Indezine

Perspector 4 Pro

Read the Indezine review of Perspector 4 Pro.

Introduction
About Perspector 4
New Features
Using Perspector 4
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

PowerPoint makes it easy to insert pictures, shapes, text, and multimedia -- and the new PowerPoint 2007 adds ample improvements by way of effects and themes. Yet PowerPoint's 3D abilities still require some assistance from add-ins like Perspector.

Now in version 4, Perspector helps you do more 3D stuff inside PowerPoint -- this review will explore more.

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About Perspector 4

Perspector is from Visual Exemplars Ltd, a company based in Edinburgh, UK. You can learn more about Visual Exemplars and download the free trial version of Perspector 4 here.

Perspector 4 is the newest version with added features -- you'll find a review of the earlier Perspector version here.

My contact at Perspector for this review was George McCaskill - thank you, George.

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New Features

The new feature in Perspector 4 include:

  • 3D Lists These are really quick to play with, and provide awesome results.
  • 3D Charts You can now insert 3D charts into PowerPoint presentations -- these charts can be set up from a PowerPoint table or an Excel spreadsheet. Just select the data and chart types from a series of thumbnail previews in the Perspector 4 panel, and the 3D chart appears on your slide. The charts are fully editable in 3 dimensions, and the display properties can be changed via a properties panel. Perspector charts also have an international character sets for users not producing presentationsin English.
  • Slide and Image Layouts All of these layouts are available in Perspector Professional Edition only. You can place images from picture files, and images of your other slides, into these placeholders.
  • Library Images All of these 3D objects are available in the Perspector Library that is installed with Perspector.
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Using Perspector 4

When installed, the add-in creates:

  • A Perspector toolbar within PowerPoint 2003 and earlier (see Figure 1)
  • A Perspector group in PowerPoint 2007 (see Figure 1)


Figure 1: Perspector toolbar and group

To learn how you can create a 3D list in PowerPoint 2007 using Perspector 4.0, look here

Follow these steps to create a chart with Perspector 4:

  1. Within PowerPoint, insert a new slide with the blank layout.
  2. Choose the third button (Insert Chart) in the Perspector toolbar or group (refer to Figure 1).
  3. This will open the Perspector Panel on the right side of the PowerPoint interface as shown in Figure 2.

  4. Figure 2: Perspector Panel
  5. Here you will find various options for inserting data into the chart -- choose as required.
  6. This brings up the Chart Type options that you can see in Figure.

  7. Figure 3: Chart Type
  8. Click to choose the Chart Type; each chart type has more categories, choose the chart style you want to insert on the PowerPoint slide.
  9. This opens the Perspector 4 interface, as shown in Figure 4.

  10. Figure 4: Perspector 4 interface
  11. You can edit the charts in the Chart properties window (see Figure 5).

  12. Figure 5: Chart Properties
  13. Once done click the OK button to get back to PowerPoint.
  14. Rendering the chart in the slide may take some time. Once done, the slide will show the chart, as shown in Figure 6.

  15. Figure 6: Inserted Chart
  16. If you still want to edit it, just double click on the chart which will open the familiar Perspector interface and chart properties windows.

Perspector 4 provides many more new features -- their site has more information.

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Pricing and Support

Perspector 4 has two versions:

  • The Standard version costs $149.00, and
  • The Professional version is for $299.00.

Support is through email, online knowledge base, and manuals.

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Conclusion

Perspector 4 is a mature and capable product that opens up new possibilities in the PowerPoint interface -- Perspector's own user screens mimic the PowerPoint dialog boxes -- so that really reduces the learning curve. The price is right too, and the results can be awesome.

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