Cropping images in Prezi

26 05 2011

Yesterday Prezi sent out an email about more new features: finally you can crop images from within Prezi!! This shows a shift towards enabling users to do more image editing without leaving Prezi and it will be interesting to see how far they take this. I wonder if there will be more image editing features within Prezi in future?

Additionally they have made it possible to create ‘bendy’ lines and arrows. View the movie clip here:

Improvements to PowerPoint

8 11 2010

The following comments are based on PowerPoint version 2007.

Suggested improvements:

  • To be able to rotate the image in very fine detail i.e. 0.01 of a degree increments. This is something that would be useful for positioning images in the study of Art History e.g. comparing a drawing with a painting, and trying to match relevant areas of both on one slide, lining things up precisely.
  • To have greater control and options regarding brightness and contrast e.g. like image editors have ‘curves’, and mid-tones. I realise it is possible to make these changes in an image editor prior to importing the images, however feedback from the survey suggested that people would like to use PowerPoint to edit their images.
  • To be able to apply formats to groups of slides, i.e. not just to groups of images on one slide. If you select a slide the ‘Format’ tab disappears. It takes ages if you have to format the images on each slide individually.
  • To be able to pan and zoom slides and content without having to first create a complex animation, and by being able to have more control than a projector which can only zoom into the centre of a slide i.e. no panning.
  • To be able to customise your palettes and right-click menu options (without needing to know how to code) e.g. if there are certain features you use all the time and want to have close-to-hand or grouped together to improve efficiency.
  • To be able to apply a ‘Theme’ to individual slides rather than the whole presentation. This seems to be a bit buggy in version 2007, sometimes it seems to let you select a slide and do this, and other times it doesn’t work.

I would be delighted to hear if any of these features have been made available in PowerPoint 2010, or if a work-around is available in version 2007.

PowerPoint Photo Album feature

4 11 2010

The PowerPoint Photo Album feature solves one issue i.e. how to convert a group or folder of images quickly into PowerPoint slides and has been available as an add-in since version 2000, and integrated since version 2002.

To create a Photo Album in PowerPoint 2007:

  • From the tabs at the top (Microsoft’s ‘ribbon’) select Insert, and choose Photo Album, ‘New Photo Album’.
  • In the dialogue box that appears, select the insert picture from ‘File/Disk’ button, and then navigate to your folder of images.
  • Hold down the Ctrl key to select individual images, or use the Ctrl +A keyboard shortcut to select everything in the folder. Choose ‘Open’.
  • The images will display as filenames with a small preview when you click on each one.
  • Various options include: select and use the up and down arrow keys to order the images; add a text box (empty) and put it in order e.g. if you want a slide with one image and one text box; rotate the images using the controls under the preview window; or change all the images to black and white.
  • Choose page layout: either fit to the size of the whole slide ‘fit to slide’; or optionally include captions for 1, 2, or 4 images; or optionally a title for 1 or 2 images. The layout is applied to all images in the order in which they appear.
  • Additional, but less useful features include applying picture frames to images, and choosing a colour/style theme for the whole album.
  • Select the ‘Create’ button to finish.

The pros are that this works quickly with a defined group of images that have been prepared and carefully selected.

The cons are that if you then want to move the images around and re-size them or add additional features with PowerPoint 2003 you then face some frustrating issues e.g. when cropping an image you have to select ‘Format Picture’, then the ‘Picture’ tab, then each adjustment is only applied when you select ‘Okay’ and come out of the dialogue box.

However with PowerPoint 2007 you can either make fine adjustments in the ‘Size and Position’ dialogue, watching the adjustments happen as you are in the dialogue box, or you can select the ‘Format’ tab from the ‘ribbon’ and select the ‘Crop’ tool, dragging the crop handles as you would in any other image editor such as Adobe Photoshop.

Slideshow software

9 02 2010

The Museums Computer Group has a great email list: MCG@JISCMAIL.AC.UK

Follow this link for details of the list including how to join.

There are currently a few posts this afternoon about slideshow software, those mentioned so far include: