Powerpoint to Flash Quick Picks 2008

Originally published December 8, 2008

You have been assigned to produce streaming Internet based slide presentations that can be viewed by all web browsers in any operating system and will be embedded in an LMS. What do you do? … Find a converter.

Hence the following quick survey of applications may assist you in getting the job done without the insanity of trying to use unstable or poorly created Flash converters.

Task:

Find a Powerpoint to Flash converter to publish presentations from a slide presentations software such as Powerpoint, Keynote, or OpenOffice to a webpage that will produce a professional, stable, and correctly working web presentation. The goal is to create a web version that accurately recreates the original presentation file, while providing a user-friendly authoring interface and flash player.

Application Criteria:

  • Templates for the flash player
  • Transitions
  • Automatic play
  • Ability to include audio, notes, and other assets

System Configuration with latest updates:

  • Memory 2GB RAM
  • Hard drive 75GB Free space
  • CPU Intel 2.80GHz
  • OS Windows XP SP2
  • MS PowerPoint 2007
  • System condition – stable and fast

Assumptions:

  • Time limited
  • Primarily working from a PC perspective
  • Stability is key to Pass or Fail

Method:

  1. Choose all the relevant converters that could be found via Wikipedia and Google within 2 hours
    (Only use freely available applications such as trial, open-source, freeware)
  2. Installed applications
  3. Used converters on one long and one short PowerPoint presentation
    (MS PowerPoint 2003 – 37 slide presentation with transition and some animation,
    MS PowerPoint 2007 – 2 slide presentation with transition)
  4. Uninstalled applications
    (Important in determining if the application had a clean and successful uninstall).

Results:


Converter
Pass
/ Fail

Comments
Adobe Presenter 7.02-PC- FAIL
  • Not Recommended
  • Completely unstable
  • Consistently crashed PowerPoint 2007 such that the plugin was automatically disabled
AuthorPOINT Lite v.3.1.7.3-PC- PASS
  • Recommended
  • Separate program that uses PPT indirectly (PPT not on desktop but application is visible in process)
  • Conversion based on original PPT settings
  • Includes search capability
  • Flash player interface a bit rough on edges of icons, not a polished look for template
  • Manual access to output folder in My Documents\authorGEN Projects\
  • Free
Impress 3(part of OpenOffice 3)
-PC-MAC-
PASS
  • Not Recommended
  • Flash conversion average – no background
  • Simple click picture forward
  • Open-source
iSPring free 3.5.1-PC- FAIL
  • Not Recommended
  • Conditional fail, needs to be more stable
  • Crashed in PowerPoint 2007
  • Uninstall required ‘Remove Shared File’ and to choose Yes to All
  • Produced slides correctly with automatic transition
  • Free
Keynote ’08 Ver.4.0.2(part of iWorks ’08)-MAC- PASS
  • Recommended
  • MAC only (included free with new MACs)
  • Not perfect in conversion such as gradient lines and transitions
  • Automatic forward based on slide settings
  • No player navigation, the presentation is a moving picture that can be clicked forward
PPT to Flash studio 2 Build 2003-PC- PASS
  • Not Recommended due to price and too high end of an application for task
  • Includes a flash editor to correct for slide inaccuracy
  • Similar in functions to Adobe Presenter 7 such as adding quizzes
  • Worked smoothly but did not translate all slides accurately – background color of titles shifted sometimes
  • $195.34 CAD
SWISH Presenter ver,1.2 Build 2008.7.16-PC- PASS
  • Recommended
  • No option to preview flash player template
  • Stand-alone application requires clicking on Add Presentation to open PPTX files, not the Open command
  • Installation requires an unbelievably absurd activation process
  • $35 US
VeryDOC PowerPoint to Flash Converter v.3.0-PC- PASS
  • Not Recommended
  • Conditional pass, needs better rendering accuracy on output
  • Only opened PPT files not PPTX
  • fuzzy output, not completely accurate but close
  • $50 US
Wondershare PPT2Flash Professional Ver.5.1.5.4-PC- FAIL
  • Not Recommended
  • Unstable – crashed when trying to convert older or newer ppt from within PP2007
    “Access violation at address 3037A70F in module ‘ppcore.dll’. Read of address 61343838″
  • Mostly poor conversion
  • Uninstall forced to go to web page for comments

Conclusions:

The current selection of free PPT to FLASH converter solutions is primarily for the PC – Windows platform. Stability was critical to developing a presentation without the insanity of using the application. I would choose the AuthorPOINT Lite application as a free solution. For a commercial solution, I would have to choose the SWISH Presenter. The MAC Keynote is a simple solution, when not using Boot Camp or similar PC emulator.

An invitation to students to LIBERATE your documents

Modified from original published on Athabasca Landing site:
https://landing.athabascau.ca/blog/view/75995/an-invitation-to-students-to-liberate-your-documents
July 12, 2011 – 4:50pm


No one in the world needs to pay for MS Word when you can have a very credible integrated open-source software called “LibreOffice” (http://www.libreoffice.org) for free.  This latest version of the original “StarOffice” begs the question – Why are people still using MS Office ?

There are only two major reasons I can find for why people are still using MS Office:

  1. Mind programming to stay with the status quo
  2. The Canadian government continues to provide tax deductions to companies for purchasing software (which means that those taxpayers who don’t want MS Office are paying for those that do)… that also applies universally to other deductions…what is subtracted by one, must be added to another to sustain cash flow
  3. Forced cloud cover – Application rental integrated into MS products  (AKA a terminal)

Given the disincentive to change and the incentive not to change, it is likely that Canadian taxpayers will continue to pay for wasteful costs in software for a long time to come.  However, for students who wish to spend their money toward something more useful, they have a really good office product for their education called LibreOffice.  Students also have the power to change academia by demanding that institutions accept their files in Open Document Format (ODF).  Microsoft only externally recognizes ODF, while LibreOffice natively recognizes Microsoft Office formats.

Aside from the fact that Microsoft lost a lawsuit on a critical part of their XML document strategy, archiving office files into ODF is a much safer practice that guarantees accessibility into the future.  If you compare the inside files from ODF and MS Office, you will find that the ODF files are much cleaner, while the MS Office format is very messy.

So why are students not using LibreOffice?

PS. With all the money you saved using LibreOffice, it doesn’t hurt to send a little donation their way to keep inspiring the programmers (assuming donations go to programming and not administrivia)