PowerPoint and AutoPlay Media Studio
Covers PowerPoint 2003 Viewer and AutoPlay Media Studio 5
By: Geetesh Bajaj
Let's look at a typical corporate scenario. Your company has PowerPoint presentations that have to be burned on CDs and distributed. PowerPoint 2003 has an amazing Package to CD feature but how do you burn 15 presentations to a CD and provide a well designed interface to the recipients of the CD?
Ideally, you'll want your created CD to autorun in any CD or DVD drive. You'll also want the audience to be presented with a professional menu splash screen which makes selecting options to view particular presentations as easy as clicking a button. The splash screen also has to reflect the corporate identity of your company. The buttons themselves should react to clicks and:
- Run individual presentations
- Provide text information
- Provide live links to websites
- And more...
Actually, it's an easy task to accomplish. Just follow this step-by-step tutorial and you'll have created an autorun CD with all your PowerPoint presentations in no time. The same procedure can be followed for a single presentation as well.
You'll require the following software:
- Microsoft PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002 or 2003 to create
the presentations. (or readymade presentations) - you can also
use PowerPoint presentations originally created on PowerPoint
for the Mac.
- Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2003 to play the presentation
on systems with or without PowerPoint installed. This is essential
since the whole autorun principle is based on allowing the PowerPoint
Viewer to run directly from the CD without any installation.
Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2003
- AutoPlay Media Studio 5 from Indigo Rose. For more information
and to download a trial version, follow this link:
AutoPlay Media Studio
If PowerPoint Viewer is not installed on your system, install it straightaway. Download the latest version from the Microsoft site. The link below will lead you to the download page:
By default, Windows Explorer does not display all files. Some file extensions are designated as hidden. These include DLL files.
To enable viewing of all files, follow instructions, as under (these are for Windows XP - other versions of Windows may slightly differ):
- Open Windows Explorer - click Start | All Programs | Accessories | Windows Explorer.
- Select Tools | Folder Options.
- You'll be presented with a dialog box consisting of several tabs - choose the 'View' tab.
- You'll find options to enable viewing of hidden files. View
the snapshot below and apply identical changes to reflect as
If AutoPlay Media Studio 5 or later is not yet installed on your system, install it now.
AutoPlay Media Studio is from Indigo Rose - a Winnipeg, Canada based company that also creates several other products including Setup Factory, Style Workshop and Liquid Cabaret. To learn more and to download a trial version of AutoPlay Media Studio, visit the Indigo Rose site...
You now need to place all your presentations within folders with some help from PowerPoint 2003 or the free PowerPoint 2003 Viewer.
For PowerPoint 2003: Use Package for CD and place all contents within a folder rather than a CD. You'll find more detailed info here...
For PowerPoint 97, 2000 and 2002: You'll have to manually replicate the step automated by PowerPoint 2003 using this tutorial...
Whichever way you do it, you get the same results.
I took four of my presentations and output them with linked files and the Viewer in four separate folders that I named 01, 02, 03 and 04 - so I had four separate presentations within the four folders. I could have copied them all in the same folder but it is probably simpler to put them all in their own separate folders.
Here's how you could proceed:
- Open Autoplay Media Studio and opt to create a new project.
- Name the project 'PowerPoint Autorun' and use the Blank template.
Then click the button called 'Create New Project'.
- Choose Project | Window Settings and opt for the Small page
size preset. Keep other options unchanged and click OK.
- Choose Page | Properties and choose either a solid, gradient
or image background. I chose an image background. Autoplay Media
Studio comes with several nice image backgrounds that you can
use royalty free. Click OK.
- Click File | Save and exit Autoplay Media Studio.
Within your My Documents folder, you'll find a folder called Autoplay Media Studio 5.0 Projects or similar. Within that folder will be a folder with the same name as your project - for instance we named our project PowerPoint Autorun. Within the PowerPoint Autorun folder, I discovered another folder called CD_Root. That's the same folder which Autoplay Media Studio will use to burn within the root of the CD that we'll burn in the end - so anything that's placed within this folder will become part of the final CD.
I copied all my presentation folders: 01, 02, 03 and 04 to this folder.
Your directory structure should appear similar to this screenshot