You can use your favorite social network to register or link an existing account:
Or use your email address to register without a social network:
Sign in with these social networks:
Or enter your username and password
Forgot your password?
Yes, please link my existing account with for quick, secure access.
No, I would like to create a new account with my profile information.
All About PowerPoint’s New Picture Presentation feature.
It is not unusual to hear the criticism that Microsoft employees just design features for themselves. It’s not true; we spend an incredible amount of time seeking out feedback and concerns, then analyzing it, and finally figuring out the best mix of features to satisfy specific customer scenarios. The design decisions around features we do, the performance we target, and workflows we define all require a ton of customer-based investigation and justification.
Every now and then we get specific feedback from customers within Microsoft that we think will resonate broadly outside as well. In PowerPoint 2010 the Save as Picture Presentation was just such a feature.
The feature takes any presentation and “flattens” the content to a single picture per slide. Why? Because once your content is a picture, it is harder to modify. While researching work for Office 2010, we reviewed the workflows of a group within Microsoft that creates our executive’s presentations. We discovered they were doing this process “by hand.” It was a very time consuming process we thought would be easy to turn into a feature. Steven Winard, Microsoft’s Executive Presentations Manager, summed the situation up for us:
To better understand this situation, let’s look at the average slide. It’s a collection of objects that “sit” on top of the slide background: text, shapes, charts, and other objects. Because they maintain their unique type, each object can be edited throughout the life of the presentation. That’s a key strength of the presentation document.
Slides are composed of multiple objects, each of which maintains its editablitity.
But for those customers who distribute their presentations, it’s also a potential weakness. We’ve had numerous requests over the years to make distribution of a presentation more secure. To prevent recipients from “borrowing” or modifying parts of the slide content, or even misrepresenting the original author’s intent.
Over many versions we’ve provided many levels of this type of security with features like Password Protection and Information Rights Management. For many, these are successful ways of maintaining control. But many customers have told us that those features go beyond their needs, and are too complex for the people receiving the documents. The fact that author needs to separately communicate passwords or the recipient needs to subscribe to identification services to make them work makes it too clumsy or complex. They want a solution with no dialogs, no distribution restrictions. They want the document to be printable and presentable. These are all reasonable requests.
In reviewing the Executive Presentations scenario we decided that we could provide the same base document they were crafting by hand through the Save As dialog. There would be obvious limits to the feature. Animation would become static and media would not play. However, the creation process would be reduced to seconds, and we could add more functionality to the picture based document that was not available otherwise. The new feature could create a document that preserved transitions and document properties. Many presentations would be much smaller, easier to mail or download. We also take special measures to make sure you can’t save the Picture Presentation back over your original document, which would typically be a very bad thing as you’d lose the possibility of editing the content in the future.
The success of a feature is gauged by the user feedback. Again, Steven Winard:
The sample presentation below was created by Save as Picture Presentation using a development build of PowerPoint 2010. It was posted to the Microsoft News Center on October 22nd, 2009, shortly after the Windows 7 launch event. The original presentation was 22mb while the picture presentation is about 1.4mb, making it a much faster download.
So, does it look flat?
So, our internal group was satisfied. Still, it’s important to hear from you as well... how well did we do? You can judge for yourself. Download the full presentation here. You view it with any version of PowerPoint, the PowerPoint Web App on SkyDrive,or the PowerPoint Viewer.
Sure, it’s not a format we expect everyone to use every day. It’s not supposed replace the standard way you save your work. Like many features in PowerPoint, Save as Picture Presentation is a handy tool to have ready when you need it.
Ric Bretschneider Senior Program Manager Microsoft PowerPoint
Isn't this essentially the same as selecting an image as the file type in the "Save As..." dialog, which has been possible for some time now?
Hi CG, As you note, PowerPoint has had the ability to export slides to JPG, GIF, PNG and other graphic formats for a few versions. The settings for images created by those features are preset for general use. When we were developing the Picture Presentation feature, we decided to adjust the export settings to create images would be a great representation of the original slide when reinserted in a new slide deck. The differences are subtle, but important to the scenario. And, as I noted in the article, instead of just giving you a folder of slide images, the Picture Presentation is created with the same transitions and timings used on the original slides, which can be quite time consuming when done by hand. Thanks for the comment.
Hey, Producer 2003 download was just suspended this week due to some security issue. Any idea when the updated version will be posted. Also, Producer 2007's final version was never released on the Download Center. Also, what about Producer for PowerPoint 2010?
We’re working on getting the update finished. It should be available shortly. Sorry I can't provide an availability date, but we will put a notice up on this blog when it is available. This new compatibility release of Microsoft Producer for PowerPoint is meant to replace all prior versions, and add support PowerPoint 2010 as well. Thanks,
The post discusses saving each slide as a JPG. Isn't JPG a poor format for computer-generated images? JPG blurs text and sharp edges. Doesn't PNG or GIF work better? Also, how is making a picture presentation more useful than printing a presentation to PDF?
Hi Charvak, Generally you’d be correct about the use of PNG vs. JPG. However we did a lot of testing of various slide composition and using various formats. We found that for this feature a larger, high quality JPG placed of the slide had nearly the same quality as PNG and EMF’s but produced a smaller overall file size. Yes, GIF files are typically sharp and small, but they have a limited color pallet that doesn’t support enough colors for a lot of presentations. We do a great job of creating PDFs, but for this feature maintaining the presentation format gives us a few features that aren’t captured with that format. Staying in a presentation, content can still be printed using all of PowerPoint’s familiar print options, and can still be presented in PowerPoint, or using the PowerPoint Web Application or the PowerPoint Viewer. To that effect we’ve maintained the original slide timings and transitions in the new document. Thanks for the questions, -Ric Bretschneider
Nice new feature, but what was wrong with "Save As PDF"? This makes a flat copy of every slide and can keep it secure from future modification. Am I missing something? Or was using an Adobe product "undesirable" amongst the execs? :)
There's nothing wrong with Save as PDF, we're very happy with the way PowerPoint creates PDF documents. It's really about having options that meet your specific needs. There are some fairly powerful benefits to maintaining a PowerPoint native format version of the presentation, more than I can really list here, but chief among these are that the document can still be presented, will still use the original slide timings and transitions, and slides from the presentation can be reused in other presentations. Thanks for the questions,