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PowerPoint and Presentation News - Issue 043

Issue 043 of PowerPoint and Presentation Stuff newsletter.

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There's so much happening in the world of PowerPoint and you'll stay informed about everything because you read this ezine. And since we have so much ground to cover, let's get started.

Prizes Again

By being subscribed to this ezine, you are eligible to win!

This image is from the AbsolutVision collection - more info here.

Now everyone can be a winner - UniqueTracks is giving away ten high quality PowerPoint loop sound tracks for you to use in your presentations! Thank you, John Bickerton. Here's a link to download.

You can still download Simon Newlyn's PowerPoint based game - here's the download link Thank you, Simon.

Steve Rindsberg of RnR is providing two free copies of any of their mainstream products. This means any of their amazing PowerPoint add-ins except the batch version of PPT2HTML. Incidentally, RnR offers a free version of their amazing PPTools Starter Set. Thank you, Steve.

Now, for the winners! John Nichols and Devine Boop won copies of CaptureWork's Point Capture program. Allen Zielnik won a copy of Crunchy Software's WowChart program. Congratulations to all of you!


Microsoft Releases Office 2004 for Macintosh

Microsoft announced the release of Office 2004 for the Macintosh in three editions. Both the Standard and the Student and Teacher editions include new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage. The Professional edition, which is not released yet will include a copy of Virtual PC 7 for the Macintosh in addition to the other programs.

Microsoft also announced the availability of a free 30 day test drive version of Office 2004. PowerPoint 2004 includes new features like an on-screen timer, presenter tools, improved animations and smoother transitions.

PC Magazine called the new Office 2004 a must have upgrade.


Special Offer

Can you imagine watching TV without a remote control to change the channel? So why would you try to deliver a presentation to an audience while tethered to a mouse or keyboard to change the slides? It doesn't make any sense, does it? Well, it doesn't have to be that way - CrystalGraphics is providing RemotePoint Presenter, the Winner of the Presentation magazine's 2003 Standing Ovation Award for "Best Remote Control" at a special price of US$139. RemotePoint Presenter normally sells for US$199. More info here.

Kathy Jacobs on PowerPoint

Kathy Jacobs, a PowerPoint MVP has permitted Indezine to post excerpts from her book 'Kathy Jacobs on PowerPoint' - do take a look here. Kathy's book is very different from other PowerPoint books since it takes a practical, hands-on approach rather than an academic one. You can pre-order the book here.

Kathy was also interviewed by Indezine - here's an excerpt:

Geetesh: You've been using and teaching PowerPoint, writing articles and books and helping end users. What motivates you?

Kathy: What motivates me? Chocolate, good food, great people.

Oh - you mean what motivates me to help end users? I want to share what I know. The more I share, the more I learn. Being innately curious, I want to know everything about everything. I like to be able to take a shot at whatever questions strike my fancy.

I have been a volunteer all my life, helping others communicate better is just a natural extension of that. It is summed up in my life's philosophy:
I believe life is meant to be lived. But, if we live without making a difference, it makes no difference that we lived.

Read the full interview here.


PowerPoint and Video Part II

Before I get started with the second part of this series, I must tell you how much fun it is to use muvee. muvee, or rather muvee magicMoments is an amazing program that automatically creates movie collages from your video clips.

You'll find Part I of this series in the last issue of this ezine.

Which Codecs Are Installed?

You can only convert between the codecs that are installed on your system. In Windows 9x and ME, you could view the codecs installed on your system through the Multimedia applet in the Control Panel. Windows XP no longer contains that applet - to view the codecs installed on your system in Windows XP, you need to:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. If your Control Panel is in Category View, choose Sounds| Speech and Audio Devices | Sounds and Audio Devices.
  3. If your Control Panel is in Classic View, choose Sounds and Audio Devices.
  4. Click the Hardware tab of the resultant tabbed dialog box.
  5. Scroll down the Devices listing to Video Codecs, select it and click the Properties button.
  6. The Properties tab of the resultant dialog box will provide you with a list of installed video codecs.

It's probably easier to use a third party tool like AVICodec or GSpot - both are freeware.

In AVICodec, you'll find a tab that lists all installed codecs with their version numbers - you can view a listing of audio and video codecs separately. You can also export the entire list.

In GSpot, choose the View | Installed Codecs | Video option.

This will show you a listing of all installed video codecs.

Determine and Download Codecs: Quite often, you cannot play video files because of missing codecs. However, there are times when you cannot play video files in PowerPoint even though you have the codecs installed - this happens when your MCI settings are changed. You must read the PowerPoint and Multimedia page to find out if changing your MCI settings helps.

If changing your MCI settings does not resolve the problem, you can find out which codec a particular video file uses with AVICodec. Assuming, AVIcodec is already installed on your system, right-click any video file in Windows Explorer and choose AVIcodec: detailed information to know which codec the media file uses. Thereafter, you can probably find a link to download your codec from these sites:

  • You can download Microsoft's WindowsMedia codecs from the Microsoft site.
  • Illustrate's Codec Central has more info and downloads on codecs than anywhere else.
  • Codec Corner is another cool codec site - I love their codec test links that allow you to load 3 second test clips!
  • The FOURCC site has extensive information on all types of codecs.
  • The Nimo All in One Codec Pack includes many of the possible codecs you might need. Be careful though, too many codecs do not translate into too much good. Click here to get the download.

The next part of the PowerPoint and Video article will be included in the next ezine issue.


News & Content

Read the PowerPoint Blog here. The PowerPoint Blog now includes the Atom syndication service so that you can use a Atom compatible newsreader to read all postings.


Events & Seminars

InfoComm 04
June 5 to 11, 2004, Atlanta, USA

Winning Presentations Seminar
June 10 and 11, 2004, Boston, USA
Claudyne Wilder, Wilder Presentations
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 Adam Schwartz, Betsy Weber, Claudyne Wilder, Glen Millar, John Bickerton, Kathy Jacobs, Nicole Ha, Paul Jones, Peter McClard, Simon Newlyn, Steve Rindsberg, TAJ Simmons and Tania Chew (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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