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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 015

Issue 015 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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Product/Version: PowerPoint


We begin this issue with a look at improvements in version 2 of Vox Proxy followed by a short review of SWF Desktop from ScreenTime. Quick News is followed by info about the launch of Photo-Objects Vol III from Hemera. We then look at an amazing SuperSaver offer from Ppted - then, we look at new releases of PowerPoint add-ins from CrystalGraphics. We follow this by a discussion on Font Embedding in PowerPoint and finish with a listing of forthcoming events and seminars.

Vox Proxy 2 Released

Right Seat Software has updated its Vox Proxy program to version 2. Vox Proxy functions as an add-in to PowerPoint for Windows - imparting talking animated characters to the presentation program using Microsoft's Agent technology. You'll find a review of version 1 of Vox Proxy elsewhere onsite at Indezine.

Here's what Tom Atkins of Right Seat Software has to say about the new version of Vox Proxy:

There are quite a few new media features, like:

  • Timers - slide timer, show timer, timers on media files, custom timers. Useful for synchronizing narration of a movie or flash file.
  • Volume control for audio played with my PlayMedia command (with variable fade) lets you adjust volume at any time on any slide. Useful for turning down volume while characters (or you) are speaking.
  • Play Flash movies
  • Display Word document
  • Display Excel worksheet; read and write data from worksheets; react to changes user makes in a visible worksheet, so it can be interactive with the user.
  • Read and write data from an "ini-style" text file
  • Display text data "on the fly" into a text shape in a visible slide during the slide show. Can be used in combination with reading data from worksheets or text files. This is another way to be interactive with the user.

Thank you, Tom.

At the same time, Right Seat has announced the availability of AT&T's Natural Voices™ for Vox Proxy.

For more info, please visit the Vox Proxy site.


ScreenTime launches SWF Desktop

ScreenTime Media is now shipping SWF Desktop, a product that allows you to use dynamic SWF files as wallpaper for your Windows desktop. Such SWF wallpapers impart dynamic abilities, interactivity and animation to conventional static backdrops.

The folks at ScreenTime sent me a copy of SWF Desktop - and my intitial enthusiasm with the product has revealed nuances that promise so much more. In all, I feel it is a great product in a new arena.

A simple wizard driven interface allows you to use Flash MX (or any other application) SWFs as live wallpapers that can access dynamic information online. Such SWFs are packaged into self-executing installer files you can distribute to others royalty free. More info (link no longer exists).


Quick News

Are You A PowerPoint Whiz is the name of a PowerPoint quiz available now on the Microsoft site. Assess your levels here (link no longer exists).

Apple has released an update for Keynote, its new presentation program for the Macintosh. Keynote Update 1.0.1 is a world wide release with support for Japanese, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish. Download here.

Hemera has launched its GraphicDesk application for the Mac OS X operating system. Currently, Hemera is providing 100 free images to anyone who downloads GraphicsDesk for the Mac. More info (link no longer exists).

Ulead has announced the availability of Video Studio version 7. New features include expanded compatibility, InstaView realtime previews, 3D graphics (Ulead Cool 3D 3 SE included with Video Studio 7), free video tutorial, dual layer DVD menus, multiple videos per DVD, etc. More info.

Jasc has announced a public beta of the new Paint Shop Pro 8 - the beta is available for free download and is largely error-free. The beta allows free unlimited use of 30 days. For those who buy the current Paint Shop Pro 7 Anniversary version, Jasc promises a free version 8 upgrade. More info.

Jasc has also announced a new product - the Paint Shop Photo Album. This applications can access your digital pictures right from your digicam and provides tools to enhance, organize and share them. More info (link no longer exists).

cbox from Winnov is an appliance that captures everything that occurs in a conference room and creates on-the-fly rich media information (audio, video, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, pictures, graphics, text). More info.


Hemera Launches Photo-Objects Volume III

Hemera announced the launch of a new image collection for Windows: Hemera Photo-Objects 50,000 Volume III on CD is the company's third collection of award-winning Photo-Objects images, bringing Hemera's total Photo-Objects image collection to over 150,000 images in three volumes. A Macintosh-OS version is due out in April.

Volume III for Windows allows users to create their own personal collections, view and subscribe to additional online image collections, and use all their Hemera image collections from within a single browser.

"We're very pleased to be offering another 50,000 Photo-Objects images to creative professionals and graphics enthusiasts," said Marc-Antoine Benglia, President and Chief Product Architect of Hemera Technologies Inc. "The customer demand has been strong for these premium collections since the launch of Volume l in April 2000. Volume lll is an excellent addition to the product family with all-new content, and our continued commitment to delivering great value."
More info (link no longer exists).

You can buy the product here.


Ppted SuperSaver Offer

Ppted has announced a new SuperSaver offer on their range of PowerPoint backgrounds and templates, where you can make savings of 25%. Five collections (a total of 25 attractive designs) are available for US$75 instead of US$100 (if you were to buy the same collections separately).

Buy The SuperSaver

Collections included in this SuperSaver are:

Urban Textures
Spots Of Success
Simply Azure
Bio Meadows


New Releases from CrystalGraphics

CrystalGraphics have released two new products/offers:

PowerPlugs Transitions Vol IV has dozens of new transition effects including shattering glass, camera shutter and page turning. More info.

CrystalGraphics has also updated its Ultimate Combo suite to Ultimate Combo 10 Plus. For US$499 (offer valid upto March 31st, 2003), you get:

  1. RemotePoint Navigator BONUS
  2. Transitions I, II, III & IV
  3. SuperShapes I & II
  4. PhotoActive FX I & II
  5. Templates I - VI
  6. 3D Titles I & II
  7. Headings I & II
  8. Charts
  9. Stationery 1-4
  10. Quotations
  11. Slides that Win!

More info.


Font Embedding in PowerPoint

PowerPoint allows you to embed a copy of a font used in a presentation within its format. But that's not the end of the story - things are not quite that simple. Let's find out how to embed fonts before discussing its aspects.

This can be achieved by File -> Save As and then checking the 'Embed True Type Fonts' option. If a font cannot be embedded, PowerPoint will inform you accordingly.

Not all TrueType fonts can be embedded - and Type 1 or PostScript fonts cannot be embedded at all.

To find out if a particular font is embeddable, you can get a free extension from the Microsoft Typography site. It's called the Font Properties Extension and once it has been installed, you can right click any font in your Windows Font folder (normally C:\Windows\Fonts, but your path may differ) and select 'Properties'. The resultant properties box is full of tabs which provide all kinds of information about the font in question. This includes its embedding rights.

Microsoft also provides a Font Properties Editor at its site - although this allows you to make a font's embedding rights more restrictive, it doesn't allow you to allot embedding rights to an already restricted font.

If you create your own fonts using Macromedia Fontographer, you will find the Using FPEDIT with Fontographer technical note at the Macromedia site which speaks about editing font properties.


Events & Seminars

Winning Presentations Seminar
March 10 and 11, 2003
May 20 and 21, 2003
Merrill Lynch Meeting Room, Wellesley Office Park, Wellesley, Boston, USA
Claudyne Wilder, Wilder Presentations

PowerPoint Live
October 12 to 15, 2003
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Rick Altman, R Altman Digital Consulting
PPT Live



During the preparation of this issue of the PowerPoint Ezine, I received assistance and feedback from Brian Hutchins, Kim Dixon, Mickey Stevens, Sophie LeGuen, Taj Simmons and Tom Atkins (all in alphabetical order). I would like to use this platform to thank them for their help.


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