Monday, 1 November 2010

Presenter View in OpenOffice Impress

You may know of PowerPoint's Presenter View. Basically, when you're presenting from a laptop by connecting to a projector or large monitor, it displays the slideshow on the presentation screen and your notes and a timer on your laptop screen. This is a handy way of improving presentations by keeping the clutter off the screen but making sure you still remember to say everything. It also means if you distribute your presentation, you can supply a lot more of the information that you actually presented since your notes will be distributed too. Remember, we're avoiding the read-the-slide mode of presenting.

Now, I saying it's a feature of PowerPoint is fine for people whose superiors pay for an MS Office license. If you prefer or are stuck with free and free (cost and code), the good news is that, although a presenter mode isn't a standard part of the package, OpenOffice.org has an appopriate extension is available. You can download it here. It's also available in the universe repository for Ubuntu 10.04+ as openoffice.org-presenter-console if that's how you prefer to roll.

I've found it works pretty much out-of-the-box on OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 (under Ubuntu 10.04) but there's a lot of discussion on the download page above about various bugs that might crop up. I've found the presenter window appears on the presentation display but just moving it back onto the laptop display fixes that.

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