By: Shayan Gaziani
Imagine this Scenario:
You walk into class prepared to deliver a paramount presentation. You’ve spent hours rehearsing every aspect from timing to delivery. You’ve spent days, if not weeks, preparing the file, compiling countless amounts of slides, graphics, links, and embedded objects.
Approaching the classroom computer, you plug in your thumb drive and open the presentation file. You steady yourself, take a gulp of air, start the presenter view and – notice that every single piece of image, audio, and video is gone. Blank. Nada.
Arguably one of the most venerated of presentation software, Microsoft’s PowerPoint provides a robust, feature-rich, and professional aid to presenters across a variety of disciplines and environments. From the boardroom to the classroom, PowerPoint has proven its usefulness and importance as a de facto method to revolutionizing the way we deliver speeches, presentations, assignments, etc.
But what if it doesn’t Work?
One common, yet egregious, issue with PowerPoint, especially in versions pre-dating 2013, is media and custom fonts not displaying correctly when a presentation file is transferred to another computer. The seemingly logical approach is to download images, sounds, and videos to your computer and simply insert them into a presentation. When you save and transfer the file, everything should clone and transfer as is, right?
PowerPoint is big on trying to keep file sizes small and compressed, and one of the ways it does that is by linking media objects in a presentation. Remember that video you inserted into PowerPoint? It’s not really in the presentation file – rather a link to it is that PowerPoint then pulls when presenting.
Fortunately, there is an easy fix to this. Most PowerPoint versions include an option called Package for CD (On Mac, the issue can be circumvented by simply saving as a PowerPoint Show [.ppsx] format – you won’t get the viewer mentioned below, though). The feature allows the creator to compile all of the resources that PowerPoint has used to create the presentation (including your media), and create a packaged folder, including a mobile version of PowerPoint, called PowerPoint viewer, to ensure your presentation can run on a computer that does not have PowerPoint Installed. The Package for CD option allows you to create a presentation CD, or simply save the packaged files on a drive.
The steps to accomplish this are fairly simple, as provided by Microsoft. Go ahead and give it a try – it may just save your grade.