One afternoon in Presentation Land

May 11, 2010 at 07:46 1 comment

Yesterday, I ‘just’ wanted to import a Powerpoint presentation into OpenOffice Impress and create a rather simplistic presentation.

Phew, what an experience… It started off pretty well. After importing, the slides didn’t look too messy, so I wanted to adjust the Slide Master, for some better alignment and a few issues of personal taste. To cut a long story short: I gave up after roughly an hour. I just couldn’t convince Impress to change the styles of the different outline levels the way I liked them to be (really simple things like bullets, indents, …). As soon as I changed for instance outline level 2, level 1 got messed up again, and vice versa.

At this point I’d like to stress that, despite being an ex-Sunnie now, I’m still rather fond of OpenOffice, and I use Writer and Calc on a regular basis, e.g. for my study assignments.

However, yesterday afternoon I decided that I had enough with Impress and needed a copy of PowerPoint! A quick check at revealed prices for MS Office on Mac of 300-700 EUR. Dude! (Although I do officially have student status now, the license still doesn’t allow any commercial use, so the ‘cheap’ 89 EUR license is not an option for me). Maybe I’m still a bit anti-Microsoft at heart. But anyway, that made things look different again.

Luckily, Apple offers a free 30 day trial-version of Keynote, so that’s what I tried next. Hurray! Works like a breeze. At first sight it looks far less sophisticated than PowerPoint, but you can do a lot to make your slides look professional / fancy / wahtever you like. Great drawing capabilities, transitions, object embedding, etc. PowerPoint file import worked well. Managed to adjust slide masters. Exported to PPT and PDF and it’s looking really good.

So I’ll probably buy a family license of iWork for just 99 EUR, which has Keynote plus Numbers and more stuff in it, and I hope I’ll get by with that. Maybe I’ll have another look once the new MS Office is out for Mac, but prices would need to look really different.

Any similar experiences on your end??

Entry filed under: Tekkie Stuff. Tags: , , , , .

Back to business school! Update: My working-student-mum experiment

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kate Morris  |  May 27, 2010 at 04:37

    I’m going through this experience at the moment – but not willing to spend money on software for a company-owned laptop. I think I finally have a workaround, but will probably write a macro to automate the cleanup. Phew!

    There’s a good Tufte poster that describes the delights of Powerpoint better than I can:

    I have a copy of the poster in my office.


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May 2010

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