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Autorun Multiple PowerPoint Presentations with AutoPlay Menu Studio

Covers PowerPoint 97 and 2000 - look here for a newer version...


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...Continued from Page 1

Create Your Presentation
Before You Save
Rename Extensions
Back To Our Splash
Creating Hotspots
Refining Your Splash
Compiling Your Autorun
Burn Your Autorun CD


Step 7 - Create Your Presentation

For PowerPoint 97: Create your PowerPoint presentation. Don't use any VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) in your presentation, since the PowerPoint Viewer does not support VBA. Also, don't use any third party plug-ins for transitions or special effects.

For PowerPoint 2000: All rules specified above for PowerPoint 97 apply to PowerPoint 2000 as well.

In addition, you'll have to create your presentation in a PowerPoint 97 format. Although the binary format for storing PowerPoint 97 and 2000 remained unchanged, Microsoft added a few new features to PowerPoint 2000. Unfortunately, no PowerPoint 2000 viewer has been released as yet. This means that a large number of viewers will be unable to view all the new PowerPoint 2000 features. These include:

  • Animated GIFs - Animated GIFs will display as static GIFs in the PowerPoint Viewer of PowerPoint 97. The workaround is to convert such animated GIFs to the AVI format.
  • Screen Tips For Hyperlinks - No screen tips are available on hyperlinks - but this is a trivial issue.
  • Picture and Numbered Bullets - You'll have to use normal bullets rather than picture or numbered bullets.
  • Tables - PowerPoint 2000 uses tables similarly to those used in Word - PowerPoint Viewer would use something like a grouping of auto-shapes to simulate a table.

The best way to find out which features are unsupported is to install the PowerPoint 97 Viewer on a system with PowerPoint 2000. Every time you edit your presentation, test-run it on the Viewer to find out if any significant changes take place.

For a more concise view of features supported in various PowerPoint incarnations, view the following chart:

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Step 8 - Before You Save

Save all your presentations and other linked files such as video, sound, narration, animation and images in the 'present' sub folder created in Step 6.

Continuously check how your presentation appears in the PowerPoint Viewer.

Your presentation is ready for an autorun CD once it plays identically in PowerPoint itself and the PowerPoint Viewer.

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Step 9 - Rename Extensions

Rename all the PowerPoint presentation in your folder with the PPT extension to PPS. For example, if you have stored a presentation called Corporate.ppt in the 'present' sub folder, you would rename it to Corporate.pps

For this example I have stored 4 imaginary presentations and their linked files in the 'present' sub folder. These are:

  • Corporate.pps
  • Retail.pps
  • Forms.pps
  • Products.pps

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Step 10 - Back To Our Splash

Open your saved project from Step 4.

Right click and choose 'Page Properties' - select 'Bitmap Image - Tile' in the Background option.

Choose any seamless tile or save this seamless tile:

For more seamless tiles, visit Indezine's Background Archive at:

http://www.indezine.com/back/

Anytime you want to preview your work in AutoPlay Menu Studio, press the F5 key.

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Step 11 - Creating Hotspots

  1. Click on the New Text tool.
  2. The 'Text Object Properties' box appears.
  3. Type your text - I typed 'View Corporate Profile' and set the font to Arial, Bold, colour White and size 18. 
  4. Although you can use any font, since AutoPlay Menu Studio packages all fonts along with the final splash, be sure you have permissions to use a particular font.
  5. Drag your text object to the desired position.
  6. Right click the text object and choose 'Object Properties'.
  7. The 'Text Object Properties' box opens again - select the 'Actions' tab in the box.
  8. In the Actions tab, click the 'Add' button to open a flyout menu.
  9. In this menu choose Execute -> Execute Program



  10. A small form appears in the dialog box.



  11. Click on the empty area next to the 'File Name' field to open the Virtual CD ROM explorer.



  12. In the 'Virtual CD-ROM Layout' box, choose Ppview32.exe as the program to execute.
  13. Against the 'Arguements' field, type:

    present/corporate.pps

  14. Create similar text objects with hyperlinks for the remaining three PPS presentations.



  15. Open Windows Notepad and enter any information which you think might provide helpful for your end-user. Save this text file as 'readme.txt' within your Virtual CD-ROM (the 'cdrom' folder).
  16. Create a new text object in AutoPlay Menu Studio - type the character - 'Help'.
  17. Right click and choose Object Properties -> Action -> Add -> Execute -> Open Document. Choose 'readme.txt' as the document to open.
  18. Create another text object - type 'Visit Web Site', right click and choose Object Properties -> Action -> Add -> Execute -> Open URL and enter your site URL.
  19. Create yet another text object - type 'Exit', right click and choose Object Properties -> Action -> Add -> Window -> Close/Exit.
  20. Save your project.
  21. Press F5 to preview your autorun CD.

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Step 12 - Refining Your Splash

You've successfully created an autorun splash and the other files that activate from hyperlinks within that.

Now you can spend some time in fine-tuning and refining your splash to include your company logo, background music and other paraphernilia.

Save your project.

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Step 13 - Compiling Your Autorun

In AutoPlay Menu Studio, press F7 to open the Build dialog box. I've filled in my options as under, but your options might look different.

AutoPlay Menu Studio will now test run your autorun splash. Your links may not work - since we have not saved the autorun.exe to a root drive. If you copy the entire contents of your 'Cdrom' folder to the root of any drive including a hard disk, CD-R, CD-RW or Zip disk, you can test run your autorun.exe. It should work faultlessly.

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Step 14 - Burn Your Autorun CD

Now, you can burn your own autorun CD which allows you to run your own splash which can activate multiple presentations, Internet URLs or any document with an associated application.

And this is just the beginning. With AutoPlay Menu Studio, you can create such splashes for multiple languages too.

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