PowerPoint 2010 with the new features such as the snazzy transitions and the ability to control media in a much better way does create better presentations. Ironically when Microsoft provided these amazing features in this version, they took away the ability to create self running CDs and DVDs. In its place they provided a solution that's not elegant and assumes that people viewing off CDs are always connected online! Go to our interview with Damian McDonald of Visual Presenter to learn more.
So Damian created this Presentation Deployer product that I am reviewing. This includes the PowerPoint 2010 Viewer installer on the CD, and you can specify the PowerPoint version you wish to target and even choose to run the presentation/s automatically or display a presentation list if targeting PowerPoint 2010. The application will scan the computer for the desired PowerPoint version to use and if the version is not found will install the PowerPoint 2010 Viewer, then run the presentation automatically.
Presentation Deployer is from Visual Presenter, a company based at North Sydney, Australia. You can learn more about Presentation Deployer and download a trial version of the product from their site (link no longer exists).
My contact for this review was Damian McDonald, thank you Damian.Back
Using Presentation Deployer
Download the installer from their site, run the setup routine, and follow the instructions. The setup ensures that you have downloaded the PowerPoint 2010 Viewer via the message box shown in Figure 1 -- click Yes to accept.
Figure 1: Install PowerPoint 2010 viewer
Thereafter you are prompted to install PowerPoint 2010 Viewer on your system. In addition, you can unlock your copy of Presentation Deployer or continue running it for 7 days in trial mode.
Follow these steps to use Presentation Deployer:
- First export your PowerPoint presentation using the Package as CD option (this is explained in the documentation for Presentation Deployer). You'll end with a folder that contains your presentation and linked files as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Package as CD folder
- Go to your Windows Start menu and choose Visual Newmedia | Presenter Deployer. This launches the Presenter Deployer interface, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Presenter Deployer interface
- Now select the Export Folder Button (highlighted in red, refer to Figure 3 above).
- This summons the dialog box that you can see in Figure 4. Navigate and select the folder that is exported from PowerPoint using the Package for CD option in PowerPoint (refer to Step 1, above). Click OK.
Figure 4: Browse folder
- Once the valid folder is selected, Presentation Deployer will search through the folder for any PowerPoint files and populate a presentation/s playlist, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Presentation/s playlist
- Once you have a valid export folder selected you can do the followings:
- Modify the playlist by adding, removing and changing the order of existing presentations in the playlist.
- Target PowerPoint versions to minimize compatibility errors. If the correct PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer version is not found, Presentation Deployer will install Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Viewer directly from the CD.
- Once done with the Presentation Deployer settings, you can process your exported folder by clicking the Create button (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Create
- Once the folder is processed, the Test button will appear (refer to Figure 6 above). Clicking this allows you to preview the processed exported folder.
- If you are happy with the result, you can burn the exported folder to a CD or DVD.
Pricing and Support
Presentation Deployer costs $79.00.
Support is by e-mail and phone.Back
Presentation Deployer is the first and probably only solution that creates autorun CDs that circumvent the lack of such abilities in PowerPoint 2010. It is not an exact equivalent of the Package for CD feature found in PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 that actually let you run the presentation off the Viewer on the CD itself without any installation, but it does a great job in spite of the limitations that Microsoft created in PowerPoint 2010.Back