Swap slideshows

A friend on my bowling team made a PowerPoint presentation on his PC at work that he wants to show us all. If he emails it to me, will I be able to see it?

Totally! (1) I’m pretty certain you have Microsoft Office for Mac, which means you have PowerPoint, which will open the heck out of that doc.

(2) Now, check this out: Have your friend email you the file. From right in your email, click once on the attachment’s icon, then click the “Quick Look” button — or just hit the space bar. Isn’t that cool? Now, you may not see transitions, and maybe not embedded video, but almost all of the content should be visible.

(Sidenote: Just today, a friend of mine was trying to see previews of some design files, .eps and the like, that Quick Look wouldn’t render. She found a $15 Quick Look plug-in called SneakPeek Pro that fixed that, which made me look up a whole list of Quick Look plug-ins, many of them free. These can really extend your Mac to showing you fast previews of all kinds of stuff. But I digress…)

(3) But wait, there’s more! If you want to make presentations look just a whole lot better than you can in PowerPoint, you should look at the new iWork — it’s just so good. Apple’s Keynote software makes really fine presentations really efficiently. While you’re at it, have you picked up the new iLife, with iPhoto Face Recognition?

(4) I just recently found out about SlideShare, a service on which to store and show your presentations. As far as I can tell, it’s free.

(5) Finally, you could export the preso as a movie:

Save a presentation as a PowerPoint Movie [link]

  1. On the File menu, click Make Movie.
  2. To adjust PowerPoint Movie options, click Adjust Settings on the dialog box that drops down, and then click Next.
  3. Choose the options you want, and then click OK.
  4. In the Save As box, type a name for your movie. If your movie will be viewed by users of Windows-based computers, select Append File Extension.
  5. Click Save.

Once you do, you can put it on an iPod or iPhone, and watch it on that smaller screen, or…

If he wanted to show it on our big-screen TV, how do we do that?

Ahhhhhh, now that’s an interesting one. The most direct way is to run a monitor cable from your computer to your TV. (Your iMac may not feel as convenient as a laptop to accomplish that, but it wouldn’t be that unwieldy.) Any Mac or Windows computer will know that it has a new display, and will show whatever you put up.

A couple of other options would be:

Connecting your iPod or iPhone to a video dock, such as this or this. Here is some help from Apple on getting video off of your iPod or iPhone.

I have one client who converts his presentations into image files that he can display as a slideshow on his Apple TV, which is an appliance that fits in with your other home stereo components, and let’s you easily play music, movies, and photos that you acquire through iTunes or by other means.