Using google docs for presentations

by Yule Heibel on November 25, 2007

Here’s a technical question that I need answered by …oh, early tomorrow. Lunchtime at the latest.  On Monday morning I’m supposed to do a technical dry-run for a talk I’m presenting on Wednesday. There are some logistics involved, in terms of equipment. I don’t have a projector, and the organizer of the venue is kind enough to arrange one for me. I have a laptop. And I’m putting my presentation together using google docs‘s “Presentation Editor,” which is a real joy to use. Very easy.

But now I wonder if I haven’t dug myself a big hole.

I realized this afternoon that I can’t save this presentation as, say, a PowerPoint. I can save it as a compressed file to my computer, but when I open it, it opens in Firefox.

So …does that mean I need wifi at the venue? Like, do I need internet access to “play” my slide show?

Do any of my 2 or 3 readers have any idea if there’s a work-around for Google Docs “presentation editor,” to save it to one’s computer, open it, but not need internet access to play it?

Otherwise I will be spending tomorrow not just finishing the presentation, but transferring every single slide by hand (pictures and some text) to that clunker PowerPoint format, which I know I can save to my computer and open without benefit of wifi access….

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Daryl Cobranchi November 25, 2007 at 9:33 am
Daryl Cobranchi November 25, 2007 at 9:46 am

Duh. I misunderstood your question. After saving the file as a zipped html you can “extract all” and then (in theory) open with Powerpoint. I got it to open but the formatting was completely screwy. There does not appear to be any way to export as a PPT presentation.

maria November 25, 2007 at 10:20 am

In theory, you don’t need wifi or Internet to open a zipped html saved on your computer. Your browser should recognize any html document from anywhere (local or the Internet) and display it properly. Hope this helps. I have to run do more family stuff. Still in Pittsburgh….

By the way, you should try downloading Open Office, which has a great suite of applications that rivals Microsoft’s. I am using it these days, instead of springing for the meag bucks for upgrades.

yulelog November 25, 2007 at 10:35 am

Thanks, Daryl & Maria! I wondered about whether or not I’d be able to open the html (saved) w/out internet… Hmmm. I’ll just try it tomorrow — and also, I’ll call the venue today and ask if they’re wifi enabled (they might well be).

And wow, I forgot all about OpenOffice — which I have (and which I downloaded onto this laptop after uninstalling the Windows wordprocessing stuff that was on here)! So thanks for that tip, Maria. If the other options don’t work, I will use OpenOffice!

How’s Pittsburgh? Did you have a great Thanksgiving? I totally miss Thanksgiving — it’s such a great holiday, especially that Friday 4-day weekend option thing (if you can get it). Canadian Thanksgiving (Columbus Day, in October) can’t compete.

yulelog November 25, 2007 at 1:33 pm

I tested it out and yes, it appears the zipped file is accessible locally, without internet access, even though it appears in a Firefox browser window. But, it should be the case that I won’t have to transfer the presentation to another platform, since I shouldn’t need internet to access it. (My regular “sys admin” — the spouse — is on leave, otherwise this wouldn’t have been a blogged question in the first place. I’m nervous enough about public speaking without having technical problems added to the mix!)

Doug Alder November 25, 2007 at 4:10 pm

If your host is supplying you with a projector then all should be well – the projector doesn’t distinguish between Powerpoint, Firefox, IE or any other program it merely accepts a video/audio input and projects it to a screen so you can just open the file you saved fro0m Google with Firefox or IE or Opera and project it.

yulelog November 25, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Thanks, Doug — I’ll find out tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure based on everything here and tested out with the program that I’ll be ok on the technical stuff.

Now, if only I could finish my talk (and wrangle the last few slides into place, by which I mean ‘decide on what to use’)!! I also have an article due on Dec. 1, and I would SO love to get all of this out of my hair ASAP, so I can gaze off into space and/or engage in “research” (random reading around, my favourite activity) that (sometimes, when I’m lucky) yields serendipidous results…

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