Great News for PowerPoint Users!With the release of PowerPoint 2003 in October, 2003, the feature most
requested by PowerPoint users will be granted: Microsoft has released a new
Viewer. This Viewer will come with all purchased versions of PowerPoint and
is available for download from the Microsoft site. I recommend that even if
you purchase PowerPoint 2003, you check the website for a newer version of
Microsoft Has Released the New PowerPoint Viewer and a GREAT Alternative to
"Pack and Go"
Where do I get the new Viewer?
download the viewer from the Microsoft site
You can find a note from one of the PowerPoint developers about the new
viewer on the PPT FAQ
What does the Viewer
- The new animations added in PowerPoint 2002 (XP)? Supported.
- Triggers? Supported.
- Animated Gifs? Supported.
- Password Protection? Supported.
In fact, password protection can be set to allow read access or modify
The Viewer does not need installation. Download it from the web and it is
ready to be used as is, from your hard drive or from removable media.
(Removable media includes CDs, USB drives, and a number of other media
Okay, drop the other shoe… What doesn't it support?
The Viewer does not now and will never support VBA or PowerPoint macros. If
your presentation needs macros to run, the people receiving it will need
full up PowerPoint. Adding support for VBA made the Viewer interface too
complicated for Microsoft to feel comfortable supporting in a free
Did they add a replacement for Pack and Go?
Not only did they add a replacement for Pack and Go, they made the
replacement easier to use and pre-set with intelligent default options. The
feature is now called "Package to CD". When started, it brings
up a window that allows you to name your CD, select your presentations and
other files, set options, and copy to either CD or folder. The main window
looks like this:
Notice the smarter default? Not only does it default to include linked
files and the Viewer, it even tells you that it is going to do so!
One of the new features of Package to CD is its link recognition system. By
default, PowerPoint will go through each presentation and find all linked
files for that presentation. If you want to add files beyond those that are
linked directly from one of the PowerPoint files, click Add Files. A browse
window will come up and you will be able to add other files from your
computer or network.
To build a default CD, click the "Copy to CD" button. PowerPoint will gather
your files and copy them to the CD. It will tell you (via a message box) as
it copies the files to the CD. When it is done, it will close the CD and
bring up this window:
If you want to make another copy, click yes. The program will prompt you for
another CD and copy the files to that new CD. If you are done with this
presentation, click no. You will be returned to the Package for CD window.
Same kind of thing when you are saving to a folder. Click the "Copy to
Folder" button. PowerPoint will bring up a window to ask you for the new
folder name and its location. The default folder name will be the same name
as was entered on the main Package for CD screen for the CD name. If you
want to change the location, you can.
Once you have set the folder name and location, PowerPoint will gather your
files and copy them to the new folder. It will tell you (via a message box)
as it copies the files to the folder. When it is done, you will be placed
back at the Package for CD window.
What options do I get if I click the Options button?
Clicking the options button will bring up this window. The setting for each
of these values will depend on your particular use. Obviously, if you add
passwords to the file, be sure to pass along the passwords to those that
Once the files are packaged to either CD or a folder, the Viewer can be
run automatically by clicking the batch files (autorun.bat or play.bat).
These files will pass the name of the packaged presentation to the Viewer
and start it up.
Are these the only new features in PowerPoint 2003?
No, there are a few others. Watch upcoming issues of ABC for articles on the
other improvements made with the new release!
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Kathy is a trainer, writer, Girl Scout, parent, and whatever else there is
I believe life is meant to be lived. But, if we live without
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