Flash: The Portable PowerPoint

October 29, 2010

Often I find myself sharing PowerPoints over the web via email or carrying them on a jump drive. I find it as an easy and quick way of visually presenting products or my ideas. However there is a common pitfall with this strategy and it is the issue of compatibility. Different computers run different versions of PowerPoint, so what you see on your screen will not necessarily be what others see. The best way to ensure compatibility and the visual integrity of your PowerPoint is to convert it to Flash. Using Flash, you can avoid some of the common problems that occur with PowerPoint including font replacement, feature incompatibility & version incompatibility.

Fonts vary within and across versions. For example, the same fonts may not necessarily be shared between a home and a professional version or between a 2003 and 2007 version. To resolve this problem, PowerPoint will attempt to replace your font with the closest similar font it can find, which sometimes is fine, but other times skews your visuals completely.

Feature incompatibility & version incompatibility go hand in hand. When a new version comes out there will be features which make it incompatible with its predecessors. As a result the PowerPoint you worked hours on with the 2007 version would be stripped down in order to be viewable on a computer with the 2003 version.

Flash solves many of these problems. Flash can play on any browser with the Flash plug-in and many browsers already have Flash installed since web applications often require it. Most importantly Flash ensures the visually integrity of your presentation across computer platforms.