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If you’ve ever created a PowerPoint presentation then you know what it’s like to concentrate all your communication skills into one tidy package of information. PowerPoint 2000 makes the most out of this concerted effort by allowing you to post your presentations on the Web. Thanks to a new ‘Publish’ button, you can now pull out the slide show whenever the need arises, wherever your audience happens to be.
ou’ve spent countless hours via other types of distribution, in part be- available, there’s another compelling reason p repari ng P owerPoint s lide cause you remain in control of changes to use this feature. Presentations are often shows in an effort to impress your and updates. the basis for business meetings—a means investors, your clients, your reBeyond making your existing slide shows of conveying information and guiding discruits and your future customers. cussions and decisions. Mounting You’ve lived on the road most of the the presentations on the Web lets past year using these presentations you give your presentations from to get the word out to audiences large any Web-connected computer, elimand small. Now that you’re back inating the need to carry and set up home, there’s no reason to halt your your notebook and also allowing for initiative. You can continue to make spur of the moment presentations. In the presentations available to an aladdition, Web-based presentations most unlimited audience by posting let you conduct meetings with any them on the Web. remote groups or individuals that Microsoft PowerPoint 2000 makes have Web access. While perhaps not this process quite easy. Like all the apas technologically leading-edge as plications in the Office 2000 suite, a full scale videoconferencing sysPowerPoint 2000 is designed to protem, a Web-based presentation comduce Web output, and the option to bined with a conference call would save your files in HTMLformat is readdo the trick in a number of situaily displayed in the File menu. Simitions, and much more frugally as larly, a Publish button appears on the well. Save dialog. Putting your slide shows We’ll assume two things for this arFi ure on the Web is more preferable to IEg5.0. 1: The presentation in PowerPoint 2000 and the preview in ticle. First, that you have a Web servsending them as file attachments or er on which you can store docu-
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ON THE WEB
LOAD YOUR PRESENTATION into PowerPoint. To see what the slide show will look like to your Web site’s visitors, choose Web Page Preview from the File menu. When you’re ready to finalise the design, choose Save as Web Page from the same menu. THE SAVE AS DIALOG BOX lets you change the title of the presentation to whatever you want displayed on the title bar of your visitors’ browsers. THE PUBLISH BUTTON takes you to the Publish As Web Page dialog, where you can customise your presentation.
THE WEB OPTIONS DIALOG lets you specify the way published files will be stored on the Web server and whether to update internal links to these files automatically. YOU CAN CHOOSE to make your presentation viewable in Netscape Navigator, though it won’t be as user-friendly as in IE 5.
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Internet Explorer, of course, isn’t the only browser in town and even some IE users may still be using earlier versions. Fortunately, Office 2000 recognises this fact. PowerPoint lets you tailor your presentation for IE 3.0 or for Netscape Navigator 3.0 and later. In fact, this save process should work for any browser compatible with HTML frames, which is what PowerPoint 2000 requires to make the presentations navigable. To save the document in this format: Choose Save as Web Page from the File menu, click the Publish button on the Save As dialog, then select the radio button labelled Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator 3.0 or later in the Browser Support section of the Publish as Web Page dialog. Specify a filename, then click Publish. The result is a browser-based view of your presentation without some of the aesthetics and functionality of the standard IE 4–based version. Bear in mind: the user can’t size the frames (which are awkwardly sized), and the outline and speaker notes frames can’t be toggled on and off. Nor is there a full screen view. As with all your Web designs, you’ll probably want to give your users a choice of browser options. Follow the same procedure as above, but select the radio button labelled All Browsers Listed Above (creates larger files). When the browser loads the presentation, it will display the presentation in the most compatible format. An alternative is to save two different versions of the file, one in IE 4 or later format and one in IE 3/Netscape 3 or later format and offer a link to each on a Web page preceding the presentation.
ments and make them available to others. Second, that you have Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or later installed on your machine. PowerPoint 2000 is naturally optimised to work with Internet Explorer. When you installed Office 2000, you installed IE 5.0 along with it by default, and this is the preferred browser. We offer notes on other browsers in the sidebar “Other Browsers.”
MAKING IT HAPPEN
The first thing you’ll need, of course, is a PowerPoint presentation. Launch PowerPoint 2000, load your document and make any changes you wish. PowerPoint 2000 lets you easily see what the Web version will look like: simply choose Web Page Preview from the File menu. The presentation will load in IE. As Figure 1 shows, the resulting Web page is divided into thre e frames. The main frame shows the slides themselves. Along the left is the outline for the slide show, exactly as created in PowerPoint. Speaker notes, if any, appear in a frame below the main frame. Along the bottom of the IE window, you’ll see a control bar with a few useful buttons. The Outline button lets you toggle the Outline frame on and off; the button to its right lets you expand or collapse the outline. The Notes button toggles the speaker notes frame on and off and the navigation arrows let you move among the slides. The button at the far right launches the slide show in full screen mode, which you can exit by pressing Esc or right clicking and choosing End Show. In other words, saving a PowerPoint 2000 presentation as a Web page makes your browser into a PowerPoint viewer.
SAVING AND PUBLISHING
Your main assistant in converting PowerPoint files to Web-compatible HTML files is the Save As Web Page dialog box, which will save your PowerPoint files in HTMLformat by default. The dialog also lets you change the presentation’s title (which will appear on the browser’s title bar) and publish the files. If you don’t use the Publish button, you can still save your presentation as an HTML file, but components such as embedded graphics files may not function properly when you load the HTML file into a browser. Publish takes care of the necessary links to make sure the presentation works properly; it offers a variety of other options as well. If you’re converting an existing presentation for viewing on the Web, you should definitely use the Publish feature, so that all components are together and mutually supported. Typically, you publish the presentation to
your hard drive first and then put it on a Web server. From the Publish As Web Page dialog, browse to whatever folder you wish, give the HTML file a name, change the presentation title if you want to and then click Publish. To see your handiwork immediately in IE, check the box called Open Published Web Page In Browser. When you’re ready, you’ll transfer all the files and folders created by the Publish feature to the Web server, using the procedures outlined by your hosting provider. This is usually a simple FTP upload. You can also save your files directly to Web folders, as in all other Office 2000 applications, so if these are accessible, save yourself a step and use them. Several options let you tailor the presentation. You can indicate which browsers you want your presentation to support. You can also specify how many slides you wish to publish—either the entire presentation or a specific range of slides. If you have speaker notes in your presentation and you want them to show up on the Web as well, check the Display Speaker Notes box. The Web Options button on the Publish... dialog lets you choose, for example, whether Vector Markup Language (VML) should be used when displaying graphics (reducing download time but supported only in IE 5.0 or later) and whether to collect supporting files, such as graphics, in a separate folder. If you want still more control, you can either create a new slide show in PowerPoint and drag the appropriate slides into it, or create a set of custom slide shows and connect them via hyperlinks. You create a custom slide show with the Tools | Custom command, giving the new show a name and adding your choice of slides to it. For a custom presentation, you might want to create two or more of these shows and then use PowerPoint’s hyperlink feature (Insert | Hyperlink) to link the custom slide shows together. Alternatively, you could create the custom shows and then create a new slide in the main presentation that would act as a table of contents. The TOC slide would provide a hyperlink to each of the different custom presentations. Mounting a presentation on the Web typically isn’t a complete solution. Presentations are rarely standalone items: they benefit from a speaker and an interactive aud i e n ce . B u t yo u c an c r ea t e a mo r e comprehensive package for those who tune in by linking your slides to other appropriate Web documents (including, say, streaming audio). In any case, a PowerPoint presentation on the Web can provide a number of real advantages for your business.
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