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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 011

Issue 011 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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Product/Version: PowerPoint

In this ezine issue, we first take a look at resources to download free images for both commercial and non-commercial usage. After a few snippets of 'Quick News', we discuss Indezine's new affiliations. There is a retrospective feature with a look at PowerPoint version 2 followed by announcement of new products and offers from CrystalGraphics and Hemera Technologies. We then proceed to discuss options on using PowerPoint presentations on handhelds followed by a quick poll on favourite presentation background colours. We finish by focussing on Steve Rindsberg's new Prep4PDF PowerPoint add-in that helps create better PDFs from PowerPoint.

Free Images & Textures: A Listing

If you need a free image for commercial usage, you may often find yourself facing a road block! The reasons behind these state of affairs is quite obvious - no professional likes to give away something.

Digital photography has changed a few equations - many amateurs now have photo collections spanning thousands of quality images. Many of them have no objections if you use their content commercially, although it is best to read the fine print before taking any decision.

On Indezine, you'll find a new listing of sites that offer quality images for free. Look here:

Quick News

PresentationPro has updated their EmailPRESENTER product. Available as a free update to existing customers, new features include more email formats, customization and functionality options, etc.

Wildform, Inc. has announced Linx, an easy-to-use Flash editor that lets you import, edit, manipulate and combine virtually any type of Flash (SWF) file. You can also directly import image and audio files. Linx features a WYSIWYG interface so you can drag and drop files onto a timeline and create amazing Flash files without knowing Flash.

New Affiliations

Indezine has new affiliations in place with several vendors of software applications and template designs. This is expected to help raise resources for maintenance and improvement of this site. Fair enough to mention that if you buy any of these products available through affiliate links here, I receive a certain affiliate fee straight from the vendor. It does not cost you anything more - and it does help increase the number of pages containing tutorials, techniques and information on this site. The present affiliations are in place with:

CrystalGraphics - PowerPoint add-ins and templates
Design Science - MathType equation editing software
PowerFinish - PowerPoint templates and backgrounds

Looking Back: PowerPoint 2

In May 1990, Microsoft released PowerPoint 2.0 for the Macintosh - followed by the Windows version in June 1990. PowerPoint 2 came with a separate Bitstream product called Fontware to allow font usage within the program. A full installation of Fontware with all available fonts consumed 35 mb - in comparison, PowerPoint 2 required only 7 mb!

Microsoft sent me a copy of PowerPoint 2 for research on this article - unfortunately, it refused to install on Windows 98, 2000 or XP. The best I could manage was Windows 3.1 - fortunately, it did not insist on Windows 2!

Luckily, I just copied the whole PowerPoint 2 folder to a Windows 2000 system - and the program worked great - right down to using true type fonts! Imagine - I could actually use the product today.

The program folder for PowerPoint 2 contained another program called GraphicsLink from Genigraphics.

Another feature in PowerPoint 2 was that everything - including sample files, help files, tutorials - even clipart was distributed as a PowerPoint presentation. For instance, the help file contained a convenient chart which showed you equivalent keyboard characters for the Zapf Dingbats font.

Finally, PowerPoint 2 had the styles concept - you could save a text style - using a font name, size, style, colour, etc.

PowerPoint 2 also included a great sample presentation which Christopher Columbus supposedly showed to Queen Isabella of Spain before his famous ship journey!

PowerPlugs: SuperSaver Combo 2

CrystalGraphics has introduced its new SuperSaver Combo 2 - this includes the following products:

  1. PowerPlugs: Transitions, Volumes I, II and III
  2. PowerPlugs: 3D Titles, Volumes I and II
  3. PowerPlugs: Templates, Volumes I and II
  4. PowerPlugs: Charts

The entire combo collection spans 8 CDs and is now available for $349. That's over 25% off the price of buying all 8 products separately. More info.

Hemera Image Collections For Business Professionals

Hemera has announced two new image collections for business users, available through GraphicsDesk, an application available for free download at GraphicsDesk lets users browse and subscribe to thousands of online royalty-free images with total convenience and portability.

"Hemera is now providing images specific to such industries as real estate, finance and insurance, allowing business users to incorporate relevant images that add visual impact to their documents and Web sites." says Marc-Antoine Benglia, Chief Product Architect & President of Hemera.

The Business Essentials Collection provides unlimited access to over 75,000 images that are ideal for every type of business communication, and can be purchased at $19.95 USD for a one-week subscription, or $99.95 USD for a one-year subscription.

The Business Select Collection includes unlimited access to over 5,000 handpicked images specific to the Real Estate, Finance and Insurance industries, and can be purchased at $99.95 USD for a one-year subscription.

PowerPoint And Handhelds

Quite often, you might want to transfer your PowerPoint presentations to your handheld - which might be based on the Palm, Windows CE or Pocket PC platform.

On the Palm platform, you might want to take a look at Dataviz's Documents To Go program. This includes the Slideshow To Go component that allows you to synchronize, edit and rehearse your PowerPoint files and make last minute changes to your presentation.

If you have an older handheld that runs Windows CE, a copy of Pocket PowerPoint should be pre-installed on the machine.

On the PocketPC, you'll be spoilt for choices between the following:

  1. Pocket Slideshow
  2. Pocket Slides
  3. iPresentation Suite

Poll: Favourite Presentation Background Colour

For the last few months, Indezine and Ppted have been jointly running a quick poll to ascertain favourite colour choices of your presentation background colour.

Focus on Prep4PDF

It's fairly simple to make PDFs from PowerPoint if you have Adobe Acrobat, Jaws Systems PDF Creator or any of the other available PDF-making tools. The only problem is that you end up with a 'static' PDF that doesn't include any of the action buttons, hyperlinks and other goodies that bring the PowerPoint version of the presentation to life. Recent versions of Acrobat include a PDFMaker add-in that translates slide transitions and hyperlinks in text into the PDF, but even that leaves action buttons and other types of links behind. You have to re-create them manually in Acrobat after you've made the PDF.

Enter Prep4PDF, which doesn't actually make the PDF itself -- for that you still need Acrobat, PDF Creator (or any other product that supports an obscure PDF feature called 'PDFMark'). However, when you print to PDF via Prep4PDF, it automatically converts your slide transitions, hyperlinks, action settings into PDF, and gives you extended control over cropping, document information and a host of other features.

Prep4PDF is from Steve Rindsberg, a PowerPoint MVP who has created several add-ins. He has put up a quick comparison of PDF vs PowerPoint as a distribution medium here:

Distribute presentations as Adobe Acrobat PDF


During the preparation of this issue of the PowerPoint Ezine, I received assistance and feedback from Colby Devitt, Erica Comeau, Gary White and Steve Rindsberg (all in alphabetical order). I would like to use this platform to thank them for their help.

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