PowerPoint 2001, by Microsoft
Posted: 31-May-2001

4 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Microsoft Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Mark Wood Class: PRODUCTIVITY

Microsoftís Powerpoint, the industry standard for presentation development software has undergone a facelift along with several enhancements in the 2001 version. From a new start-up screen to updated toolbar icons, this facelift is a welcome improvement. It will take a short time to become familiar with the updated interface because of the subtle changes.

Microsoftís continued efforts to provide an integrated tool suite are very apparent upon starting the Powerpoint program. The user is presented with a "Project Gallery" dialog box. From this you are able to select multiple options from where to start. These options include starting a Word document, an Entourage email, an Excel worksheet, or a Powerpoint presentation. The Project Gallery is the start-up default; however, most users may opt to change this by altering the setting in the preferences. After all, if you start-up Powerpoint, chances are you plan to develop a presentation.

Upon starting the program, you will notice, along with the standard layout selection dialog box, that the main screen has a new layout and a separate formatting palette. The main screen is now divided into two windows, one side with the slides and one with the slide notes. The divider is adjustable, and the standard view options are still available in the lower left hand corner. The only way I could find to maintain the standard slide view each time you opened the file was to save the presentation in slide view.

Exchanging presentations developed on Powerpoint 2001 between Windows and Macintosh is seamless. This reviewer had no problems with file exchanges on file sharing, Zip disks or via email attachments.

Slide transitions have been updated with numerous Quicktime transitions, which are very nice. They have added a couple of new tools in the Tool menu: Meeting Minder and Flag for Follow up. Another useful feature added is the grayscale view. This is excellent for seeing how your presentation will appear using a non-color printer.

Web page development from Powerpoint files has been simplified. Fortunately, it still provides user selected options for appearance and target screen sizes. They have also included an option for webpage preview, which is helpful.

One novelty feature that has been added is the ability to create a Quicktime movie complete with sound from a Powerpoint file. The steps to accomplish this are very easy and produce a unique venue for your presentation.

[
Sample a PowerPoint Quicktime movie (~1.2MB)]

Overall, Microsoft has provided a quality update to Powerpoint for the Macintosh OS. For the professional who relies on developing and giving presentations in their daily business, this upgrade is a welcome product.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Familiar interface
  • Integration with other Microsoft Office tools
  • Easy to create Quicktime movies


Cons

  • Importing some JPG files causes the image to start zooming in and out which results in having to force quit the program


Overall Rating

4 out of 5 Mice