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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Microsoft PowerPoint Review

Microsoft PowerPoint has seen wide-use for over the last decade, enjoying a variety of uses ranging from professional presentations to family vacation albums, with anything and everything in between. The new edition of this photo slideshow software marks the improvement and streamlining of many features that hindered its photo slideshow slant in the past. But, lacking the personal touches that most other photo slideshow software offer, makes this program a much more limited or one-dimensional product.

Ease of Use:

Most users familiar with the Microsoft Office platform will find use of this program fairly easy. There have been some changes made for Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, but by and large, these are welcome improvements upon the previous versions.
Users familiar with the new version of this program will be happy to see improvements in the placement of controls, menus and add-in sections, providing for much easier use. Best of all, use of the advanced options that were once extremely difficult to use, are now well positioned, explained thoroughly and follow a well-developed process for input. However, SmartArt (its graphic editing feature) does require some serious tweaking to get the desired results.

Design Features:

Microsoft PowerPoint still sets itself apart as an indispensible feature for professional presentations, but lacks many of the personal touches, like embellishments and themed templates that would make this program more attractive for higher-end multimedia or hobby-based projects.

A new visual focus provides many photo and graphic editing tools that were absent in the previous versions. Flow charts, pyramids and other diagrams can still be created. Also, new graphical styles, dynamic galleries, animation and live preview have greatly improved the versatility and quality of Microsoft PowerPoint. However, modifications and placement can prove difficult, with little to no free-hand features available. Using the audio editing features can also prove very difficult.

Input/Output:

This program is disappointing in terms of the input and output options. Users have the ability to sent their presentations in an email as an attachment, internet fax, PDF or XPS file and a link. They can also save their Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to Windows Live or SharePoint. If they’re giving a remote presentation, they can broadcast their presentations using nothing more than a link. If they want to make their presentation available to remote users, they can publish their slides to a slide library or a Sharepoint site.

There are also options in this program to turn presentations into WMV videos or handouts. We would like to see Microsoft expand the amount of video file formats that users can turn their presentations into. That’s always been a troubling limitation in this program that needs to be remedied in order for the program to branch out beyond basic business presentations.

Slideshow Quality:

As the industry leading option for slideshow creation, you’re going to get a professional, polished slideshow when you use this program. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be as creative and eye-catching as the finished products coming from other photo slideshow software. The quality of the slideshows you get from Microsoft PowerPoint is high, but it’s a safe option compared to the more creative options in this category. People aren’t going to remark at the quality of the photo slideshow you created in this program; they’re going to say how boring it is and that you should’ve used photo slideshow software that would allow you to inject a little more flair into your photo slideshow.

Help/Support:

Microsoft offers a variety of help/support options for their Microsoft PowerPoint customers. If you want to consult with a resource that will help you troubleshoot and explain the differences between this version of this program and the ones that came before it, PowerPoint Help has more than enough information in this area to satisfy your needs. Microsoft PowerPoint users can also communicate with knowledgeable users through Microsoft’s online support forums or chat to customer service representatives in real time using the live chat support system available on their website. Email and telephone support are made available to users as well, but it doesn’t appear that Microsoft wants customers to use these options as anything other than last ditch efforts for solving their problems with this program.

Summary:

Microsoft PowerPoint remains as the favorite tool of people across the globe that make presentations on a regular basis, but it can also serve as serviceable photo slideshow software. You might not find as many design features or import and export options as you would with other photo slideshow programs. Luckily, you can find solace in the fact that you will be able to put together solid photo slideshows with a program that’s well-known and resjavascript:void(0)pected. If you want to create a photo slideshow that’s good enough, but isn’t going to wow anyone anytime soon, you should go with this program. Microsoft PowerPoint might not be known as photo slideshow software, but it has the tools to get the job done right.

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