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PowerPoint Tip - Put a Presentation on a CD That Runs Automatically

Ellen Finkelstein

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You can send potential clients or friends a CD that contains a presentation that runs automatically when they put the CD in their CD-ROM drive. If you add narration, the presentation will start automatically and run from beginning to end by itself.

This technique works well for sales brochures that you create in PowerPoint, for a narrated slide show of your vacation pictures, or any other use you can imagine. The beauty of it is that the receiver doesn't even have to have PowerPoint.

You can also create many variations on the steps below. For example, you can add music instead of narration. Or, you don't need to add timing to slides; instead, you can add an instruction to click on the slide to go to the next slide.

These steps show you how to create a presentation with narration and then save it to an auto-run CD. You'll need the following:

* A microphone or Web cam (better quality will provide better results)

* A blank CD-R (readable, not writable)

* A CD burner driver, with its accompanying software

Follow these steps:

Create the slides for the presentation.

Write a script and print it out. Practice delivering the script in Slide Show view.

In Normal view, choose Slide Show > Record Narration. (In PowerPoint 2007, choose Slide Show tab>Set Up group>Record Narration.

In the Record Narration dialog box, click Set Microphone Level and follow the instructions. You should see a green indicator in the volume bar as you speak. If necessary, use the slider to adjust the volume. If you don't see the green indicator, you need to check your microphone settings. When you're done, click OK to return to the Record Narration dialog box.

Click OK to start narrating, according to your script. You'll automatically go into Slide Show view. As you talk, click to advance to the next slide. By doing this, you'll be adding timings to each slide.

When you get to the black slide after the last slide, click to exit Slide Show view.

You'll see a message, asking if you want to save the slide timings. Click Save. What this does is save the timing for each slide so that it exactly matches the time you needed for each slide's narration.

Go into Slide Show view and review the presentation to make sure it's what you want. My main experience was that the sound wasn't very good, indicating that I should probably buy a better microphone.

When you're satisfied, switch to Normal view, save the presentation, and choose File>Package for CD. (In 2007, choose Office button>Publish>Package for CD. In 2007, you'll see a message about formats. Click OK)

In the Package for CD dialog box, name the CD. If you want to add other presentations, click Add Files, browse to them, and click Open. If you want to change the options, click the Options button. Here you can add a password, if you want. By default, the PowerPoint Viewer is included, which allows people without PowerPoint to view the files.

Click Copy to CD. You may see one or more messages. Some that I've seen are:

- A message about including linked files in the package. If you have linked files, such as audio or video files, click Yes.

- A message about about macros, linked objects or embedded objects not working in the PowerPoint Viewer, and asking if you want to continue. Click Continue. This won't be a problem if your viewers have PowerPoint.

- A message about ActiveX controls. This is an unusual situation, but if you have added an ActiveX control to your presentation, the receiving computer must also have the control to view it. However, in my experience, the Viewer just doesn't play an ActiveX control.

Your CD-burning software may pop up, but in my experience, you can ignore it You'll now see a Copying Files to CD window that shows you the progress.

You see a window asking if you want to copy the files to another CD. If you just want one CD, click No. Otherwise, put in another CD and click Yes. Your CD should eject from your CD-ROM drive.

In the Package for CD dialog box, click Close.

Put the CD back inside the drive.

The Viewer opens and you need to click Accept to accept the license.

After that, your presentation plays.

The PowerPoint Viewer has some limitations:

* It won't play macros

* It won't play ActiveX controls

* To avoid problems, it's suggested that you embed sounds.

* Picture bullets & animated GIF pictures may not work

Ellen Finkelstein, is the best-selling author of How to Do Everything with PowerPoint 2007 (and previous editions for PowerPoint 2002 and PowerPoint 2003) Her award-winning Web site features loads of free tips on PowerPoint, the monthly PowerPoint Tips Newsletter, and the PowerPoint Tips Blog -

- This article in its original form may have included images and/or other media. To see the original article, go to:

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