PowerPoint designers invariably use Adobe Photoshop to create backgrounds and graphic elements for presentations and templates. Until now, you could not import Photoshop compositions into PowerPoint with their layers intact. Nor could Photoshop export an entire composition in a format that PowerPoint could understand.
So, it's certainly out of the ordinary to see a specialized product that covers this vacuum. Ars Media creates an Automate plug-in for Photoshop that exports an entire composition to a PowerPoint presentation. Let's explore more...
Ars Media is a privately owned company, with a background in providing system integration services to small to medium broadcasting facilities in the Balkan region.
Vladimir Zecevic, who heads Ars Media was my contact for this review - thank you, Vladimir.
I asked Vladimir to tell me more about Ars Media and he responded: "...we have made lots of outsourcing projects for quite famous names in video industry. Unfortunately most of those projects are under NDA. However knowing that I have to give some proof of my statement, I can tell that Scala, one of the companies that drives dynamic signage market (www.scala.com), use in its flagship InfoChannel 3 product line, 3D and Zoom effects that are cooked in Ars Media kitchen (actually most of them are made by Ars Media)."
You can learn more at the Ars Media site.
You can download a demo version of the product from the Ars Media site - the included Photoshop add-in works with version 6, 7 and CS of Photoshop. Installation is easy and automatically adds the plug-in to Photoshop.
- I first created a suitable backdrop in Photoshop that's intended to be my presentation background image.
- On new layers, I added several elements - this included a vector image exported from Microsoft Expression
and several Photoshop shapes with drop shadows and bevels applied.
- I then exported the entire composition using File | Automate | Export HTML File... in Photoshop. The plug-in exports the entire Photoshop composition to a special
PowerPoint HTML format that PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 can open natively.
- You'll be presented with an Export Options dialog box - I chose JPEG for my background graphic and PNG for everything else. You could choose TIF as the format of
choice for exporting your graphics but PNG is the only format that the last three versions of Photoshop (6, 7 and CS) can export and PowerPoint can understand.
- Close Photoshop and open PowerPoint. Create a new presentation or open an existing one. Choose Insert | Slides From File...
- You'll be presented with the Slide Finder dialog box. Browse to the HTML file that you exported from Photoshop. Check the option to keep source formatting and
click the Insert All button.
Save your PowerPoint presentation or template.
I asked Vladimir about what prompted them to create this product. Here is his response:
"We have very similar product for Scala market for almost two years. In very short time it became must have tool for any serious Scala production.
Now, many Scala users, and those that have seen his tool in Scala production, asked from us to make a similar product for PowerPoint. We may have done it out of
curiosity, but the primary reason was that robustness and flexibility of internal design of original product allowed quick and clean redesign for the PowerPoint
platform. The same engine that drives PowerPoint Exporter has been tested on millions of PSD images."
Vladimir adds: "I am willing to bet that this tool will save for the user who makes one presentation a week, enough time for a nice vacation once in a year."
For US$49.50, Ars Media's Photoshop to PowerPoint plug-in is a great buy. It works exactly as it promises and makes easy work out of creating amazing backgrounds and graphic elements.
About support, Vladimir adds: "All support related enquiries are handled by people who have written the software. However we do not consider support as just fixing problems. If someone suggest improvement or new feature that he would like to see in our product we are trying to implement that ASAP. If the feature requested does not completely change the way plug-in work we usually implement it within weeks."
I like the product and have no qualms recommending it to those who need to work with both Photoshop and PowerPoint.