Again, PowerPoint

Again, PowerPoint

I repeat once again: PowerPoint- leader in creating presentations, fairly «pump up the muscles» in recent versions, but it does not tell the full perfection of the program. It is not surprising that in recent years there were serious attempts to overcome its main drawback: the linear structure of the presentation.

For example, one of the really serious competitors — Prezi — laid emphasis on the colorful effects and flexible zoom presentation that allows parts to move from consideration to general overview. Strengths Prezi, however, may turn around and disadvantages: vivid transition effects still often distract from the overall picture, and in severe presentations clear logic is usually much more important.

Another alternative to PowerPoint has encountered in an unexpected place: in a class of programs working with maps of thinking (they mind maps, diagrams or simply associative Mind Maps). The basic idea of ​​Mind Maps is quite simple: the central idea of ​​a presentation or a major issue for discussion is located in the workspace. Critical thoughts on the matter are written on the lines coming out of the main theme, and the related associations to form the next level in the hierarchy.

Worth a try — it is a much easier and quicker than creating a list, especially at the initial stage, when you have a lot delete and rearrange month-ter. Obvious advantages: fully visible as a general picture and the details, and the speed of the program is much higher. Inventor (which is debatable) and the main promoter of (no doubt) this idea — Tony Buzan — resulting in his books a large number of arguments to prove that this approach best reflects the work of the brain, stimulates creativity, improves memorizing material, etc. However, at the same time advocating for the use in the first place, a sheet of paper and a set of colored markers, and in extreme cases — the development of his own company called iMindMap.

From my experience I can confirm that Mind Maps thing is very simple and much more efficient than it might seem at first glance. But with the assertion of the superiority of iMindMap can bet several competitors.

Before we start talking about specific applications, it is useful to mention the unspoken standards of this class of programs. As a rule, a new branch of the next level of the hierarchy is inserted after pressing Ins, «parallel» line at the same level as the selection, created by double-clicking Enter, and if there is a presentation mode, then the transition is carried out in a standard for PowerPoint pressing F5. The standard is: the ability to insert graphics (often has built an impressive library), the display mode of the inscriptions in the form of structured text and export as a graphic file. And the details are enough differences to choose the best option for different situations.

Mindjet (in the recent past Mind- Manager) — the de facto standard for electronic maps of thinking, most programs support import-export your files in the format (*, mmap). The maps in Mindjet obtained is not the most colorful, but strict, and focuses on logic. Disadvantages — high price and lack of official Russification, dignity — «seamless» integration with MS Office, ie good cooperation not only with the Word and Excel, but even with MS Project and Outlook.

For presentations directly from Mindjet provides just two modes: Walk Through (walk) and Slides (for slide preview). In the second mode requires the creation of slides of map elements, the slides can be shuffled in random order. Walk Through requires no additional training, and the result is, oddly enough, is usually better.

MindMap rests not only on the authority T. Buzan. Maps look most like drawn «by hand», in addition, there is a spectacular mode of «three-dimensional car-you.» Presentation Mode does not require further action, and the presence of the Russian version of iMindMap turns into one of the most useful tools.

However, the palm of the built-in presentation mode, according to the authors, is to give NovaMind. The conversion of the card in a slide show requires little time spent in the form of allocation of branches and select the command Create From Selection. In the transition between slides animation is automatically maintained in videizmeneniya scale and folding / unfolding nodes.

As for the combination of being free and Russification, it means «heavy artillery» is worthy of mention XMind. Strictly speaking, the program is shareware, except until an outdated version 3.0.3, which can still be found on the Internet. This version and the free version supports all features of the import and export with the presentation mode. Like maps, and presentations a little smaller than some competitors, but in the presence of portable- version of the application, written in Java, which allows you to easily demonstrate their ideas on any computer and virtually any operating system.

So we got to the main question: after creating a map of thought and presentation based on it, what to do? Not the fact that the act happen to your computer with the correct program. XMind provides a portable version and format conversion to ppt-, only created PowerPoint-document requires a lot of improvement. Therefore it is better to keep on hand Flash’Ky sXMind not only presentations, but also with the program. Nova- Mind allows you to convert a single action by the slides in a set of graphical images. Then you can use the tool to create a photo album PowerPoint (Insert / album). Animation is lost, but the ideas remain.

iMindMap offers an interesting idea of ​​creating interactive animation: create a slide consisting of a set of images-branches card. In demo mode, they are opened one by one with a well-chosen animation mode. Mindjet also allows you to export pre-created slides, but the graphics side of things at this program again «lame.» Recommended use export to SWF-format, then the output is a fully managed interactive map, and even support of Flash-animation is much more likely on another computer than the presence of Mindjet. In an extreme case, SWF can convert into EXE directly from Adobe Flash Player (just not the latest versions, because they have this option is disabled).

All major funds have one more opportunity to convert the card into a format slide show: The «notes». Typically, notes no problems are converted to Word. In a word processor would have to do some work: the expected slide titles to issue the Heading 1 style, the text of the slide — as the Heading 2 and Heading 3. A resultant structure open in PowerPoint (File / Open / as the file format to specify all structure). The result is a simple presentation without pictures. It may seem that the use of a design template and insert images take time, but with the card thinking greatly accelerated the process of elaboration of the content and presentation logic. Checked: create a presentation period is reduced by an average of 4 times. And if the slides dilute the map fragment, the sequence of presentation, and will be much clearer.

It turns out that in this series of articles we started with PowerPoint and it is finished. And even all the alternatives have become hostages of the prevalence of MS Office. But the main conclusion is this: there is nothing worse than sitting and «fill the text» slide after slide. If you do not get hung up on PowerPoint, the presentation, even in this format will much more spectacular, logical and, most importantly, understandable.

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