Convert PowerPoint Files In A Flash
PowerPoint is a good product but not everyone may have PowerPoint or PowerPoint viewer readily available, whereas many more people are more likely to have Adobe Flash player installed into their browser. Wouldn’t it be handy to convert slide shows created using Microsoft PowerPoint into Adobe Flash files? This would make them much more flexible for use online.
Usefully, a product called iSpring Free, currently at version 4.2, is available which can convert your PowerPoint presentations into Flash (animations and all) – all from a handy toolbar located within PowerPoint. This version of the software is free for private use and only takes up just over 7 MB of space, professional versions are available which add many more features.
The software is installed quickly and easily with a handy wizard to guide you through installation.
Post installation the utility adds a toolbar to PowerPoint with a few buttons for Quick Publish, Publish, Insert Flash, Insert a video from YouTube, check for updates for the product and the About information. Inserting a Flash file is as simple as pointing to the SWF file. Inserting a YouTube video is as simple as entering the embed URL – a tutorial video can also walk you through the process.
The Quick Publish button takes the default settings and produces a Flash file very quickly and no fuss. The Flash is embedded with the usual forward, play/pause, rewind buttons, the progress bar, volume options, thumbnail view, and full screen view.
One thing I noticed when the presentation completed playing is the play bar does not return to start (stays in the play state) – you have to pause then drag back to the beginning, this may be by design.
The Publish button offers a lot more customisation of the options including naming the title, choosing a destination location (including a link to the SlideBoom service which allows you to host your slides online), the ability to choose selected slides, override PowerPoint by automatically changing slides and a number of other useful settings. A preview window is also shown to give you some idea of what the output will be.
For a utility with a purpose iSpring works well – it adds functionality to PowerPoint that, these days, really should be there already and it does it well. iSpring Free is definitely worth a look if you would like to convert your PowerPoint slides to Flash.
You can learn more about this utility at iSpring Free.
If you like the free version, or plan to use the software commercially, you should consider the iSpring Pro and iSpring Presenter versions which add a number of additional features including multilevel navigation, player templates and customisable layout and colour schemes.
The Presenter version includes some nifty looking tools including a Quiz Builder, ActionScript API, and Video Narration Recording, amongst many other features. A 30-day trial is available. I have been pondering for some time developing some quizzes for this site so I plan to take a good look at the Presenter version.
An SDK is also available so you can build to components for iSpring into your own applications.
A fuller list of features can be found on the feature comparison page.