MS PowerPoint

Microsoft Producer 2003: Supercharging PowerPoint with a Free Add-in

Using nothing more than PowerPoint, you can create impressive presentations that mimic an old-fashioned slide show. If you're willing to work within PowerPoint's limits, you can add sound and video to individual slides. But if you want to blend video clips, HTML, audio, and a set of PowerPoint slides into a single show that will play back over the Internet, you need something a little extra.

You need a free add-on called Microsoft Producer 2003. At 46MB, you'd better have a high-speed Internet connection to download it. But the wait is worth it. Producer lets you do any or all of the following:

  • Capture narration and synchronize it with your slides using a simple wizard

  • Capture high-quality audio and video and add it directly to your presentation

  • Create presentations that play back properly on Macintosh computers and in non-Microsoft browsers

  • Embed presentations into HTML frames within a website and allow viewers to save stopping points, speed up playback, and easily fast-forward or rewind through the show

  • Create multiple versions of your show in different bit rates or using different versions of the Windows Media format

Producer has a steep learning curve, and it isn't for the casual PowerPoint user. But if you're ready to turn pro (or at least semi-pro) this is an excellent addition. You'll find it at

Figure 17.