Although it has been possible for a long time, using vector files in PowerPoint has recently become significantly easier. Whether you want to copy something from Illustrator or add a swanky SVG element to your slide, it’s all possible and we’re here to share our secret tips with you...
Let’s have a look at SlideRide, which present itself as an alternative to Prezi, by allowing users to import PowerPoint presentations and create panning effects between each slide, a feature that PowerPoint lacks. While the prospect is certainly exciting, I was a little disappointed when I got to try SlideRide. There are a few good ideas, but this feels more like a Beta version than a finished product.
Interface and performance
The interface is a little clunky. SlideRide opens full-screen and thus, makes your taskbar disappear. It isn’t very practical if you need to switch between different programs.
When you open SlideRide, the starting screen displays the Help section, so you can find your way around the software. However, I found this difficult to read, as there is no clear hierarchy, and you have a lot of information presented to you in a very uninformative way. Maybe a better way of doing this would have to set-up a little tour with pop-ups that describe every option and tool and a step-by-step tutorial. It would have been nice to have a dedicated Start Screen, and only having the Help section appear when you need it.
A few minutes in, I encountered a rather major issue. I work with two monitors: my laptop’s, and an external one. SlideRide doesn’t handle this well, and will essentially stop working if you start working on your other monitor. I had to try re-opening the same presentation three times before realising that writing an email on the other screen was making the upload fail. Similarly, if you happen to switch applications during your work, SlideRide will have to refresh your document every time you come back to it. It only takes a few seconds, but can still be a little frustrating.
When you open a presentation in SlideRide, it is displayed in a “Slide Sorter” view, similar to Powerpoint. It makes it very simple to see the entirety of your presentation and organise slides.
From there on, you can resize or move your slides around to create the path that you want. One thing to keep in mind, however: even if you do switch some slides around, the structure will stay the same as it in PowerPoint. If you want to change the order, you have to do it directly from your PPT file.
SlideRide gives you the option to edit your presentation in PowerPoint. However, once you’ve completed your edits, you will have to re-import your presentation into SlideRide. The changes are not synced in real-time.
When it comes to the main background – or canvas – SlideRide offers at the moment only black or white. If you want to use a picture or any other colour as your canvas, you need to use one of your slides by putting it at the back and enlarging it. This poses a few issues: Your background will be part of the presentation’s structure (so we’d recommend using either the first or last slide), and if it happens to be a picture instead of a block colour, you will most definitely lose quality.
Ways to improve this would be to make it possible for the user to choose other colours for the canvas within SlideRide itself, or add an option to import a picture directly. Also, address the loss of quality in pictures when zooming in.
Another thing to note is that SlideRide won’t keep your animations. Each slide is transformed into a static picture.
Exporting and sharing
SlideRide saves all your “ride” settings directly in your PowerPoint file, so you don’t need to worry about multiple files.
You also have the option to export it as a HTML5 file to share it via email, or directly on a website. While this is an excellent idea, I was quite disappointed when I tested it. The transitions between each slide are extremely slow (slower than when you preview it directly in SlideRide), and it doesn’t work completely full-screen (the navigation bar appears on the right to click forward). There’s also no way of starting the presentation from a slide in particular – the only way to see it is to go from beginning to end.
To conclude, I’d say that SlideRide is a great concept, but needs more work and development on many of its aspects to make it an actually usable (and useful) application. Now PowerPoint has its morph transition you can create dynamic presentations that make the most of interesting transitions between slides in a single click, and gives you the old familiar functionality of the world’s favourite presentation creation program.Leave a comment
Senior design consultantView Ingrid Mengdehl's profile
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