What do you think about Google Docs Presentations?

26 10 2012

Google Docs Documents and Google Docs Spreadsheets are tools that I use a lot of the time for collaborative working. There are things that could be improved but as free tools I don’t expect them to be as comprehensive as a paid version of Microsoft Office. Specifically I like:

  • able to have multiple simultaneous editors with clear colour indicators during the editing process
  • ease of access on multiple devices including options for collaborators without a Google account
  • ease of use in terms of the interface and the ability to download in different file formats

So I guess I had high hopes for Google Docs Presentations (I have written about this before here: Google Docs presentations reconsidered).

Normally I do a Prezi presentation, but in this case a PowerPoint was required and because three of us in disparate locations were collaborating I thought it worth trying Google Docs Presentations. These were the issues:

  • I uploaded an existing PowerPoint file – there were formatting issues – some images didn’t import, 1 slide had an animation which no longer worked
  • I didn’t find the user interface as intuitive as Microsoft PowerPoint which slowed me down
  • I didn’t find there were enough advanced features which made me appreciate Microsoft PowerPoint more as I have obviously just become used to certain functions e.g. image formatting features
  • when uploading a YouTube clip a screenshot appeared that you had no choice over and in one case was extremely poor resolution; once downloaded the link to YouTube was lost
  • when I tried to download a Presentation as an editable file and open in PowerPoint it came up with error messages – these error messages repeated several times although in the end I was able to open the file (I tried this both with Presentations started from scratch in Google Docs and ones I had uploaded)

How did we resolve these issues? Well we couldn’t meet up so in the end we used Dropbox to transfer versions of PowerPoint between us – much faster and easier. Finally we also used Dropbox to share the PowerPoint (as it was too large a file size) with the conference organiser.

Please share your experiences of using Google Docs Presentations, maybe there are some secrets to using it properly that I am missing out on? or maybe not?





Is Prezi like marmite?

22 10 2012

Result from Google Search for Marmite

Do people either love or hate Prezi?

Personally, I love Prezi (and I love Marmite), but the point of a presentation is the audience and so I care about what other people think. Two different comments about the same Prezi I gave recently:

1. I hope there won’t be too much pointless zooming, rotating and jumping around the screen.

2. After all the PowerPoints finally a Prezi!

The blog post Prezi and ‘Death by motion-sickness’ from January has also led me to this reflection. See also this blog post I just discovered titled Prezi, the Marmite of presentation tools from way back in October 2010.

Exploring the analogy with Marmite a little bit further. I guess that you could say Marmite comes in different containers for different purposes, from plastic squeezable…

Squeezy Marmite

… to sterling silver lidded glass pots of Marmite.

I am thinking both of how PowerPoint and Prezi can be used for different purposes (see also these comments by a Learning Technologist) and by extension, how Prezi can be adapted for different purposes.

Currently I use Prezi for:

So do you love or hate Prezi? and if you use Prezi – how do you use it?