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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 032

Issue 032 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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Product/Version: PowerPoint


Anystream Unwraps Apreso 2003
TechSmith Announces SnagIt 7, Camtasia 2
Quick News
Interlink RemotePoint Presenter
Types of Text in PowerPoint
CrystalGraphics Announces PowerPlugs: SuperSaver 5
Events and Seminars

Anystream Unwraps Apreso 2003

Anystream announced the release of its renamed (earlier Agility Presenter) product called Agility Apreso 2003 for PowerPoint. The new product's most powerful addition is an integrated presentation hosting service, Apreso Online, that lets users share Apreso presentations with a click.

Geoff Allen, Anystream's President and CEO explains "We changed the name from Agility Presenter to Apreso to simplify how users describe the rich media presentations they create, and to underscore the significance of its new, built-in distribution capabilities. Now when someone uses our product to create a Web-based presentation with synchronized voice, video and PowerPoint slides, they can reach virtually any audience by simply sending an 'Apreso' as easily as they would an email message".

Look out for a full Apreso review on Indezine soon. For more info, visit the Anystream Apreso site.


TechSmith Announces SnagIt 7, Camtasia 2

TechSmith announced the immediate availability of new versions of their flagship products.

SnagIt 7 includes enhancements that simplify the workflow of capturing, editing, and sharing electronic images. New features include profile management for creating and managing personalized configuration profiles so users have quick access to their most commonly used features. Users can easily change profile settings, arrange profiles within groups, and create group profiles to meet individual, department or company-wide requirements. The image editing effects now enable users to add creative and artistic enhancements, such as perspective, shear, spotlight, and magnification to screenshots.

Camtasia Studio 2 includes a new task-based interface and several other improvements including a capability to add personal video introductions and digital video recordings. Interactive hot spots bring interactivity to Flash movies that are output from within Camtasia. Camtasia now also supports output to streaming Flash Video (.FLV) format.

Learn more here.


Quick News

Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Office 2003. This update fixes a problem that occurs when you try to open or to save a Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 file, a Microsoft Office Word 2003 file, or a Microsoft Office Excel 2003 file that includes an OfficeArt shape that was previously modified and saved in an earlier version of Microsoft Office. Learn more here.

GS Technologies' Power Launch 2 product now works with the PowerPoint 2003 Viewer to create autorun CDs if the user selects it. The option to use the PowerPoint 97 Viewer is also available for users that want to create output compatible with older Windows' platforms. More info (link no longer exists).

Right Hemisphere announced the immediate availability of Deep Publish for Microsoft Office users. Deep Publish software helps non-technical users tap the huge value locked away in 3D engineering design databases for use in presentations, training sessions and other documentation. More info.

TAJ Simmons has added a new PowerPoint sample presentation that simulates the Matrix falling text effect. More info.

Sonic Foundry, a leading rich media solutions company announced a new architecture, higher performance and significant enhancements to its award-winning Mediasite Live rich media presentation system. Mediasite Live is a complete real-time, rich media communications system that provides a capture appliance integrated with publishing server software for creating, managing and viewing high-quality, rich media over the Web, or burned to CD. Learn more here (link no longer exists).

Indigo Rose announced the fifth version of their AutoPlay Media Studio product that creates front-ends for professional autorun CD/DVD ROMs, interactive presentations and custom Windows software applications. More info here.

Ulead has announced PhotoImpact XL, a new version of their image editing suite that also includes Ulead Photo Explorer, GIF Animator, Cool 360, a 45 minute video tutorial and over 4500 royalty free images and textures. More info

Cliff Atkinson and Dave Paradi talk about their solutions for Countering 'death by PowerPoint' in an article that appeared in the Toronto Star.


Interlink RemotePoint Presenter

In the last ezine issue, we looked at the RemotePoint Navigator from Interlink Electronics. This time, we'll look at their RemotePoint Presenter product.

RemotePoint Presenter is much more than just a presentation remote controller - it also functions like a remote mouse and comes equipped with a laser pointer. Finally, it also includes a thumb-drive like receiver that comes bundled with 32 mb of flash memory mass storage space - this acts like a removable hard drive when inserted into an available USB port.

I tried installing and using the product and it did perform flawlessly - it might take you some time to get used to the trackball style mouse controls, much like what you would have expected to find in an older laptop. Other than that, the RemotePoint Presenter is every presenter's dream come true - something that lets you control your presentation machine in every respect from a distance.

For more info, visit the Interlink site - you can also go directly to their RemotePoint Presenter page, although that gets you there outside their frame-based layout.


Types of Text in PowerPoint

Text content in PowerPoint can be divided under four types:

Headings or Titles
Body Text
Decorative Text
Captions or Legends

Each of these text types have specific characteristics of their own - but combined together, they have a role to play in the PowerPoint scheme of things.

Headings or Titles are something which describe a slide almost like its identity. As with all text in any presentation, titles need to be as short as possible. Moreover, titles need to describe the slide - just putting up a few words with high impact is not sufficient - those words have to convey some meaning relating to whatever is the content of the slide. A title is more like an essence - it needs to reflect related content to maximum effect with the use of as few words as possible.

Body text in a presentation is unlike writing for an article - sentences are 'out', bulleted lists are 'in'. Text needs to be short enough to educate, although not as diminutive so as to mystify the viewer. You could follow a time-tested procedure of inputting sentences initially, then try to ruthlessly edit into small bites of information with every consecutive review. Arrange all such edited information within a bulleted list - and review or edit as necessary - repeatedly!

Decorative text is text with a purpose. It beautifies, it attracts and too much of it drowns your presentation to below sea level. It often looks great in small doses - and many-a-great presentation has been created with no decorative text at all. As with any other form of text, but of particular concern in the use of decorative text be aware of the concept of font embedding - covered in detail in Indezine's PowerPoint And Fonts page.

Captions and Legends includes captions, legends and more... For instance, copyright notices and other legal gobbledygook. Sometimes you just want it be there, other times you want it to be visible, and many times you need it to be viewable and readable too! This calls for a lot of visual balance. If you don't have a lot of screen estate to make the text larger - try using a font which offers better readability at a lower point size - something like Verdana. Another trick is to draw a black rectangle and superimpose it with white text.


CrystalGraphics Announces PowerPlugs: SuperSaver 5

CrystalGraphics has announced the PowerPlugs: SuperSaver 5 collection that includes 8 volumes of popular PowerPoint presentation-enhancing products. PowerPlugs: SuperSaver 5 includes:

  • Transitions, volumes I, II, III & IV
  • Charts
  • Templates I (over 5,000 PowerPoint templates)
  • 3D Titles I & II
  • PowerPictures BONUS — Pick any 10 presentation-quality photos (over 20,000 to choose from)

Until November 30, the collection costs US$299. That's a savings of well over 40% off the price of the separate products. More info here.


Events & Seminars

Winning Presentations Seminar
January 15 and 16, 2004
Boston, USA
Claudyne Wilder, Wilder Presentations

PowerPoint Live
October 10 to 13, 2004
San Diego, California, USA
Rick Altman, R Altman Digital Consulting
PPT Live



During the preparation of this issue of the PowerPoint Ezine, I received assistance, content or feedback from Darian Germain, Donna Atkins, Gerry Strope and Nicole Ha (all in alphabetical order). I would like to use this platform to thank them for their help.


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