This page lists all the Q&A topics we’ve faced so far. Got another? Let us know by contacting us.


Q: What are the main features and benefits of ShowMaker?

A: ShowMaker works best when you have a large presentation comprising many slides, often over 100, with a mix of slides for different target audiences. It works even better if the presentation is designed with interactivity so you can jump around in a non-linear way, reacting dynamically to your audiences interest and needs. You take this one presentation with you and filter it using one of these three mechanisms:

  1. Slide Filtering – tag your slides with hidden labels so your presenters can quickly filter the deck and create a subset of slides for their target audience.
  2. Slide Show Memory – remember which slides were shown during a presentation session and use this subset of slides to create a new deck when asked “can I have a copy of your slides”.
  3. Slide Bookmarking – rehearse the slides you plan to present, bookmarking each one as you go with an interactive on-slide button.

Much of the ShowMaker functionality is exposed via interactive content on your slides, which we help you build. There is also a new tab that appears in the PowerPoint ribbon providing access to the filtering features:

Q: Do I need to ask my IT team to install ShowMaker?

A: No. We’ve designed ShowMaker in a way that it can be directly embedded within your presentation. All the features travel directly within the file. All we need to do is save your pptx file in a the pptm format which supports these embedded software features.

Q: How do I get ShowMaker?

A: Since ShowMaker is embedded in a presentation, all we need is your finished masterpiece. Don’t have one? We have presentation creation and click-and-explore services to help create the content for you. Once you have the finished content we integrate ShowMaker directly into the presentation for you and return it to you. You can then edit the content of the slides in the same way you usually do, update the labels and assign slides as required using those labels.

Q: How does ShowMaker know what to show to which audience?

A: When using the filtering feature of ShowMaker you simply label each slide with the type of content it contains. This is then used by ShowMaker to identify which slides are to be included in a given slide show session. You decide what labels to use in a table, based on how you want to categorise your slides. Here’s an example of a typical setup with the categories across the top and the slide content types available in the subsequent rows:

SectionsBuyer NeedsRoles
Product group AOperationalDepartment Head
Product Group BFinancialPurchaser
Product Group CIT Project Manager
Features & BenefitsMarketing
Customer Support

Once you’ve created your label table, your content curator then uses the ShowMaker ribbon to assign one or more labels to each slide. So slide 23 might be a high-level product slide aimed at giving a C-Suite audience a high-level overview whilst slide 78 might be a deep dive into the same product for an IT Manager.

Now that the slides have been labelled, you provide the presentation to your presenters. They then use the Filter & Save button to choose which slides to include in their customised deck just by clicking the various check boxes. It takes seconds to create a customised version of the presentation, tuned precisely to the presenter’s next audience.

Q: How is this different from PowerPoint’s custom shows?

A: The custom shows feature that’s built into PowerPoint is a great way to show a subset of slides in a given presentation session. But you might have slides in your deck that are confidential for audience A and OK to show audience B, or have slides that are simply not applicable to that audience. There’s no point trying to sell snow to an arctic fox! The challenge arrives when asked “can I have a copy of your slides?”. Without ShowMaker you waste time deconstructing your presentations and manually creating a subset of the slides you want to share by manually copying, pasting and/or deleting slides. This is messy, time-consuming and prone to human error. ShowMaker eliminates these issues by automating the process of creating a customised copy of your presentation that contains only those slides you want/need to provide to a given audience.

Q: Will the functionality/presentation work if I share my deck?

A: Yes, provided that the recipient’s Windows PC meets the following criteria:

  1. It has Microsoft 365 or PowerPoint 2013 or later installed. Note that ShowMaker doesn’t work with PowerPoint Online.
  2. Their PC is configured to allow embedded VBA code to run and they are happy to accept to trust BrightCarbon as a publisher if asked when opening the presentation.

Q: Can I use ShowMaker with multiple presentations?

A: ShowMake can be integrated into any number of presentations. Since the ShowMaker features are integrated into your presentation by us, you can’t create your own presentation and build ShowMaker into it yourself but we’ll be happy to perform this service for you. Refer to the “Is ShowMaker secure?” question for more information on why we need to do this for you.

Q: What version of Windows and PowerPoint is ShowMaker compatible with?

A: ShowMaker works on 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows from 10 (see caveat below) onwards and 32 and 64-bit versions of PowerPoint from 2013 and onwards, 2019 and Microsoft 365. It does not work on Windows 10 in S mode, as used with Surface Laptops, since the version of Office 365 shipped with these PCs does not support embedded VBA code. You may be able to permanently switch out of S mode and/or upgrade to Windows 10 Pro so that you can install the full version of Office 365 from your Microsoft account.

Q: Is ShowMaker secure?

A: We digitally sign your ShowMaker presentation with the latest EV (Extended Validation) code-signing certificate. This is issued to us by Sectigo, a global certificate authority. This guarantees that the product we publish reaches you unaltered. In addition, we scan the installer using BitDefender before we publish it to ensure it’s malware, virus and trojan free. This is one of the reasons why you can’t add ShowMaker to presentations yourself. Occasionally, some AV (Anti Virus) products falsely detect ShowMaker and we work with those companies to correct the situation quickly. If this happens, please contact us as soon an you can.

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