Computers aren't perfect, and they certainly aren't identical to each other. What works on my computer might not work on yours. When you create a slideshow using your workstation, it may not run on my laptop. When we enter a venue to speak, we often don't know if we are going to be using our own laptops or transferring our files to someone else's. What if they don't have the same version of PowerPoint as we do? What about the video and the fonts? What if they don't even have PowerPoint? PowerPoint 2010 gives us a unique feature called Packaging that solves these problems.
From Backstage, let's go ahead and click on Save & Send. And from here, we can click Package Presentation for CD. That name is misleading because it doesn't have to be a CD. You can package to a USB drive, a DVD, or CD, or even a location on the network, like a share. This feature packs together the following: your presentation, any linked media, any files you request, like another PDF or some Excel workbooks or other presentations, and any fonts that you've used.
So when we are ready to go and I mean totally ready to go, we click on Package for CD. A dialog box appears asking us to Name the CD. Note that if we are copying this to a folder, it doesn't matter what we call this. Here, we see that our existing presentation has already been added to Files to be copied, but I can click Add and add more. I might go to my Assets folder and add another presentation or some other files, some photos, some music, a video, a Word document - you name it.
You can add as many files as you want, and they'll all be packaged together. You do have a few options, as well; for example, you can tell PowerPoint not to Link Files and not to embed TrueType fonts. The reason these are options is because they make your package file larger. You might need to turn them off if you are sending this via e-mail, but that's probably not the case. We are going to go ahead and leave them on, and I recommend you do. You also have the option here to specify a password, to open a presentation, and to modify the presentation.
Just remember that if you specify a password, you better remember it when it's time to get on stage. Finally, you can ask PowerPoint to inspect presentations for inappropriate or private information, fhings like your name, company name, and other information that might be hidden, like hidden slides. If you want PowerPoint to tell you if any of this exists, you can check the box, hit OK and in the process, it will look through every presentation you've included to make sure there's nothing there that you don't want to be there. So when you are all done, you either copy this to a folder or burn it to a CD.
When you choose Copy to Folder, PowerPoint asks you to name the folder and specify a location. You can browse anywhere you want to, such as a Network Share and then hit OK. Alternatively, you can copy it to a CD. This of course requires that your workstation has a CD burner. But if you click this, it will automatically launch, copy the files to the CD, and begin the burning process. When you're all done, you hit Close, and you can move on to your venue, knowing that no matter what happens you'll be ready to go.
You see the package also creates a very special file called the PowerPoint 2010 Viewer. That Viewer will open up your presentations , even if the person doesn't have PowerPoint. It works on all versions of Windows, from Windows 98 all the way up to Windows 7, and later. So because they don't have to have PowerPoint, you know that your presentation is going to work on their laptop or workstation. By the way, video and audio in PowerPoint 2010 is imported into your file rather than previous versions, where it was linked to the file on the hard drive.
This change does save us a bit of headache if we move the file to another machine, though it does create some pretty big files. The old feature of linking still exists, but we have to specify that manually while inserting the media. Don't worry about that if it doesn't quite make sense. I am just making a quick comparison to an old version. Overall, packaging takes away one more thing to worry about, and when you are going on stage every little bit counts.
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