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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 018

Issue 018 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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Product/Version: PowerPoint


In this issue we first examine a new way of incorporating QTVR content into PowerPoint. This is followed by a look at presentation templates from Animation Factory. A listing of Quick News precedes a focus on Microsoft's Office Community web site. We then look at Echo's Voice, another PowerPoint related site. This is followed by a tutorial on inserting sound across slides and a discussion on additional placeholders in PowerPoint. We finish with a listing of upcoming events and seminars.

PowerPoint And QTVR

QuickTime VR is an award-winning photorealistic cross-platform virtual reality technology that makes it possible to explore places as if you were really there. Finding an easy and convenient way to incorporate panoramic content like QTVR into PowerPoint on the Windows platform has been a question I have been asked often.

Thankfully, George Birbilis offers a perfect solution in the form of his QTVR ActiveX Control - this enables seamless inclusion of interactive QTVR and QuickTime movies within PowerPoint. The only caveat is that all systems that need to play the QTVR content have to be equipped with a copy of the ActiveX Control as well as QuickTime 3 (or higher). That's not much of a problem considering that the QTVR Control download itself is around 600 kb and the only limitation within the unregistered version is that you face a nag screen when you first use it. The nag screen does not appear if you play the presentation a second time within the same session.

The screenshot above shows an actual QTVR panorama being viewed within PowerPoint - look carefully towards the left part of the screenshot and you can even see QTVR's panning cursor.

Learn how to incorporate both QTVR and QuickTime content within PowerPoint through this exclusive tutorial. Read here.


Focus on Animation Factory Presentations

Animation Factory Presentations is a new initiative from the MediaBuilder Network. Animation Factory and the MediaBuilder Network are based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States - their new presentation components include PowerPoint templates and readymade animations.

All designs are created in-house by their own team of artists. Look out for a full review of the templates soon at Indezine.

Meanwhile, you can download free template and animation samples as well as opt for some of their membership plans at the Animation Factory site.


Quick News

For those of you who are not aware, Microsoft has announced a public beta of the new Office System 2003 that comprises PowerPoint 2003. More info here (link no longer exists).

Adobe has announced Acrobat 6 - a new version of the industry standard PDF creation tool. More info.

Corel announced version 8 of Painter, their natural media painting application. More info.


Microsoft's Office Community

Microsoft's Community program for Office products continues to evolve. The main site for Office Community is definitely worth a bookmark. I do visit the site often and it's good to see a site that's updated so often.

Not surprisingly, there's so much information on using PowerPoint on the community site. In addition, there are links to third-party sites, technical info and how-to articles. You can also opt to sign for newsletters and read tutorials.


Focus on Echo's Voice

Echo's Voice is the name of a website created and maintained by Echo Swinford, a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP. Echo is probably the most active respondent on the PowerPoint newsgroups on Microsoft's news servers and she shares so much of her knowledge at her elegant site.

You'll find detailed info on using colour schemes in PowerPoint and the most exhaustive list of links to create autorun CDs with PowerPoint presentations. There's much more - for instance you can read about PowerPoint 2002's multiple masters and learn to use bezier curves in PowerPoint. Visit her site.

Endnote: Two years ago, I described Echo's site as a much anticipated and awaited site - of voices, noises, whispers, hushes, screams and echos! That was issue 8 of the PowerPoint Ezine.


Sound Across Slides in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003

Let's see how one can add sound across slides in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 - in the next ezine issue, we'll learn to do the same in PowerPoint 97 and 2000. In a subsequent issue, we'll learn to do that in Mac versions of PowerPoint.

  1. Navigate to the first slide of the presentation and choose Insert | Movies And Sounds | Sound From File or any of the three other sound options. Navigate to your sound track and PowerPoint will ask you if you want the sound to play automatically. Accept the option.
  2. Right click the sound icon and choose Custom Animation. This will open the Custom Animation Task pane. Click the sound file listed within the pane. Click again on the down arrow next to the name. In the resultant menu, choose Effect Options.
  3. This will open the Effects Options dialog box with two tabs - Effects and Timing. In the Effects tab, choose to play the sound from beginning and type 999 in the Stop playing after option.
  4. In the Timings tab, match your settings with the following screenshot.
  5. In all versions of PowerPoint, you might see a sound icon on the slide where you inserted the sound. If you don't like the icon on the slide, just drag it to anywhere off the slide; your sound shall still play fine.

New Placeholders in PowerPoint

I often get asked about ways to incorporate additional placeholders in slide and title masters within PowerPoint.

Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not allow creation of new placeholders other than the default placeholders available within a master.

Many users create a text-box equipped slide geared to their requirements and duplicate it as required. However, any text that is contained within a text-box as opposed to a placeholder does not make it to the outline view of the presentation.

If you would like this feature to be included in the next release of PowerPoint, mail Microsoft Wish with 'PowerPoint' in the subject line. Do explain to them why you think this feature is essential for you.


Events & Seminars

Winning Presentations Seminar
April 8 and 9, 2003
May 20 and 21, 2003
Boston, USA
Claudyne Wilder, Wilder Presentations

InfoComm 03
May 31 to June 6, 2003
Orlando, Florida, USA
ICIA, Inc.

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 Echo Swinford, George Birbilis and Tim Johnson (all in alphabetical order). I would like to use this platform to thank them for their help.


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Pictures in Presentations

Is a picture is worth a thousand words? You probably have heard this adage so often that we decided not to repeat this phrase throughout this book! Now here’s some more info: the human brain uses a larger part of its area to store visual information rather than textual content. And that’s possibly because a picture describes so much more than text.

Go and get a copy of our Pictures in Presentations ebook.

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