a fascination with Flash but still prefer PowerPoint's ease of use and logical workflows rather than dabbling with Flash that has a longer learning curve compared to PowerPoint's almost zero learning curve. Yet these same users like to insert Flash files into their PowerPoints, and sometimes they look for a way to export Flash files they have inserted within the PowerPoint presentations. However, that's not always easy since changes made by Microsoft to file formats from the PowerPoint 2003's PPT to PowerPoint 2007's PPTX have made everything uncertain. A new add-in for PowerPoint tries to overcome some of these issues -- does it succeed? Read on to learn more...
Visual Flash Plug-in is from Visual Newmedia, a North Sydney, Australia based company that is into presentation management solution. You can learn more about Visual Flash Plug-in and download a free seven days trial version from their site...
PowerPoint 2007 (or rather the new PPTX file format) does not support the embedding Flash files -- for example if you open a Flash SWF embedded in a PowerPoint 2003 (PPT) file in PowerPoint 2007 and save the file as a PowerPoint 2007 (PPTX) file, then the embedded Flash file will be lost. With the Visual Flash Plug-in, you can open the presentation and extract the embedded flash files so they can be re-imported into PowerPoint 2007 as linked files.
My contact at Visual Newmedia for this review was Damian McDonald -- thank you, Damian.
When the add-in is installed in PowerPoint 2003 it creates a new Flash Tool toolbar within PowerPoint as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Flash Tools toolbar
Follow these steps to import a Flash (.SWF) file in PowerPoint 2003.
- Launch PowerPoint and create a new presentation.
- Now, choose the Import Flash button from Flash Tools toolbar (refer Figure 1 above).
- This opens a Browse for Adobe Flash File window as you can see in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Browse for Adobe Flash File
- Browse to select a flash file, click Open to apply it on the slide.
- Figure 3 shows a embedded flash file on the slide.
Figure 3: Embedded flash file
- Save the presentation.
- The flash file embedded PowerPoint file was tested on PowerPoint 2002 and 2007 it played fine without linked flash file.
If you have got a PowerPoint file with an embedded flash file but no linked flash file, follow these steps to export a Flash (.SWF) file in PowerPoint 2003.
- Open the flash embedded PowerPoint presentation.
- From Flash Tools toolbar choose Export Flash button (refer Figure 1 above).
- This opens a Name for Exported Flash File window as you can see in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Name for Exported Flash File
- Provide a name to the flash file and click Save button.
When installed, you can find the the add-in placed under Add-in tab of the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Add-ins tab of the Ribbon
Follow this steps to export flash file in PowerPoint 2007:
- When you open a PowerPoint 2003 PPT presentation file that has a Flash SWF embedded, it opens in Compatibility mode.
- The Visual Flash Plugin will prompt a message, asking you to accept the Microsoft Security option to be able to use the
Flash files (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Flash Plugin Message
- If the presentation is from a trusted source, access the Security Warning panel right under the Ribbon area, and click the Options button, as you can see in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Security Warning
Note: The Security Warning panel appears only when the Flash embedded PowerPoint 2003 file is opened in PowerPoint 2007.
- This opens the Microsoft Office Security Options window (see Figure 8).
Figure 8: Microsoft Office Security Options
- Choose the Enable this Content radio button (refer to Figure 8 above), and click OK.
- Now, just save the presentation as a PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx). Any found Flash files will automatically be extracted from the presentation and saved in the same location as the presentation is saved -- converting the embedded Flash file to a linked one.
From the Add-ins tab of the Ribbon, choose the Export Flash button (refer to Figure 8 above). This opens a Name for Exported Flash File window, choose the destination folder and save the file.
Visual Flash Plug-in costs $19.95.
Support is via e-mail.
If you have many presentations with embedded Flash files, and have upgraded to PowerPoint 2007, this add-in will pay for itself within a few times that you use it. However, if you are using PowerPoint 2003, it's not such a compelling product unless you need to share files often with PowerPoint 2003 users. All factors put together, you can't lose much getting a product that costs just $19.95!