This guest blog entry was written by Articulate Customer Support Engineer David Moxon.
As a follow-up to my last blog entry, How to Customize the Presenter Player with Continuous Video, this article looks at how we can customize the side panel relatively easily and so give a different feel to our presentations.
Replacing the Navigation Panel with Customized Image or Text
As we saw in the Priory of Serrabona presentation, the navigation panel disappeared to be completely replaced by an image. Here is another example in which the navigation panel has disappeared to be replaced by a clickable logo.
This sort of presentation might be good if you are not interested in the navigation panel and rely on hyperlinks or the controls at the bottom of the player to navigate around.
How do you do it?
The idea is quite simple. If you insert a video into the presenter panel and make it sufficiently tall (for example, 400 to 500 pixels) while still respecting a standard width of about 250 pixels, then your presenter panel will actually “push out” your navigation panel. The presenter panel can embed both FLV and SWF movies, so if we create an image in SWF format, we can import our image into the presenter panel and so create the look we see in the example above.
This demo shows you the steps you need to take to create an image panel:
So to summarize, you first need to create the image you want to insert with the appropriate dimensions and then convert the image to SWF. Then import the SWF into the presenter panel using the Import Flash Movie wizard and you’re off. If you insert the same image into each slide, you actually give the effect of one stationary image throughout your presentation. Of course, there is nothing to stop you having an image for each chapter or section of your presentation. An added touch is to add a hyperlink to your image that will take you to a specific website.
As we saw in the demo above, to convert my image to SWF, I used Vertical Moon’s SWF2Image application. Other applications will do the trick, too, although not all. If you use Flash or a similar Flash emulating program, you need your SWF to be at least 2 frames long for it to be read in the Presenter panel.
Here are the steps I used in the above demo:
- Create an image with text and pictures, etc. in PowerPoint.
- With your favorite screenshot application, take a screenshot of the image that appears in the published version.
- Save to PNG or JPG format.
- Insert this image into Image2SWF and convert to SWF at the desired size.
- Add a link to your website, if necessary, in Image2SWF.
- Insert the SWF file into the first slide using the Insert Flash Movie feature of Articulate Presenter.
- From PowerPoint, copy and paste the inserted Flash file that appears onto the other slides (rather than use the Insert Flash Movie tool for each slide).
Adding a Link to Your Logo
As we saw in How to Customize the Presenter Player with Continuous Video, not only can we insert standard images into the logo field, we can also insert SWF files. We can insert video files, but we can also insert SWF images like we have just used in the presenter panel to produce our “navigation image.” And so, we can also add SWF images that can link to our web page. So just like we can link from our navigation image, we can also link from our logo. Have a look at this presentation and click on the logo to see where you go:
There we go. Two easy steps to make your presentation a touch different for your client or for your company.