Sunday, August 19, 2007

Creating Tutorials & Demos - Converting Presentations to Tutorials

You have presentation software. You may have a copy of:
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (Windows & Macintosh versions)
  • Corel Presentation (Windows)
  • OpenOffice Impress (Windows, Macintosh and Linux versions) or some equivalent of a presentation program.
Advantages
  • You can quickly build simple presentations or make them as complex as you need.
  • The ability to export out an individual side or a complete slide presentation in .gif, .jpg/jpeg or .png formats. This gives you the ability to use another program to upload to a blog or website.
  • Some of the programs can export out to the Adobe.pdf and Flash.swf formats.
Disadvantages:
  • In the native file formats it is hard or impossible to post on a website or blog.
  • You still need a photo or video web host and the code necessary to display on your blog or website.
  • In the case of Microsoft PowerPoint you can post presentations on-line. However if the user is not using Microsoft Internet Explorer they may not see the presentation or certain features will be disabled.
  • The process is not as simple as it needs to be for novice users. It is a time swamp for those that have experience.
Since the goal is to upload the tutorial or demo for on line viewing that it where attention will be focused.

If you have “An old PC that runs Windows 95/98/Windows ME and next to no budget” option.

(Please tell me that this computer is not connected to the Internet and that you are doing the presentation on that computer but you will walk it over to an updated XP/Vista computer. On second thought, I don't want to know.)

There is an oldie but goodie known as DubIt from TechSmith. DubIt allows you to import photos and slides from presentations saved in the .gif and .jpg formats. You can add music or audio narration. DubIt saves the tutorial in either the .avi (an older windows movie video format) or Real Media format. I suggest that you save it in the .avi format.

You can then upload to a free video web host like Blip.tv, OurMedia.org or TeacherTube After you have uploaded the video you will then copy the code necessary to display the tutorial on your blog or web site. It is the same concept you used when you uploaded your photos to a photo web hosting site.


This is an example of how I created the above tutorial using DubIt.

If you have “An new PC that runs Windows XP and next to no budget” then you can take advantage of Microsoft Photo Story 3. It is free to legal owners of Windows XP. It is a similar process, you export presentation in either .gif or jpg/jpeg format and then import them into Microsoft Photo Story 3.


I have to tell you there are much easier ways of doing this. There are a bunch of pitfalls that can occur such as losing audio when converting into another format or unexpected glitches that you have to spend time figuring out.

Next time - the online slide creation applications.

1 comment:

Ayisha said...
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