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Visual Flash Plug-in

Read the Indezine review of Visual Flash Plug-in.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint






Introduction
About Visual Flash Plug-in
Using In PowerPoint 2003
Using In PowerPoint 2007
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

Many PowerPoint users have a fascination with Flash but still prefer PowerPoint's ease of use and logical workflows rather than dabbling with Flash that has a longer learning curve compared to PowerPoint's almost zero learning curve. Yet these same users like to insert Flash files into their PowerPoints, and sometimes they look for a way to export Flash files they have inserted within the PowerPoint presentations. However, that's not always easy since changes made by Microsoft to file formats from the PowerPoint 2003's PPT to PowerPoint 2007's PPTX have made everything uncertain. A new add-in for PowerPoint tries to overcome some of these issues -- does it succeed? Read on to learn more.

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About Visual Flash Plug-in

Visual Flash Plug-in is from Visual Newmedia, a North Sydney, Australia based company that is into presentation management solution. You can learn more about Visual Flash Plug-in and download a free seven days trial version from their site (link no longer exists).

PowerPoint 2007 (or rather the new PPTX file format) does not support the embedding Flash files -- for example if you open a Flash SWF embedded in a PowerPoint 2003 (PPT) file in PowerPoint 2007 and save the file as a PowerPoint 2007 (PPTX) file, then the embedded Flash file will be lost. With the Visual Flash Plug-in, you can open the presentation and extract the embedded flash files so they can be re-imported into PowerPoint 2007 as linked files.

My contact at Visual Newmedia for this review was Damian McDonald -- thank you, Damian.

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Using In PowerPoint 2002-2003

When the add-in is installed in PowerPoint 2003 it creates a new Flash Tool toolbar within PowerPoint as shown in Figure 1.

  • Flash Tools toolbar
    Figure 1: Flash Tools toolbar
  • Follow these steps to import a Flash (.SWF) file in PowerPoint 2003.

    1. Launch PowerPoint and create a new presentation.
    2. Now, choose the Import Flash button from Flash Tools toolbar (refer Figure 1 above).
    3. This opens a Browse for Adobe Flash File window as you can see in Figure 2.
    4. Browse for Adobe Flash File
      Figure 2: Browse for Adobe Flash File
    5. Browse to select a flash file, click Open to apply it on the slide.
    6. Figure 3 shows a embedded flash file on the slide.
    7. Embedded flash file
      Figure 3: Embedded flash file
    8. Save the presentation.
    9. The flash file embedded PowerPoint file was tested on PowerPoint 2002 and 2007 it played fine without linked flash file.

    If you have got a PowerPoint file with an embedded flash file but no linked flash file, follow these steps to export a Flash (.SWF) file in PowerPoint 2003.

    1. Open the flash embedded PowerPoint presentation.
    2. From Flash Tools toolbar choose Export Flash button (refer Figure 1 above).
    3. This opens a Name for Exported Flash File window as you can see in Figure 4.
    4. Name for Exported Flash File
      Figure 4: Name for Exported Flash File
    5. Provide a name to the flash file and click Save button.
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    Using In PowerPoint 2007

    When installed, you can find the the add-in placed under Add-in tab of the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 5.

  • Add-ins tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 5: Add-ins tab of the Ribbon
  • Follow this steps to export flash file in PowerPoint 2007:

    1. When you open a PowerPoint 2003 PPT presentation file that has a Flash SWF embedded, it opens in Compatibility mode.
    2. The Visual Flash Plugin will prompt a message, asking you to accept the Microsoft Security option to be able to use the Flash files (see Figure 6).
    3. Flash Plugin Message
      Figure 6: Flash Plugin Message
    4. If the presentation is from a trusted source, access the Security Warning panel right under the Ribbon area, and click the Options button, as you can see in Figure 7.
    5. Security Warning
      Figure 7: Security Warning
    6. Note: The Security Warning panel appears only when the Flash embedded PowerPoint 2003 file is opened in PowerPoint 2007.
    7. This opens the Microsoft Office Security Options window (see Figure 8).
    8. Microsoft Office Security Options
      Figure 8: Microsoft Office Security Options
    9. Choose the Enable this Content radio button (refer to Figure 8 above), and click OK.
    10. Now, just save the presentation as a PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx). Any found Flash files will automatically be extracted from the presentation and saved in the same location as the presentation is saved -- converting the embedded Flash file to a linked one.

      Or

      From the Add-ins tab of the Ribbon, choose the Export Flash button (refer to Figure 8 above). This opens a Name for Exported Flash File window, choose the destination folder and save the file.
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    Pricing and Support

    Visual Flash Plug-in costs $19.95.

    Support is via e-mail.

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    Conclusion

    If you have many presentations with embedded Flash files, and have upgraded to PowerPoint 2007, this add-in will pay for itself within a few times that you use it. However, if you are using PowerPoint 2003, it's not such a compelling product unless you need to share files often with PowerPoint 2003 users. All factors put together, you can't lose much getting a product that costs just $19.95!

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    Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

    Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.

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