Hidden Gems

I just love these sorts of things – I needed to convert a PowerPoint presentation into a Flash equivalent and, as always, I didn’t want to spend any money on it as it was a one-off requirement.

My first port of call was Google which turned up a number of very fine looking packages that would carry out this function for me… at a cost. I was surprised at just how many products there were. I was just about to give up and put my hand in my pocket when tucked away at the bottom of a long article was the suggestion that OpenOffice had just such a facility in it’s “Impress” presentation tool.

Having already got a copy of OpenOffice 2.0 I took at quick look and there it was. Using the feature is simplicity itself: open the PowerPoint original presentation in Impress and then select Export from the file menu, choose where you want to save the file and then click the save button. What you don’t get with this approach are any bells and whistles. For example, some of the packages have a set of video style controls to play, pause and move through the presentation. With Impress you get just the presentation and you move through it using page up and page down but what do you expect for free?

You may be asking why you would want to do this at all. Well, having the presentation as a flash file means that a) it is smaller in size and b) can be hosted on a website much easier.

All in all I was impressed (if you’ll pardon the pun) with the facility and will consider at for packaging future presentations.

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