Useful PowerPoint Add-ins

While PowerPoint is a relatively powerful piece of presentation software, it has it’s limits.  Many times, presenters want to visit a web site in the middle of their presentation.  In order to do so, they must exit presentation mode and open up a web browser.  The same thing must be done to play YouTube videos (unless the user downloads them using 3rd party websites/software).  I recently came across two free PowerPoint Add-ins (PC only) that will allow the presenter to do both of these things from within their presentation.

The first one is called LiveWeb.  Upon installation, it allows the user to add live web pages to their slides.  Simply go to the “LiveWeb” tool, click “Web Page”, and a wizard guides them through the process.  Once the page has been added, it can be resized and moved to fit within the slide.

liveweb

There are two downsides to this add-in that I have found.  First, there is no navigation bar.  This complicates things by not allowing the user to go forward/backward on the web and also by not allowing the user to type in a new URL.  This may not be that big of an issue though, since the purpose was probably just to show one web site.  (Update: I found another piece of software, iBrowse, that has a navigation bar.  However, it is not free.) Second, scrolling can be an issue.  If the user is using the scroll wheel on their mouse to scroll through the page, when they hit the bottom, it advances to the next slide in the presentation.  The same thing happens when scrolling up and hitting the top (it goes back a slide).  To overcome this, just use the scroll bar on the right hand side of the LiveWeb window.

The second one is the YouTube Video Add-in.  This add-in allows users to embed YouTube videos directly in a slide.  To use it, just select “YouTube Video” and enter in the URL of the video.  Like LiveWeb, once the video has been added, it can be resized and moved to fit within the slide.

youtubeppt

If you decide to use one or both of these, do remember that the add-in(s) must be installed on the computer you are presenting on.  Without the add-in(s) installed, the features will not work.  They will also need a working internet connection so they can connect to the websites.

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