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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 021

Issue 021 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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Product/Version: PowerPoint


We first discuss Macromedia Breeze followed by a look at DzSoft's Slide Show product. A listing of Quick News is followed by a focus on Wildform's new Wild Fx product. Atek's Tote-Remote is our next story, and this is followed by some info about a great offer from CrystalGraphics. We finally look at Dave Paradi's excellent site.

Macromedia Breeze

Macromedia Breeze is a great solution that converts existing PowerPoint content into rich media presentations that can be viewed online using the firewall friendly Flash SWF format.

Breeze isn't a boxed product - it's a combination of a PowerPoint add-in and a server based solution that make it easy to deliver online content to audiences along with several niceties like password protection, reporting, search, quizzes, etc. All put together, Breeze informs, educates and trains anyone - be it your partner, colleague, client, customer or student.

I just finished a review on Macromedia Breeze - read it here.


DzSoft Slide Show

DzSoft Slide Show from DzSoft, an Ukraine based company is a Windows shell extension that can create slide shows from a group of images. Such slide shows can also be output as standalone EXE files that can be distributed.

Alexander Dzyubenko of DzSoft has put up an excellent tutorial on his site that explains how to create such standalone EXEs from images that are exported from PowerPoint presentations. I stumbled on the site while searching for something else on Google - Alexander has allowed me to link to his site from here:

Turn PowerPoint presentations into standalone slide shows

Not surprisingly, such slideshows would lose all of PowerPoint's own custom animations although you can recreate the transitions within DzSoft Slide Show itself.

All put together, DzSoft's program is a very viable option for those who want their distributed presentations to remain uneditable.


Quick News

PowerPoint Live, being held at Tucson AZ from October 12 to 15, 2003 is a three-day event that includes seminars, workshops, hands-on technical support and keynote addresses covering virtually every topic of interest to the PowerPoint user community. The organizers have announced the PPTLive Sweepstakes to provide you a chance to win a free pass to the conference - a $795 value. Entries close July 1 and winners will be contacted one week later. Enter your name here.

Chirag Dalal, a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP has announced a new add-in for PowerPoint 2002 - the Kiosk Assistant is a free addin that gets the kiosk reset feature back into Microsoft PowerPoint 2002. Kiosk Assistant enhances the depracated feature further and allows you to set the reset interval, and also choose the slide where the kiosk slide show should reset to. More info (link no longer exists).

Macromedia has announced Authorware 7 - a new version of their multimedia authoring and CBT creation product that now includes a PowerPoint import feature. More info.

More PowerPoint news include Inspiration Technology 2003, a convention for pastors and church officials that discusses use of PowerPoint in the church. On the other hand, Unplug that Projector by Jimmy Guterman on the Business 2.0 site discusses how PowerPoint may ruin business presentations—this feature is inspired by Edward Tufte.


Wildform Announces Wild Fx

Wildform has announced Wild fx 3.0, a major upgrade to their Flash text animation software, previously marketed under the name SWfX.

Colby Devitt of Wildform says: Wild fx 3.0 comes with over 400 built in effects that work with a user's installed fonts. Creating a text animation is as easy as entering text and selecting an effect.

Among the major new features of Wild fx 3.0 are:

  • More than 100 new effects.
  • 45 inifinitely customizable effects.
  • Ability to generate new effects templates without requiring any programming knowledge.
  • Ability to add background images, add text fills, gradients and strokes.
  • Automatic text justification.
  • An expanded HTML export option that includes the ability to automatically generate pop-up javascript code.
  • A host of automated Flash functions such as links, custom variables, looping, on-click actions, etc.
  • Support for double-byte characters such as Japanese and Chinese.

All SWF output from Wild Fx can be used within PowerPoint.

Wild fx is priced at US$39 and is available for Windows and Mac. Current SWfX users can upgrade to Wild fx 3.0 for US$25. More info (link no longer exists).


Atek Tote-Remote

Atek sent me their Tote-Remote product the other day - this great hardware remote controller and laser pointer is easy to set up and requires no drivers. I just inserted the included battery within the device and inserted the receiver into an available USB port. The product functioned immediately thereafter.

The Tote-Remote is made for PowerPoint users - functions like starting and stopping slideshows and going back to the previous and next slide are as easy as pressing or wheeling a button. In addition, you also get a laser pointer.

The product is priced at US$79.95 although prices vary widely across vendors. The retail product package includes the Tote-Remote, a 'dongle' type USB RF receiver, a padded travel pouch, and a coin cell battery. The Tote-Remote is cross platform and works on both Windows and the Macintosh.

More info at the Atek site.


CrystalGraphics Announces SuperSaver Combo 3

CrystalGraphics Inc. has announced the PowerPlugs SuperSaver Combo 3 - this suite of add-ins for PowerPoint includes several best sellers from their stable of award winning products:

  • PowerPlugs Transitions Volume I, II, III and IV
  • PowerPlugs 3D Titles Volume I and II
  • PowerPlugs Templates Volume I and II
  • PowerPlugs Charts

Until June 9th, you can buy the SuperSaver Combo 3 for just US$299. That's a saving of 45% against the regular retail pricing of all the 9 products individually. More info.


Dave Paradi's Site

Dave Paradi's Communicate Using Technology site has so much info on PowerPoint and other presentation related technology. As Dave says: "My site is focused on helping people quickly and easily leverage the technology they already own to save time and money. I have a focus on PowerPoint, with my three books and seminar on CD"

Dave also issues a bi-weekly newsletter - in addition you can read some articles on his site. Visit Dave's site.


Events & Seminars

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 Aaron Wessels, Alexander Dzyubenko, Colby Devitt, Dan Rothman, Dave Paradi, Echo Swinford, Eric Vidal, Keith Kitani and Nicole Ha (all in alphabetical order). I would like to use this platform to thank them for their help.


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