In this article, we'll look at several small applications that output SWF content
suitable for inclusion within PowerPoint. Thereafter, we'll take a look at the
actual procedure of inserting SWF content within PowerPoint. Also, throughout
the article, the word Flash or SWF represent the open Flash format,
rather than Macromedia's Flash authoring program.
The emergence of Macromedia's Flash SWF format has caused ripples of implications
in varied areas of computingironically, even in presentations where PowerPoint
still rules. Flash has evolved more widely and quickly than PowerPoint, probably
because it is an open format. Indeed, it is possible to include Flash content
within PowerPoint these days. There are a multitude of applications that output
to the Flash SWF format. These include applications that output movies, animations,
diagrams and charts in the SWF format.
Charts are an important aspect of presentations intended for the boardroom or
elsewhere. GlobalFX's Swiff Charts program creates detailed charts that can
be animated in sequence. The program allows manipulation of every single aspect
of such charts in a range of effects that no other program can match. The SWF
output is excellent - and integrates well within any new or existing PowerPoint
presentation. GlobalFX provides a demo to download from their site. The demo
is fully functional, although it watermarks all output.
See this link for more info: http://www.globfx.com/
Imagematics StillMotion creates self running SWF movies from a series
of still pictures. A dedicated timeline allows you to create sophisticated builds
and transitions between still elements. PowerPoint does not provide a native
widget feature where a series of pictures can be set to play sequentially and
looped within a slide. StillMotion fills this vacuum, exceptionally.
You can download a demo of this program from the Imagematics site at this link:
Wildform's Flix is another breed of program altogether. Its greatest virtue
is that it can convert most standard video formats into Flash SWF without any
loss in quality and considerable savings in file size. Since PowerPoint does
not accept QuickTime movies of any QuickTime version higher than 2.x, Flix provides
an excellent route to using your existing QuickTime content within PowerPoint.
Find more info and a review at these two links: http://www.wildform.com/
Mix-FX takes a totally different approach than the programs discussed above.
It allows you to create animated text SWFs with preset effects like shock,
techno and shake. Such animated text can be used to good effect
as titles within PowerPoint slides.
More information can be found at this link: http://www.mix-fx.com/
Inserting Flash Content within PowerPoint
Now that we have explored ways of creating Flash SWF content, let us look at
procedures to insert such content within PowerPoint. You need to be aware at
the onset that PowerPoint offers no direct route to inserting Flash SWF content.
There are both manual and quick ways to get over this lack of direct SWF support
If you would like to get into the nitty-gritty and accomplish the task manually,
take a look at the details in the articles found at these two links: http://www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/ppflash.html
On the other hand, you can find both free and commercial solutions. GlobFX,
the creators of Swiff Chart, offer a free add-in for PowerPoint that can insert
any Flash SWF content within PowerPoint 2000 or 2002. You can download it from
this link: http://www.globfx.com/products/swfpoint/
Adobe used to offer a similar free add-in for PowerPoint from their page for
LiveMotion; however, it is not available, currently.