Thursday, April 28, 2016

Xembedo: Presentation and Document Conversion API

Presentation and document sharing is well known concept today. Few years back when Slideshare and Scribd started online presentation and document sharing, for most it was a new concept. Even the back end technology empowering content conversion and viewing was proprietary and limited to these platforms only. Every document or presentation sharing use case of an LMS, live conferencing tool or content management platform required in-house development of such conversion engines thus increasing the overall delivery time, cost and overhead.

But, thanks to numerous document conversion APIs available today, you can start a presentation sharing platform or for that matter a conferencing tool in a week. You just need to concentrate on core piece of your product and not the content layer.

Over time with diminishing focus on Flash and increasing mobile applications, document conversion engines too have shifted towards non flash based output. Xembedo is one such document and presentation conversion API that converts PowerPoint presentations (PPT,PPTX), documents (DOCX, DOC) and Adobe PDF files to HTML embeds. Being based on SVG, Xembedo offers high quality embeds on desktop as well as mobile devices.

Xembedo API can be used for use cases like-
  • ELearning (LMS, Apps)- ELearning platforms that need to display documents within website or apps
  • Productivity apps like Slack- Productivity apps having use cases where different users exchange files which are required to be displayed or annotated within website or app
  • Conference or webinar apps- Xembedo API enables view and  document collaboration during conference calls
  • Cloud content management- Any use case that requires view, share or management of documents online

Friday, January 29, 2016

Top 9 features of PowerPoint 2016 you should give a try

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 is rich in features and will make presentation creation a fun. It requires at least 1 GB RAM (32 bit) or 2 GB RAM for 64 bit machine. PowerPoint 2016 works only on Windows7 and above and requires at least 1280 x 800 resolution.

Here are few features worth mentioning.

1. Better video output
Now you can create presentation videos (MP4) having resolution as high as 1920 x 1080, which plays great on larger screens.

2. Share presentations
In PowerPoint 2016 you can share your presentation with others using OneDrive or Office 365 SharePoint. You would see share option on ribbon but before you share, presentation has to be shared on OneDrive or Office365.

Shows the Share button on the ribbon in PowerPoint 2016

3. Screen capture
The much awaited feature now lets you capture specific area of the screen and insert it directly into your presentation.

Shows insert screen recording button in PowerPoint2016

4. Advance equation editor
Now in addition to inserting pre-formatted equations, you can also write equations and PowerPoint will convert them into text. On a mobile or tablet device, you can use your finger or a touch stylus to write math equations by hand, and PowerPoint will convert that into text.

Shows insert equations button on the ribbon in PowerPoint

5. Smart lookup
While creating presentations you can look for more details on word or phrase. You can select a word or phrase, right-click it, and choose Smart Lookup, which will return definitions, Wiki articles, and top related searches from the web.

6. Charts

PowerPoint 2016 has six new charts—Box and Whisker, Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram, and Waterfall.

7. Quick access with tell me
Tell ME helps get quick access to different tools and features of PowerPoint. It is a text field where you'll enter words and phrases associated with what you want to achieve and you’ll quickly get to options you want to use or actions you wish to perform. For example if you type remove it will prompt you action like “Delete Slide”.

shows the "tell me" search box on the ribbon in PowerPoint

It might come handy when you are not able to locate a command on ribbon.

Features that come with 365 subs
There are certain features like Designer, Morph in PowerPoint 2016 which are only available if you have an Office 365 subscription.

8. Morph Transition
Microsoft has introduced a new transition type, Morph in PowerPoint 2016, which might assist you build smooth animations, transitions, and object movements across the slides in your presentation. You will need to create at least 2 slides with a minimum of one object in common—the easiest method to do so is to duplicate the slide and move the object on the second slide, or you can also copy the object from one slide and paste it on other.

9. PowerPoint Designer
If you are familiar with Visual Bee add-in, you would certainly know what designer do.
PowerPoint Designer is a new service that analyzes your content and automatically generate a different ideas that you can select from to make your slides look awesome.

Here is a video that talks more about Morph and Designer

You can head here for free training on PowerPoint 2016.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Create rich interactive lessons with Microsoft Office-MIX

Microsoft is quickly changing and adapting to rapidly changing user behavior and requirements. Last year saw two products from Mircosoft, Sway (competes with Prezi) and Office-Mix (competes with Adobe Presenter, Articulate) launched possibly to save people from death by PowerPoint.

Microsoft Office-Mix is a free PowerPoint Add-in that lets you tell your story with audio, video, annotations, screen recording and interactive element. It helps educators create interactive lessons with slides, media, quizzes and polls. In addition to all these cool features which are otherwise paid in other such Add-ins, Office-Mix provides rich analytics and online sharing.

Though Sway and Office-Mix both are not a new idea, yet it is surely going to be a bliss for educators who will not have to rely on paid software for creation of interactive synchronized lessons. Here is a Mix explaining open number lines-

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