Categories
PowerPoint Resource/Misc Software/Add-Ins

Can a Mobile Device Project? Yes it can!

There is a lot of talk and excitement about using mobile devices, phone or tablet, to run presentations. And yes, I can confirm it is possible. But the question is – should you use a tablet or smartphone as the presentation “computer?” The answer – it depends on the meeting.

mobile-devices-1

Some presentations require a mobile device, such as a mobile app demo. But for a traditional presentation, if it is a large meeting with AV support, I recommend conforming to the desktop app and handing off a presentation file. This ensures you can focus on the presentation, not the technology setup and function. If it’s a small board room meeting and you feel confident in using newer technology, then mobile devices can be a good option. However, I recommend having a traditional computer, and the presentation on a memory drive – just in case.

Let’s look at the different options currently available to work with when it comes to using mobile devices in presentations. This is a high-level reference and overview of the primary mobile devices that can be used for presentations.

Apple

  • iPhone, iPad Tablets and iPod Touch

Google

  • Android Phones and Android Tablets

Microsoft

  • Windows 8.1 / 10 Mobile and Surface Tablets

Wired and Wireless

mobile-devices-2

There are two types of connection options for getting a presentation from a device to the projector.  Both are options. In general, using a wired connection is going to be easiest option, as it has the least technology needs (do to the cables, connect – done).

Wired

The first option is wired connections. This is (obviously) physically connecting a cable to the mobile device. Each device type has a different connector, and then there are multiple options for the AV system you need to figure out (eg. Is the AV system using VGA, HDMI or other display connector?).

iPhone/iPad Connectors

  • 30 pin to VGA/HDMI
  • Lightning to VGA/HDMI
  • USB-C to VGA

mobile-devices-3

Android Phone / Tablet Connectors

  • Mini-HDMI to HDMI or VGA
  • HDMI to VGA/HDMI/DVI

mobile-devices-4

Windows 10 Phone / Tablet Connectors

  • Mini HDMI to HDMI/VGA
  • Mini DisplayPort (AKA Thunderbolt) to HDMI/VGA/DVI

mobile-devices-5

Wireless

The second option is connecting your mobile devices using a wireless system. Keep in mind, most wireless display connectors need WiFi. And the WiFi needs to be fast enough for the presentation to display content and animations smoothly, and it needs to have enough coverage to connect in the meeting meeting room (ie. Not your hotel room or the lobby, but the actual ballroom).  Miracast is a direct connection technology, so a WiFi network is not needed.

iOS Devices = Apple TV

mobile-devices-6

Apple devices are easily the most popular and abundant (myself included with an iPhone and iPad). Apple devices need to connect to Apple TV, so you need the physical Apple TV device and a WiFi network for both the IOS device and Apple TV connect to (then the Apple TV connects to the AV System/projector/monitor). AirPlay is the IOS app (built in to all Apple devices) that make the wireless display work.

My opinion on wireless presentations from IOS devices is that they work well, but have a lot of hardware and setup needs.

 Android Devices = Google Chromecast

mobile-devices-7

If you use an Android mobile device, the Google Chromecast device is needed. The original Chromecast device was basically a small USB drive with an HDMI connector and additional mini-USB port for power. The new Chromecast device is a bit larger, more in line with an Apple TV size (but still just a USB power). Another option is many SmartTVs are Chromecast-ready and Android devices can stream direct to it with no additional hardware. No matter what Chromecast connector is used, WiFi is needed.

Last, if you are using an Android device, a great app available in the Android Google Play App Store is AllCast, which enables Android devices to also connect to Apple TV, even more SmartTVs and the Amazon Fire TV.

My opinion on Chromecast is that it works, has smaller equipment, has easy setup – but I have been unable to connect it to some larger show AV systems…

Windows 10 Mobile = Miracast WiFi

mobile-devices-7

If you’re a Windows 10 Mobile device user, or Windows 10 desktop, the MiraCast wireless display software is built in. The interesting thing (and good thing), is MiraCast is not a Microsoft technology, but an industry wide wireless display platform that Microsoft has adopted and integrated into ALL Windows 10 devices (Note: It is also available on Windows 8.1 as a download in the Windows App Store). MiraCast is also available on Android devices as a separate app download, and it also works with IOS devices (but is not available through the Apple App store, so only works with “jail break” devices which I hope changes in the future).

My opinion of MiraCast is this works the best of all wireless display options covered. Because it is an open standard, the physical dongle is not limited to one company and I have had some work great and others not work at all. I recommend the Microsoft manufactured device as I have had flawless operation of it (and it is very small like the original Chromecast device). The other really great feature is that MiraCast does not need WiFi, it will connect to any device using a local connection (so it does use WiFi, but not internet enabled WiFi).

I hope the helps with an overview of many mobile device connection options and some of my (sometimes hard-earned) opinions on mobile devices for presentation use.

 

-Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

What is Rear Projection?

When designing a presentation, the design can be influenced by many technical specifications. One consideration is where the projected light is coming from (ie. Front or Rear Projection).

“Rear Projection” is literally what the name says – the projector is positioned behind the screen.

rear-projection

Here are some of the design considerations for meetings that are setup with Front Projection:

  • The audience cannot see the projector, and there are no cables to trip over or tables to bump (at least out front where the audience is).
  • In general, Rear Projection is the “professional” setup.
  • Rear Projection, assuming the other specs are the same (projector lumens, screen size, room lighting, etc.), is a bit duller to an audience than Front Projection because the slides are being projected through the screen material.
  • With Rear Projection, the audience can see a “hot spot” because the audience is looking into the projector light. If the projector is at the same eye level, the audience can see a bright circle or the projector light. The solution is to have the projection be above the audience eye level (all the way on the ceiling is great) and to have it adjusted to fit the screen and keep aspect ratio.

-Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

What is Front Projection?

When designing a presentation, the design can be influenced by many technical specifications. One consideration is where the projected light is coming from (ie. Rear or Front Projection).

“Front Projection” is literally what the name says – the projector is positioned in front of the screen.

front-projection

Here are some of the design considerations for meetings that are setup with Front Projection:

  • If the screen is directly behind the stage and presenter, the presenter may stand in the projection and be “painted.” This will cast the presenter’s shadow on the screen.
  • Front Projection, assuming the other specs are the same (projector lumens, screen size, room lighting, etc.), is brighter to an audience because the slides are being projected onto a brighter white screen material and the image is bouncing off from the screen.
  • CAUTION: Be extra attentive to content not being too close to the edge of the slide. Front Projection is often “over shot.” By making the projection area slightly larger than the white screen space, it assures the full screen is filled with an image. If the slides have a logo at the very edge, footnotes along the very bottom, etc., they will be cut off to the audience because they are being projected in the over shot area that is not seen.

-Troy @ TLC

Categories
Software/Add-Ins Tutorial

Use a PDF for a Slide Show

A PDF of slides, or any document if in the correct aspect ratio, can be used for presentation slides. I am using Adobe Acrobat, but most PDF viewing apps have the same capability.

Here is my sample 16×9 presentation of 4 slides exported as a PDF, now open in Acrobat.

PDFView_4

I have selected the first page vs. the Organize/Grid view.

PDFView_1

Go to VIEW > FULL SCREEN MODE, or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+L

PDFView_2

The Acrobat tool bars disappear and the slide displays full screen. Using the arrow keys or Page Up/Down keys, you can go through the pages just like a presentation.

PDFView_3

Notes:

  • No animation
  • No slide transitions
  • No video or audio (There are ways to add these, but not covered in this tutorial, and not part of PowerPoint’s PDF export)
  • Cannot be added to a master slide deck of all presenter slides (This is a separate file that just look like slides)
  • No presenter view (Duplicate display is recommended vs. extended desktop)

-Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

What about LED wall “projection”?

LED walls are becoming the new standard for displaying video and presentations. The viewing quality of a build-to-any-size LED wall is already great, and they continue to get better! These screens have a resolution that is the same concept as projectors having resolution, their resolution is visible, it is the physical space between each light pixel. The closer/tighter the light spacing, the higher the resolution.

LED wall-2

But projectors and LED walls measure light and brightness differently.  Projection = lux, reflected light.  LED = NIT, direct light. What does this mean?  It means that LED walls, like flat panel displays, are brighter, which is great for slides!

Plus, LED walls are like Lego blocks, they can be built into any shape and aspect ratio. This leads to some fun and creative PowerPoint templates! For example, these are LED walls that used a single, custom, PowerPoint template for their content.

LED wall-1

An LED wall can be a great option for presentations.

-Troy @ TLC

Categories
Templates/Assets

US Letter Size PowerPoint Template (Free!)

As promised in Episode 6 of The Presentation Podcast , Print Only Presentations (which actually releases tomorrow), here is the PowerPoint template setup in US Letter 8.5 x 11″ Portrait size. All layouts have been customized to fit the letter size page plus a few additional layouts using multi-column text boxes!

US Letter Template

To download the template, click here (330K).

-Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc

Text Aliasing and Anti-Aliasing

Picking a font style is important. Should it be a “safe” font, a professional font, a bold font, etc.? Any font style needs to display well and anti-aliasing is a big part of that. So, what is anti-aliasing?

antialiasing-2

The simple description of anti-aliasing is that it makes fonts display with smooth curves and angles, not jagged, low res looking edges. So if “anti-aliased ” is smooth, the opposite, hard edged fonts would make sense to be called “aliased.” However, the better term is “bit-mapped.”

Here’s a visual showing Aliased and Anti-Aliased Text:

Aliased (Jagged, Hard Edges):

text_03

Anti-Aliased (Smooth Edges):

text_07

 

The good news is PowerPoint applies anti-aliasing to text (which has not always been the case). But it is applied when in slide show. Objects and text may appear to have jagged edges (aliased) when editing. Anti-aliasing is also applied when printing, but through a different ‘engine’ than when presented. So, when running as a slideshow, everything is smooth, when printing, everything is (almost always smooth), when editing, it may not look as smooth.

In addition, Microsoft Windows OS has its own term and feature for anti-aliasing called ClearType. ClearType is basically Microsoft’s technology for doing anti-aliasing and making fonts have nice smooth curves and angles. ClearType is currently used by web browsers (all web browsers) and the operating system dialogs. But not Microsoft Office at this time.

On PowerPoint, when using the PowerPoint web app it is viewed through a browser for editing and slideshow. So, all text is anti-aliased in both views because the Microsoft ClearType works with all major web browsers.

So, should you be worried about anti-aliasing or smooth fonts with PowerPoint? Yes, it is a concern, but with Windows 10 and PowerPoint 2007-2010-2013-2016 all fonts display anti-aliased in slideshow – and I can attest to being happy with text that is projected 20′ tall is HD is smooth and looks good (with the caveat that there is room for it to be better!).

 

-Troy @ TLC

 

Categories
Resource/Misc

The Presentation Podcast is Now On SoundCloud!

Soundcloud-Button-2

We have added Soundcloud to the ways to get The Presentation Podcast! Just click the SoundCloud icon available on each episode page!

 

Categories
Resource/Misc Tutorial

How to Install Custom Fonts

Custom fonts can make a presentation unique, dynamic, align with corporate branding and many other fantastic things. But if a custom font is not installed on the device being used to show the presentation, the presentation may fail visually.

CustomFonts-1

If your presentation is using a custom font, here is an overview on how to get that font installed on all the main device types – if it is possible to install.

Windows Desktop OS

custom-fonts-2

Installing a custom font is a simple process on Windows.

Option 1: Select Install

Confirm the font files are copied to the computer (not on a portable drive or network folder). Right-Click the font file and select > Install. Windows will do everything and the font is now available to all programs on that computer.

custom-fonts-3

Option 2: Drop and Drag into Fonts Folder

Manually copy font files into the Windows Fonts folder. When a font file is copied into the Windows Font Folder it is automatically installed.

Windows 10: To see what fonts are installed, go to the Windows icon> Settings > type “Fonts” in the search bar on the top right. Your fonts folder should open, displaying currently installed fonts. Drag-and-drop, or copy/paste, font files to be installed.

Win XP, 7 and Win 8.1: To see what fonts are installed, go to Windows Start > Control Panel > Fonts, this will take you to a list of all fonts installed on your PC. Drag-and-drop, or copy/paste, font files to be installed.

custom-fonts-9

A few notes about PowerPoint using custom fonts on Windows:

  • PowerPoint (all versions) can only recognize TrueType (TTF) and OpenType (OTF) formats.
  • PowerPoint needs to be opened, or restarted, AFTER the custom font is installed. If a font is installed while PowerPoint is open, it will not show up in the font list until PowerPoint is restarted.

 

Mac OS

custom-fonts-3

 

Option 1

  • Double-click the font file to open a dialog fonts displaying the font. Click “Install Font” button.

custom-fonts-13

 

Option 2

  • Launch Font Book, a Mac OS application. This displays all fonts on the computer. Choose Add Fonts from the file menu and select the font you want to install.

custom-fonts-12

A few notes about PowerPoint and Keynote using custom fonts on the Mac OS:

  • PowerPoint and Keynote can use TrueType (TTF), OpenType (OTF), and PostScript (PS) formats.
  • The Mac OS fonts cannot be used on Windows computers.
  • PowerPoint needs to be opened, or restarted, AFTER the custom font is installed. If a font is installed while PowerPoint is open, it will not show up in the font list until it is restarted.
  • Keynote dynamically recognizes newly installed custom fonts and are immediately available without restarting the app

 

iOS on iPad and iPhone

custom-fonts-15

  • Custom fonts can be download and installed, but not all apps can use/see the custom fonts.
  • iOS uses TrueType (.TTF) and OpenType (.OTF) fonts.
  • PowerPoint for IOS installs with selection of preset “safe” fonts that are available on all platforms.
  • Microsoft has recently implemented a new dynamic font library that will download and install additional fonts if they are used in a presentation. The presentation opens and if the font is not currently installed on the iOS device, a substitute font is automatically used. Then in the background, if the device has online access, the additional fonts are downloaded, installed and the presentation is dynamically updated to use the fonts. So a slide with a font not currently installed (but a Microsoft font) may initially display with a font substitution, and while you are looking at it, change to the correct font that has been downloaded and added to PowerPoint’s font library.
  • The dynamically installed fonts on iOS are only “Office compatible” fonts, or fonts from Microsoft. So true custom fonts, non-Microsoft fonts, are not available.
  • Keynote application uses the preset fonts installed with IOS. Third party apps can be used to install other fonts onto the IOS device, which are then available to Keynote.

Android and Chromebooks

custom-fonts-20

  • Android uses TrueType (.TTF) and OpenType (.OTF) font formats.
  • The Android OS is similar to IOS, it has preset fonts installed. There are several addon apps that allow additional fonts to be installed.
  • One confusing thing when talking about fonts for Android is they have a font named “Android” and another named “Droid”, but other fonts are available. what happens when other fonts are used in a presentation – I will send details when I get them so you can add to post)
  • PowerPoint for Android installs with selection of preset “safe” fonts that are available on all platforms.
  • Microsoft has recently implemented  a new dynamic font library that will download and install additional fonts if they are used in a presentation. The presentation opens and if the font is not currently installed on the Android device, a substitute font is automatically used. Then in the background, if the device has online access, the additional fonts are downloaded, installed and the presentation is dynamically updated to use the fonts. So a slide with a font not currently installed (but a Microsoft font) may initially display with a font substitution, and while you are looking at it, change to using the correct font that has been downloaded and added to PowerPoints font library.

Windows Mobile Phone

custom-fonts-18

  • Windows 10 Mobile installs with a preset list of fonts.
  • Additional fonts cannot be installed on Windows 10 Mobile beyond those provided with the OS and the ones apps add.
  • Microsoft has recently implemented a new dynamic font library that will download and install additional fonts if they are used in a presentation. The presentation opens and if the font is not currently installed on the Win10 Mobile device, a substitute font is automatically used. Then in the background, if the device has online access, the additional fonts are downloaded, installed and the presentation is dynamically updated to use the fonts. So a slide with a font not currently installed (but a Microsoft font) may initially display with a font substitution, and while you are looking at it, change to using the correct font that has been downloaded and added to PowerPoint’s font library.
  • The dynamically installed fonts on iOS are only “Office compatible” fonts, or fonts from Microsoft. So true custom fonts, non-Microsoft fonts, are not available.

Prezi

custom-fonts-14

Prezi is not a device, but because it can be used on all devices listed, here is basic overview of font use by Prezi.

  • Prezi uses preset fonts from its own font library. All of the Prezi fonts are mapped to common Microsoft fonts (for example, Prezi’s Arimo font, maps to Arial)
  • If the desktop version of Prezi is used, custom fonts can be used, but only on desktop Prezi and it can be tricky to have Prezi recognize the custom, non-Prezi, True-Type fonts.
  • Prezi uses .Keg (Prezi’s own font format) and TrueType (.TTF) Fonts.
  • A nice option is the ability to install the full Prezi font library on your computer if desired. Here is a tutorial on the process:  http://prezibase.com/how-to-use-custom-fonts-in-prezi-tutorial/

PowerPoint Web App

custom-fonts-16

  • The online version of PowerPoint can be used on all devices in a web browser. PowerPoint online is basically the same story as Windows 10 Mobile – it has a list of preset fonts and no additional fonts can be added to the list. But Microsoft has expanded list with additional fonts as this variation of PowerPoint has matured.

-Troy @ TLC

Categories
Resource/Misc Tutorial

Can I Use Google Fonts?

GoogleFonts-1

PowerPoint and Google Fonts:

  • Professional fonts that display great in presentation apps (PowerPoint, Keynote, Adobe apps, etc.).
  • The ENTIRE library is FREE!
  • Primarily for web use and designed to dynamically load when a website or web-connected app uses them (so they do not need to be installed on a device to be used. Unfortunately both PowerPoint and Keynote are not able to leverage the web-based dynamic use of Google Fonts).
  • Can be downloaded as actual font files, installed on any computer, and both PowerPoint and Keynote can use them.
  • A few considerations about using locally installed Google Fonts in PowerPoint and Keynote:
    • get previous post details.

Details about Google Fonts

  • Google describes their font collection as “hundreds of free, open-source fonts optimized for the web.”
  • They have 708 font “families” (a Family is one typeface with several styles).
  • Find them here.
  • The online Google Fonts viewer has some great features, that can be used on any device. All fonts are displayed with a sample sentence that you can change to be any test. There are also options to see fonts used in a sample paragraph, a single word or very large in poster size text (good example for presentation callouts).
  • The ENTIRE library can be downloaded!
    • Use the down arrow icon in upper right of webpage to download Google Fonts to your computer.
    • Optionally, fonts.com has the SkyFonts app which works with Google Fonts and works similar to the Adobe Typekit. It will sync selected fonts to any computer that has the SkyFonts app installed. Go to it here.
    • Download the library at GitHub here.

GoogleFonts-3

So, should Google Fonts be a part of your workflow?

Adding Google Fonts to your presentations is a good option, assuming you are prepared for managing Custom Fonts in a presentation and assuring everyone has knowledge of how to install custom fonts on a computer, has web access to get the font to install, and is prepared for things not displaying as designed if not installed. The other consideration is, do you need another font option? With our internal library of thousands of custom fonts, and the addition of Adobe Typekit providing its thousands of fonts to our design options, too many options can be more to manage and may provide more design options that are not really needed. But, Google Fonts is a great resource every presentation designer has available if needed.

-Troy @ TLC