There are so many options and approaches available out there for great PowerPoint to Flash conversion these days. It looks we are already comparing advanced products that do a much faithful conversion than what you could have imagined a few years ago. Yet, there has to be something out there that stands apart -- what about a product that you cannot find any faults with, and something that scores high in our evaluation test? What if we told you this product is actually free! Welcome to one of life's little surprises -- this one is called iSpring Free.Back
About iSpring Pro
iSpring Free is from iSpring Solutions, Inc., a software development company based in Virginia, USA. You can learn more about of iSpring Free from their site.
Apart from iSpring Free, they also provide a Professional version of iSpring -- this review however only explores the Free version. We already reviewed the Pro version earlier. Our sister site, FlashPPT has an exhaustive comparison table between the free and Pro versions of iSpring.
My contact at iSpring Solutions for this review was Nina Lezhnina, thank you Nina.Back
Download and Installation
Download the installer from the link given above, run the setup routine and follow the instructions. If you are using PowerPoint 2007, you'll end up with a iSpring Free tab on the Ribbon as you can see in Figure 1.
Figure 1: iSpring Free tab on the Ribbon
All the options on the iSpring Free tab are explained below:
- This group of options allows you to publish presentations to Flash. The Quick Publish converts your PowerPoint presentation to a Flash movie with one-click.
- Allows you to add media elements to the presentation such as Flash movies.
- This group allows you to update the program -- in addition, there are help options.
Using iSpring Free
At Indezine, we use an evaluation presentation as a benchmark to determine how any PowerPoint to Flash converter product works. Learn more about this benchmark presentation developed with our FlashPPT site here.
We'll share results of this benchmark later on this page -- first, let's explore how you do the actual Flash conversion using iSpring.
- Open any existing presentation inside PowerPoint. With the presentation open, select the iSpring Free tab on the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 1 above.
- Click the Publish button to bring up the dialog box that you can see in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Publish dialog box
- There are two publish options available:
- a. The first one allows you to publish the presentation on your local disk or a network share.
- b. The second publish option uploads your presentation to SlideBoom, an online portal for hosting PowerPoint presentations on web -- this option allows you share your converted presentations with others.
- Once you select the output option, click the Publish button -- this will start the conversion process -- the time taken for conversion will depend upon the size and complexity of your source presentation.
How iSpring Free Fared?
This benchmark presentation had 20 slides with content of various types: pictures, clip art, shapes, narration, music, Flash movies, videos, etc. Each slide was given between 0 to 5 points each for a total of 100 points, and 50 extra points were allotted to the program interface, support options, output, PowerPoint 2007 compatibility, and pricing.
iSpring Free scored a total of 130 points to get 86.6% ratings -- second only to iSpring Pro, which accomplished a 90% score.
iSpring Free fared very well in most areas -- however while it played transition sounds, it played them across subsequent slides and did not stop the sound even though the next PowerPoint slide had a Stop Transition Sound option selected. Also, it does not provide as many output options. That's a minor issue but it resulted in a problem that spanned several slides. Nina adds that iSpring Solutions is aware of this issue, and they are planning to implement support of the Stop Transition Sound option in the next version of iSpring Free (as well as in iSpring Pro).
In all other areas, iSpring Free did a comprehensive job. You can see the individual scores for iSpring Free on our FlashPPT site.Back
Pricing and Support
iSpring Free is a freeware product.
Support is by e-mail, an online FAQ and phone.Back
iSpring Free is an amazing product that would be worth buying even if it was not free -- since it costs zip-nada, there's no excuse not getting it. Go get it!