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Road to Mac Office 2008: PowerPoint '08 vs Keynote 4.0

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
The planned mid-January release of Office 2008 offers a significant overhaul of the productivity suite's look and features. Previous segments described new features in Word and Excel, with comparisons to Apple's Pages and Numbers. This article examines what's new in PowerPoint 2008 in contrast to Keynote 4.0, the first new standalone productivity application Apple released for Mac OS X. It also looks at why Mac Office 2008 is still missing applications from the Windows version of Office, including Project, Access, and Visio.

This report goes to great lengths to explore the origins, history, and maturity of Microsoft's PowerPoint. For those readers with limited time or who are only interested in what's due in PowerPoint '08 as part of Office 2008 for Mac, you can skip to page 2 of this report.

The Birth of PowerPoint and Other Microsoft Office Apps

Microsoft acquired PowerPoint in 1987 from a Mac software developer Forethought. That company was also the distributor of Nashoba's FileMaker database, and owned the FileMaker marketing collateral and documentation. Microsoft had been unsuccessfully competing against FileMaker with its own Microsoft File. In order to improve its productivity software offerings, Microsoft dumped File and entered talks to acquire FileMaker from Nashoba, as described in FileMaker Early History.

However, after beating Microsoft in the marketplace, Nashoba chose to publish its increasingly popular FileMaker product independently, although it had to scramble to develop new packaging and documentation to do so. That same year, Apple spun off its desktop applications into the new Claris subsidiary. Claris then bought Nashoba began porting FileMaker to Windows. Had Nashoba instead sold FileMaker to Microsoft, the history of Microsoft Office, Claris, and FileMaker would be entirely different.

Project, FoxPro, Access, and Visio

By 1990, Microsoft had released Word, Excel, and PowerPoint under the new name Microsoft Office, first on the Mac and later for Windows. The following year, Microsoft released Project for the Mac. It continued development of Project for Macs up until 1993, when the company began shifting all of its efforts into Windows. Even after Microsoft returned to the Mac in 1997, no new version of Project was ever released by the Mac Business Unit, and the old versions do not run natively on Mac OS X.

Microsoft still wanted to include database software in Office, so it acquired Fox Software in 1992; that company had cloned Ashton-Tate's popular dBASE product under the name FoxBASE, which was later renamed FoxPro. The product was popular on both DOS and the Mac, and Fox was in the process of porting it to Windows when Microsoft acquired it. While it was never included in Office, Microsoft continued to support new versions of FoxPro on the Mac and Windows through 1995. In the second half of the 90s, it was renamed Visual FoxPro after being folded into Microsoft's Visual Studio developer tools for Windows, which includes Visual Basic. This year, Microsoft discontinued Visual FoxPro entirely.

Microsoft also began selling its own database product called Access in 1992, which was never ported to the Mac. This was likely because Microsoft was already selling FoxPro for Macs. Between the period when Microsoft stopped development of Office applications on the Mac in 1994 and the reintroduction of Office for Mac in 1998, FoxPro for Mac died but there was no new attempts made to port Access to the Mac. By that time, Claris' FileMaker Pro was already a strong product on the Mac, and Microsoft determined that there wasn't a large enough Mac database market to fight over.

In 1998, Apple subsequently dismantled the remains of Claris and then reestablished FileMaker, Inc. as a new subsidiary. Unlike competitors to Word or Excel, FileMaker Pro has been able to maintain competition against Access in part because Microsoft only includes Access with the more expensive versions of Office and does not offer a Mac version. Without the assistance of bundling, Access has not been able to displace FileMaker. The company advertises FileMaker Pro as the most popular desktop database product, and Microsoft's Mac version of Office offers support for accessing data from FileMaker using Excel. There are also third party tools for working with data in Access from the Mac. FileMaker also just released a new consumer database product called Bento, previewed in First Look: FileMaker's Bento personal database for Leopard.

In 2000, Microsoft paid $1.3 billion to acquire Visio Corporation, which had delivered a clone of the Lighthouse Design Diagram! application for NeXTSTEP. The Omni Group delivered a similar product for the Mac called OmniGraffle (below), which Apple bundles on new Macs. Omni also offers a pro version, which can open and save Visio 2007 documents, leaving little reason to want a port of Visio in Mac Office.



Along the same lines, Marware's Project X (below) provides project management software compatible with Microsoft's Project files but developed specifically to take advantage of features in Mac OS X, leaving little demand for a Mac version of Project.



The Culture of Microsoft PowerPoint

Those developments left the MacBU to concentrate on only delivering the existing products within Mac Office 2008: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Entourage. Both Word and Excel deliver features missing from other Mac tools, and Entourage exists primarily to serve as an Exchange Server mail client for Mac users in corporate settings. PowerPoint serves more as a placeholder propping up convention.

While Word and Excel both followed established software roles in word processing and spreadsheets, PowerPoint was an entirely new concept in desktop software when it appeared in the late 80s. PowerPoint is designed to serve as a virtual slide projector, making it easy to present visuals while speaking. Over the last twenty years, "powerpoint" has become a common term for presentation slides.

Yale University professor Edward Tufte has become an outspoken critic of common elements of PowerPoint presentations, particularly because the medium encourages the oversimplification of facts through the use of bullet points. Charts and other graphics commonly minimize detail for readability, and the limited templates in PowerPoint tend to make meetings and presentations boring and homogenized, while at the same time consuming the attention of the audience rather than focusing it on the speaker and the message.

Competition for PowerPoint

By the release of Office v.X in 2002, PowerPoint had fallen into a rut; neither it nor the Office 2003 version for Windows really offered anything new. In 2003, Apple released Keynote as its own new presentation tool. In addition to more sophisticated graphics and text editing tools, Keynote also revamped the overall interface.

It added a mini slide preview in a sidebar that supported drag and drop reordering of slides, as well as segment grouping features using indented slide sections that could be hidden using disclosure triangles. Hidden groups of slides are skipped during the presentation.

Keynote also exposed the advanced features of Mac OS X's Quartz Graphics to make it easy to create soft drop shadows and use free rotation, image masks, translucency, and reflections on placed objects, as well as enabling advanced transition effects between slides. It also presented automatic positioning guidelines to make it easier to center or align text and graphics on the slide. With a second display attached to a laptop, the presenter could also direct their presentation to a projector while watching a presentation timer, reading notes, and seeing a preview of the next slide on their main screen.

Following the release of Keynote 1.0, Microsoft dramatically improved PowerPoint in Office 2004. However, some of the matched features of Keynote were constrained by other factors related to Office. For example, while PowerPoint 2004 added soft drop shadows like Keynote's, they weren't compatible with the Windows version of PowerPoint. Microsoft also added a hundred new template designs and more transitions in PowerPoint 2004, although these were far simpler than the smaller number of professional designs Apple included with Keynote.

Since the release of Office 2004, Apple has introduced three more revisions of Keynote. The latest added nine new themes, voice over narration features, motion path animations, Smart Builds for automatically adding animation to photos, new text and transition effects, and the Instant Alpha tool for extracting backgrounds from photos.

On page 2 of 3: New in PowerPoint 2008: User Interface; PowerPoint Templates; PowerPoint Transitions; PowerPoint Tables; and PowerPoint Charts.

New in PowerPoint 2008: User Interface

In Office 2008, Microsoft catches up with more of the features of Keynote, including alignment guides that appear when you reposition objects, and a mini-view sidebar presentation of slides in your document. There is still no grouping or sorting feature within the sidebar however. Rather than offering five different view modes, the new PowerPoint has simplified things down to three: Normal View (below), Slide Sorter, and Slide Show. Slide Sorter presents a light table view for rearranging slides, and Slide Show plays the presentation.



The Outline and Slide view are now gone; they simply presented Normal View without the notes and sidebar. Users can now manually slide the notes section out of view and click the close box to dismiss the sidebar. Unlike Keynote, the new PowerPoint sidebar dynamically scales the mini slide icons as it is resized. It also preserves the former outline view that depicts slides with a generic icon and a text label. The new sidebar isn't yet working correctly, as the slide selected in the sidebar isn't always updated in the main slide display (above).



Keynote presents the sidebar slide views in one of three set sizes selected using a control at the bottom of the sidebar (above). The View drop down menu (below) presents both view modes for selecting between normal Navigator mode, the legacy Outline text view, a Slide Only view, and a Light Table view that works like PowerPoint's Slide Sorter. Keynote has less need for the Light Table view, because you can reorder visible slides by drag and drop right from the sidebar. In the new PowerPoint 2008, you can now do that too.



In the place of Office 2008's Elements Gallery dentures, Keynote displays a strip of functional contextual editing features called the Format Bar just under the Toolbar. Keynote's View menu (above) also presents controls to showing rulers, displaying the Format Bar, displaying presenter notes, displaying sticky comment notes, and showing Master Slides. The latter option puts Master Slides into the sidebar above the slides in your presentation.

PowerPoint Templates

As with Word and Excel, PowerPoint uses the Elements Gallery to present templates (below). In PowerPoint, the Gallery is orange. As with Excel, this can be turned off for a more basic grey appearance. The first tooth of the Gallery is Slide Themes, which presents four dozen different starting points. Selecting a theme changes all the slides in your document, but there is apparently a way to have multiple themes, as it also presents a selection of "Themes in Presentation."



The second tooth is Slide Layouts (below), which presents a variety of layouts based on the chosen theme. Two radio buttons allow you to select between imposing the layout on the selected slide, or adding a new slide to the presentation using the selected layout.



In Keynote, template themes are selected from the opening menu just like Pages or Numbers. A Keynote theme is more than just a background gradient and some placeholder text boxes. Each involves a strong overall design across a series of Master Slides. Unlike PowerPoint, when you select a theme from the Toolbar menu (below), it only changes the slides you have selected in the sidebar, allowing you to mix together themes within the same document.



The Theme Chooser (below) gives you a closer look at the theme choices, and allows you to select the slide size. This chooser can be used to apply a theme to all of the slides in a presentation, or just to a selected group. Additional changes to the document's page layout and slide size are done using the inspector panel.



The Masters menu in the Toolbar presents a selection of alternative layouts related to both the currently selected theme as well as some generic unthemed pages.



PowerPoint Transitions

The Transitions tooth in the Gallery presents a series of fades, wipes, cube turns and other styles of slide transitions (below). You are supposed to select a slide and then pick a transition, but selected transitions don't seem to stick once applied. To see what the transition looks like, you have to switch to Slide Show mode and play the presentation. To change the attributes of the transition, you have to use a modal Transition Options window brought up from the Options button in the Gallery.



In Keynote, slide transitions are configured in the Slide panel of the Inspector, where a preview shows how the actual slide will look with that transition applied. It also offers more customization tools, in addition to offering more professional looking transition options.



PowerPoint Tables

The Gallery also offers a huge selection of tables to choose from, but they're all just simple tables in loud primary colors. Rather than paging through nearly a hundred table styles, it would be nice to just insert a table and then be able to add formatting themes to it. The "Best Match for Document" selection seems like a joke (below). Once you pick out a table style, editing it to fit your document is clumsy and difficult, and the Formatting Palette is as awkward here as it is in other Office apps.



In Keynote, editing a table is as easy as adding one with a click on the Toolbar and then formating it as desired. By default, the table is formatted to fit your theme, but you can edit borders, background fills, add alternating row colors and define headers and footers.



You can also add cell formatting, conditional formatting (which changes the format relative to the cell values), and insert basic spreadsheet formulas. Keynote's tables features were the reason so many people were predicting a spreadsheet product in iWork. Keynote's tables are not just smart, they also easy to attractively format and customize.



PowerPoint Charts

The Gallery offers the same selection of charts as noted in Excel. As was the case with Word, attempts to insert a chart actually launch Excel, but it then crashes, so this feature isn't yet ready (below). It also seems like overkill to launch Excel just to insert a chart.



Keynote doesn't launch Numbers, it just inserts a chart of the type you select from the Charts menu in the Toolbar. You can then enter values using a Chart Data Editor and then customize the chart with the powerful but simple and easy to understand editing tools in the Chart Inspector panel. You can also drag and drop color finishes on chart objects using Chart Colors to present eye catching visuals.



On page 3 of 3: SmartArt Graphics; Object Animation; PowerPoint Speaking Presentation; File Output; and PowerPoint vs Keynote.

SmartArt Graphics

The Gallery of every new Office app includes SmartArt Graphics, but they're best suited to use in PowerPoint. These graphics are intended to make it easy to lay out automated designs that the user can edit using a panel control. This process SmartArt graphic (below) allows you to add or remove graphical bullet points, automating the process of drawing arrows between them and laying the items in space.



The labels of a SmartArt Graphic are configured using a translucent panel with rounded corners and a gradient ball that acts as its resize widget (above). Translucent panels are only supposed to be used in applications that present documents full screen mode, not within normal Aqua windows. Why Microsoft decided to camp it up with a fat margin, round corners, and amateur looking non-standard widgets might never be known to the public. These odd aberrations appear throughout Office 2008. Closing the panel makes it slurp into the calculator icon attached to the bright blue frame around the SmartArt object.

Using the SmartArt Graphics Styles in the Formatting Palette (below), you can apply predefined color swatches and effect styles to the items to render different effects. Here are three versions of the same item, with different colors and effects applied. SmartArt seems like a good way to offer non-technical, art-challenged users an easy way to present their ideas graphically without much effort.



Keynote doesn't offer a comparable graphic-set automation, so laying out the same designs would require more imagination and effort. At the same time, the SmartArt items all pretty much look like editable clip art, so loading up a presentation with them will quickly make it appear canned and boring. Outside of the Graphic Styles supplied, there are not obvious ways to really customize them to look original.

Object Animation

Items on a PowerPoint slide can be assigned an animation using the Custom Animation tab in the Formatting Palette. You can apply a separate entrance effect such as fade or fly in, an emphasis effect such as shimmer or blink, and a similar exit effect. Additionally, audio and video clips can be assigned to play in a given order. This results the familiar PowerPoint-style presentation with timed fly-in items and bouncing titles.



Keynote refers to animations as builds (the term used by professional animators). Editing builds is similar to transitions. Using the Builds panel, you can select any element on the slide and assign it one of a series of professional looking effects similar to those found in Apple's Motion (below). This makes it easy to create text with letters that appear to be hammered out by typewriter, or to remove text using flames, an explosion of sparks, or other effects.

Build In brings objects into the slide, Build Out pulls objects off, and Action Builds animate an object within the slide. An Action Build can move an object along a straight or bezier path, rotate it, scale it up or down in size or translucency, or apply a combination of factors over a given time duration to created more sophisticated build actions.



PowerPoint Speaking Presentation

In Office 2008, PowerPoint gets an enhanced full screen presentation mode with a clock that can be used for timing during rehearsal.



Keynote provides a similar layout, with notes, slides, a clock, and a timer that can all be customized in size and position to suit the presenter (below).



File Output

PowerPoint allows you to save presentations as a QuickTime movie, as a PDF, as a series of JPEG, PNG or other graphic files, or as a standard document in one of the several PowerPoint formats. It warns you that some transitions do not translate into saved movie files, and that animation effects are not preserved at all. It's not difficult to figure out how to get documents out of PowerPoint, but the settings are not exactly elegant.

Keynote exports to the same formats, but offers more options. QuickTime movies preserve animations and can use interactive hyperlinks for navigation. It can save back to both earlier versions of Keynote and PowerPoint, as well as a PDF document with or without notes, a series of image files, an Adobe Flash movie (Pages 08 comically still refers to Flash as a Macromedia product), a series of web pages, or for automated export to an iPod.



Neither PowerPoint (below top left) nor Keynote (below top right) use the standard print dialog, so both miss out on the new automatic print preview available to applications in Mac OS X Leopard (below bottom).





PowerPoint vs Keynote

While PowerPoint is the weakest link in Office, Keynote is the most mature component of iWork. Both Excel and Word offer significant features missing from Numbers and Pages, but it's hard to suggest PowerPoint is even in the running against Keynote. Its graphics presentation tools are weak and the majority of settings are presented in modal windows that make editing settings a blindly frustrating effort. How would one adjust brightness in a photo using a modal window (below) that provides no feedback to the picture while editing it? The same problem looms for every other control nestled in that window and every other modal window in Office. These settings all obviously beg for a non-modal inspector panel. Office 2008 seems to repeatedly compensate for its user interface weaknesses by layering on multiple coats of makeup that only serve to make it look less professional.



While a dedicated PowerPoint user could probably eventually deliver many of the effects possible in Keynote, doing so would be far more work and a lot less pleasant. The templates in PowerPoint are anemic and simplistic, the editing tools are spotty and limited, and the application seems intent on forcing you to make use of canned ideas rather that providing you the tools to actually create your own projects.

Keynote not only offers a great selection of powerful tools to create graphical compositions with functional tables, smart looking charts, and professional transitions and animations, but also presents them in an intuitive, simple layout that unleashes creative ideas quickly. You don't select from a handful of predictable and expected effects and then apply a set list of colors; instead you just have smart tools at your disposal that make your work faster. Some examples are the new Instant Alpha for erasing backgrounds, Smart Builds that use drop zones to quickly define sharp animation effects, and the intelligent masking and image adjustment tools for photos.

Like Excel, PowerPoint does not support live window dragging. Even more problematic, the text and graphical objects presented on a slide don't support live dragging. Instead, when you drag an object, you get an outline box, and the object doesn't redraw until you drop it. This is just bizarre for any application running on Mac OS X, but particularly for PowerPoint, given that its entire purpose is to create graphical compositions. Rather than looking exciting and interesting, the new PowerPoint in particular looks like a reheated application salvaged from the late 90s and in need of a complete overhaul. That's bad news considering that this "new version" of Office is supposed to be a fresh reworking of Office for the Mac.

It really looks like Microsoft should just dump PowerPoint and consider other components it could build from scratch for Leopard, similar to FileMaker's new Bento effort. It appears that PowerPoint has survived mainly to carry on the Office brand, but no amount of marketing can float a really bad product. Microsoft should rework its development efforts to deliver a fast, functional version of Word and Excel on the Mac that work as well as the Windows versions, and bury PowerPoint alongside File, FoxPro, Vizact, and Bob.

Apple's iWork '08 suite, which includes Keynote 4.0, is available from Amazon.com for $69.99, an 11 percent savings. Amazon is also offering instant savings on pre-orders of the various Office 2008 for Mac bundles.

Don't forget to check out our previous Road to Office 2008 installments:
Road to Mac Office 2008: an introduction
Road to Mac Office 2008: installation and interface
Road to Mac Office 2008: Word '08 vs Pages 3.0
Road to Mac Office 2008: Excel '08 vs Numbers 1.0
post #2 of 35
I can't tell you the number of times we've gone into an interview for a potential architectural project and that Keynote presentation put us over the other interviewers because of the WOW factor Keynote brings over PowerPoint.
post #3 of 35
Keynote 4 kicks Powerpoint's ass!!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #4 of 35
I really wish Apple would make a free downloadable Keynote player application for Windows. Or even better, make a special output format that is a self-playing application on any computer without the Keynote app. They don't need to port the entire app, necessarily; just give presenters a way to play their keynote files on a PC natively. I know you can export to Quicktime or PDF, or translate to PowerPoint. I'm talking about preserving all the functionality of the presentation without translation at all.

99.9999% of the time I take my own laptop for every presentation I do. But there are those times where there are multiple presenters, and you're forced by the lame audio/visual guy to use a shared PC. It would be great if there were a way to just play any presentation on any machine.
post #5 of 35
I use Keynote whenever possible, which is to say whenever I have control over the presentation environment. But I need to import/export from/to PowerPoint SEAMLESSLY when I have no control over the projector-computer or when I'm collaborating with Windows colleagues. Same goes for Word and Excel. I'd love to trust iWork to import/export, but minor quirks always seem to arise, which leads to frustruation both for me and for my Windows colleagues. So in the absence of PERFECT import/export, I really need MS to keep a Mac version of PowerPoint. Its Increasingly redundant with iWork, but interoperability is so critical that I feel best with both suites available.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

I really wish Apple would make a free downloadable Keynote player application for Windows. Or even better, make a special output format that is a self-playing application on any computer without the Keynote app. They don't need to port the entire app, necessarily; just give presenters a way to play their keynote files on a PC natively. I know you can export to Quicktime or PDF, or translate to PowerPoint. I'm talking about preserving all the functionality of the presentation without translation at all.

99.9999% of the time I take my own laptop for every presentation I do. But there are those times where there are multiple presenters, and you're forced by the lame audio/visual guy to use a shared PC. It would be great if there were a way to just play any presentation on any machine.

This a great idea, but I think there would be some graphical limitations on the Windows side like not having the Quartz graphics capabilities that OSX has. In the meantime, why don't you bring an A/B VGA switcher with you and you can have the "lame" AV guy switch to your Mac when it's your turn to present. (Posted by a "lame" AV guy)

As for the article, it's nice to see some coverage of PowerPoint 2008, because (as most PPT users on a Mac) I need to use PPT to collaborate within corporate environments with users who are on Windows. While I agree Keynote is a great program, this article is unfortunately very slanted toward keynote and bashing PPT. It does very little to address the real reason for the existence of PPT on the Mac, which is to collaborate with PPT users on Windows. From what I can see, they have made PPT on the Mac more like PPT on Windows, which I applaud. The more seamless it is when compared to windows the better for me. Like the article says, if you want something "better", get Keynote.
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by posner View Post

I use Keynote whenever possible, which is to say whenever I have control over the presentation environment. But I need to import/export from/to PowerPoint SEAMLESSLY when I have no control over the projector-computer or when I'm collaborating with Windows colleagues. Same goes for Word and Excel. I'd love to trust iWork to import/export, but minor quirks always seem to arise, which leads to frustruation both for me and for my Windows colleagues. So in the absence of PERFECT import/export, I really need MS to keep a Mac version of PowerPoint. Its Increasingly redundant with iWork, but interoperability is so critical that I feel best with both suites available.

EXACTLY. Now whenever I have to make a presentation in an only PC setting, the only solution is exporting to Powerpoint in my Mac and then adjusting all the quirks. I hope this gets fixed. It´s always easier to carry a pen drive than haul and connect a Macbook.
post #8 of 35
I don't know how you could write this historical article without a mention of Aldus Persuasion. It was the "defacto standard" presentation (slide) program, for Mac and Windows years before Power Point came along and continued to be until the demise of Aldus.

Old & Retired Graphic Artist
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal 9000 View Post

EXACTLY. Now whenever I have to make a presentation in an only PC setting, the only solution is exporting to Powerpoint in my Mac and then adjusting all the quirks. I hope this gets fixed. It´s always easier to carry a pen drive than haul and connect a Macbook.

This is a problem for me too.

But I don't think there can ever be a perfect import/export with another program. And exporting to quicktime just isn't good enough. A better solution would be to create a Keynote player for windows.

And how about this: A Keynote player for iPhone.
post #10 of 35
Error bars!

There is one segment that will never be able to leave powerpoint unless these are enabled in keynote and that's the scientific community. I'm a grad student working on my PhD and when I wrote my MS presentation I used keynote and then had to export to powerpoint and fix quirks. This was back when keynote was a stand alone app and was a royal pain.

Thesis presentations, National & Regional society meetings, Journal Club presentations, Seminars, Committee meetings, Research Reports, etc. all of these require presenting research data with error bars. Otherwise the data needs to be presented as a table which is virtually impossible to read fast enough on screen.

I can't stand using powerpoint to create a presentation (a stand alone app just to edit charts?! RIDICULOUS!), but it's easier to fight with powerpoint than to create the presentation in keynote, and then export it and fight with powerpoint on the mac, then load the presentation on a PC and fix more errors. This is quite literally the only feature preventing me from using keynote for more than my limited teaching responsibilities. If it was instituted I'd only need powerpoint when submitting presentations for some scientific meetings.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panolo View Post

I don't know how you could write this historical article without a mention of Aldus Persuasion. It was the "defacto standard" presentation (slide) program, for Mac and Windows years before Power Point came along and continued to be until the demise of Aldus.

Old & Retired Graphic Artist


Ditto
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panolo View Post

I don't know how you could write this historical article without a mention of Aldus Persuasion. It was the "defacto standard" presentation (slide) program, for Mac and Windows years before Power Point came along and continued to be until the demise of Aldus.

Old & Retired Graphic Artist

I am with you on that. And I'll bet you were a Pagemaker guy too.

By the way, Edward Tufte used Persuasion too. (http://5f06e5334a111530fee8ef15b4e3b....ศ.+2442)
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by crmarvin42@mac.com View Post

Error bars!

Yup, it's absolutely inexplicable. It really can't be that hard to do either. I've never seen them required for presentations (what field is it and how do they enforce that?), but it's at least a de facto standard in most fields.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by crmarvin42@mac.com View Post

Error bars!

But who retypes their data into a table in Powerpoint/Keynote? If you are a researcher you obviously have the data (and accompanying graph) in some other format: just export that to PDF and drag it into Keynote.

That's not to say that both Keynote and especially Numbers couldn't use Error Bar support, but it's hardly a reason to be forced to use Powerpoint.
post #15 of 35
I will agree the article is a bit strident in it's assessment of PowerPoint. While the lack of error bars on graphs in Keynote is a glaring weakness, Keynote is so much better that one issue is not even close to a deterrent for me. The simple truth is that Keynote simply destroys PowerPoint and many of the criticisms of PowerPoint are dead on the mark.

I am a university professor, and I live in Keynote. I've tried using PowerPoint, but it simply gets in my way instead of allowing me to create lectures to be the way I want them to be.

For example, in PowerPoint, I made a new template by changing the master slides such as the tab spacing, and saved it as a stationary document so I can just pull copies off to make new lectures. I do my lectures in outline format, which requires I change the bullet number from slide to slide to make the points sequential across slides.

When I create a new slide in PowerPoint, it starts the bullet numbering at the beginning and then I have to change the numbering by hand. However, doing so causes the tab spacing back to the default PowerPoint uses (despite I've set it to what I want it to be in the master slides).

Now I have to go and reset the tab spacing on every new slide I make, even though the master already has the spacing I want, but PowerPoint decides it knows better than I do what tab spacing I want in my text. Individually, this only takes a minute or two per slide. But, for each lecture, I do 20 - 30 slides, which translates to an extra 30 - 60 minutes worth of work per lecture just because I have to fight with PowerPoint. I do four lectures per week, so PowerPoint is costing me four hours of extra work per week. That is absolutely unacceptable, and Keynote has absolutely no problems like that.

Keynote lets me do things the way I want to do them, and when I make a master it respects the decisions I make about how that master sets the formatting for slide I make in my lecture that are based on it when I make changes to the individual slide. PowerPoint tells me I have to do things the way Billy G and Sweaty Steve say I should do them, and that is absolutely and completely unacceptable.

Compared to Keynote, PowerPoint looks like a flashlight held up to a ViewMaster.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panolo View Post

I don't know how you could write this historical article without a mention of Aldus Persuasion. It was the "defacto standard" presentation (slide) program, for Mac and Windows years before Power Point came along and continued to be until the demise of Aldus.

Not forgetting Harvard Graphics which pre-dates both.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

This is a problem for me too.

But I don't think there can ever be a perfect import/export with another program. And exporting to quicktime just isn't good enough. A better solution would be to create a Keynote player for windows.

And how about this: A Keynote player for iPhone.

ABSOLUTELY!!!
post #18 of 35
Hey first time poster, long time reader.

Loving the series on Office 2008. I especially like how you are comparing it with iWork.

Just wonder issue with this article. You get a fact wrong. You state that you can not change a picture's brightness or contrasts or transparency except through a modal window. Let me ask, do you have the formatting palette open?

Cause in Office 2004 I can adjust multiple picture properties from the formatting palette, as well as in the beta of Office 2008 I downloaded.

I am sure there are plenty of settings buried in modal dialogs, but just saying that this isn't one of them. All the controls to adjust a picture are available via the formatting palette. And in 2008, it does live updating too!
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padriac View Post

But who retypes their data into a table in Powerpoint/Keynote? If you are a researcher you obviously have the data (and accompanying graph) in some other format: just export that to PDF and drag it into Keynote.

Not in my experience. Most people use the built-in graphing features for consistency - putting a graph from another program into presentation software just looks crappy. And most journals these days prefer tables over figures to save money, so it's not like people always have them available anyway.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
It really looks like Microsoft should just dump PowerPoint and consider other components it could build from scratch for Leopard, similar to FileMaker's new Bento effort. It appears that PowerPoint has survived mainly to carry on the Office brand, but no amount of marketing can float a really bad product. Microsoft should rework its development efforts to deliver a fast, functional version of Word and Excel on the Mac that work as well as the Windows versions, and bury PowerPoint alongside File, FoxPro, Vizact, and Bob.



Hahaha!!! That's great. Very funny. Obviously written by someone who doesn't work in the corporate or (U.S.) government worlds. MS needs to maintain PowerPoint on the Mac for one reason: to maintain compatibility with the Windows version of Office.

Keynote may be (and is) better for all the reasons cited, but PowerPoint rules the roost, and Mac users need PowerPoint to be able to collaborate with Windows using brethren. The import/export on Keynote is NOT 100%.

A comparison between Keynote and PowerPoint is great, but what about commenting on the parity and/or differences with the Windows version of PowerPoint? We all know the Mac is better at graphics jobs (with Quartz, Core Animation, etc.) and I would not expect PowerPoint to leverage all that goodness; but I DO want PowerPoint Mac to be 99.9% the same as PowerPoint Windows.

- Jasen.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Not in my experience. Most people use the built-in graphing features for consistency - putting a graph from another program into presentation software just looks crappy. And most journals these days prefer tables over figures to save money, so it's not like people always have them available anyway.

If you are a scientist and haven't quite figured it out yet, Illustrator is where all Excel or any other charts end up before going anywhere else (to Keynote, to the journal as an EPS file, etc.)

Once in Illustrator, you can edit whatever garbage Excel has added, remove the text, and simply cut and paste into Keynote. This will create a beautiful graph, with the correct text added in Keynote.

If you are using a dark background in Keynote, simply create a black background layer in Illustrator and then lock it. You can then edit the Illustrator figure before cutting/pasting - the transparency will follow with the clipboard.

Try it - science should be presented well, and there is never a need to use PowerPoint unless you are forced to.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfneuralnet View Post

If you are a scientist and haven't quite figured it out yet, Illustrator is where all Excel or any other charts end up before going anywhere else (to Keynote, to the journal as an EPS file, etc.)

Once in Illustrator, you can edit whatever garbage Excel has added, remove the text, and simply cut and paste into Keynote. This will create a beautiful graph, with the correct text added in Keynote.

If you are using a dark background in Keynote, simply create a black background layer in Illustrator and then lock it. You can then edit the Illustrator figure before cutting/pasting - the transparency will follow with the clipboard.

Try it - science should be presented well, and there is never a need to use PowerPoint unless you are forced to.

In my (10+ years) experience, most people use Powerpoint/Keynote for simple figures like bar and line charts and scatter plots. SPSS and excel produce graphs no better, and usually worse than Powerpoint/Keynote. And R is too complex for most people to use. But I suppose it depends on the field and the type of graph you want - obviously for very sophisticated graphs, you'll need something like R or a specialized graphing program.

In any case, there's no excuse for Keynote's lack of error bars.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

In any case, there's no excuse for Keynote's lack of error bars.

IMO, Keynote needs better integration with numbers. IIRC, graphs can't be imported into Keynote from Numbers. Why, I don't know.

The best solution would be one that allows for nice chart/graph composition in numbers and then easy importation into Keynote. IMO.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

I am with you on that. And I'll bet you were a Pagemaker guy too.

By the way, Edward Tufte used Persuasion too. (http://5f06e5334a111530fee8ef15b4e3b....ศ.+2442)

Before Persuasion, we used to build slides in PageMaker and Illustator (Quark hadn't surfaced yet, and not enough people used "Ready, Set, GO" to trust getting slides made from it). We had to pay a photo processing house to output them as 35mm slides. And cringe as we prayed our "drop shadows" wouldn't move all over the film, and fret over color banding in gradients. Or bad fonts, especially using symbols within text.

Then wait for the inevitable wake-up call that some Jr VP left the slide carousel on the plane somewhere, or dropped it and got the slides all out of order at the last minute. Somehow, that was MarCom's fault...

Persuasion was a godsend, and was far ahead of PowerPoint in the early days, but died because MS bundled "Power-lessPoint" with Office, and everybody wanted Word 6 and Excel over WP 5.2.

Harvard Graphics was anemic, and that presentation app that came with Lotus Office (FreeLance?) wasn't very special either.

It's funny how companies abandoned Adobe Persuasion for PowerPoint since it was free, and then wonder why it has always sucked.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal 9000 View Post

EXACTLY. Now whenever I have to make a presentation in an only PC setting, the only solution is exporting to Powerpoint in my Mac and then adjusting all the quirks. I hope this gets fixed. It´s always easier to carry a pen drive than haul and connect a Macbook.

What about saving your slides as a set of graphics, iPhoto 'em into an album, and then run a slide show from your iPod. Even have background music if you want. Transitions are limited, but it still looks better than a PPT. You can jump out to the sorter view and get to one or the other should follow-up Q&A require it. Easy to hook up to a projector with a video cable. I'm thinking the Touch should be killer for that application, cause you can even zoom in for detail if your need.

EDIT: Naturally, that won't help if you want a last minute change, but you're hosed there with just a file on a memory drive, too.

Of course I'd like a Keynote player for iPod/iPhone even better. Best of all, let me make typing edits on my iPod Touch/iPhone, too!
post #26 of 35
apple has better start getting serious about developing a real value proposition for the ipod ...

zune2 is actually not a big joke (unlike zune1); not to mention that htc and google dream phone and a few others are going to offer compettion in europe & _especially_ asia.

so the ipod needs a coherent plan (yes, i know: apple+coherence ... seems like an oxymoron).

and the focus of that plan must be interactive content!

* keynote is an obvious & glaring omission!

* cbt / especially language learning!

* shorthand note-taking

the ipod makes for a killer interactive (ESL) platform at a price-point that beats even the low-end laptop prices in asia! ... and besides, asia is a market where parents will pay serious money for anything with serious educational value.

not to mention the 100M tourists & students from north america & europe that are also engaging with other languages & cultures!

CAVEAT: apple is going to have to QUICKLY extend vox reco & tts (speech synthesis) to non-english languages in order to deal with the international language needs of mobile platforms!

apple said at wwdc that the new TTS engine in leopard does have hooks for other languages systems (besides english) ... but so far apple has made ZERO effort to hook up with the third-party speech technology companies to get them to re-target their products as plug-ins for this putatively extensible speech architecture (in leopard).

ONE MORE THING: the stylus.

yep, a stylus is unavoidable for certain classes of apps ...

* the whiteboarding/collaboration aspect of presentations (keynote <=> ichat)

* the obvious character-drawing aspect of second language learners!

* pitman shorthand for secretaries - plus other legal/medical/music notation systems

and no, a stylus does not undermine the 'finger' aspect of the iphone/itouch! -- it is a complement required for cursive script & for (non-zoom) gesturing.

moreover, apple has the opportunity to use the stylus in a novel way that adds value .... it could modify one of the existing special-purpose bluetooth 'digital pen' (eg the "annato" system) that can "write" in real ink on paper but transmit a digitized version of the pen motion back to an apple mobile device ....

by supporting some stylus facility in one of these digital pens, apple would have the complete solution for interactivity in a _small form-factor_ .... ie both speech in/out as well as complex pen input.

unfortunately, apple does not actively listen to its customers ... so we will never see any of these obvious "mac" features on an itouch or an iphone :-( ... and we can also recall steve jobs attitude to stylus input methods: in addition to the calamitous decision to cancel the newton (and then to remorsefully try to buy PALM), jobs dismissed the entire PDA effort as a waste of time ('at least with inkwell we finally got back something useful the newton').

... however, just as gps on the itouch/iphone would a hopeful sign that apple might be capable of learning from its mistakes, so i am not going to hold my breath for apple to "get it" about value-added services like presence-aware, language-savvy, interactive-oriented features.

sigh.
post #27 of 35
Whatever the reasons are that they don't include Vizio and Access aren't really all that important. None of this is really all of that critical, because I would wager that quite a few people run Fusion/Parallels just to get the "real" MS Office. Why?

It ain't for Vizio or Access. It's also not for Publisher, OneNote, or any of that other crap.

It's all about OUTLOOK. Repeat after me. I-t i-s a-l-l a-b-o-u-t O-U-T-L-O-O-K.

Entourage is the most ridiculous application I've ever used. It's a direct insult to Mac users. You might as well just use Apple Mail's IMAP client and avoid the annoying daemons and other overhead associated with Entourage. There is not real MAPI support in it. It is a bad product, including the 2008 betas I've seen.

At least one company has reverse-engineered MAPI to produce an Exchange server clone. If they can establish true white-room reverse engineering, Apple should buy them, and include Exchange server support in Apple Mail. Now. There's also an open source project, but it's barely off the ground.

What should be made very clear is this: Office is dominant because it has a critical mass of users, and it uses yet another new proprietary file format. Many people would use non-Office products if they could reliably open and use those documents in other products, especially free ones. But many of those people would still be stuck on Exchange server, just because so many companies use it and the investment is too huge just to throw away. Fine let them keep their easily corrupted JET p.o.s servers, but open it up!

If you free users from Outlook, you will free them from Office. If you free them from Office you will free them from Windows. Microsoft knows this, that's why you have .docx and that's why they don't have a real MAPI client on Mac.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

Before Persuasion, we used to build slides in PageMaker and Illustator (Quark hadn't surfaced yet, and not enough people used "Ready, Set, GO" to trust getting slides made from it). We had to pay a photo processing house to output them as 35mm slides. And cringe as we prayed our "drop shadows" wouldn't move all over the film, and fret over color banding in gradients. Or bad fonts, especially using symbols within text.

Then wait for the inevitable wake-up call that some Jr VP left the slide carousel on the plane somewhere, or dropped it and got the slides all out of order at the last minute. Somehow, that was MarCom's fault...

Persuasion was a godsend,

Did all that. Worse was the product manager that couldn't even spell his name.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

I really wish Apple would make a free downloadable Keynote player application for Windows. Or even better, make a special output format that is a self-playing application on any computer without the Keynote app. They don't need to port the entire app, necessarily; just give presenters a way to play their keynote files on a PC natively. I know you can export to Quicktime or PDF, or translate to PowerPoint. I'm talking about preserving all the functionality of the presentation without translation at all.

99.9999% of the time I take my own laptop for every presentation I do. But there are those times where there are multiple presenters, and you're forced by the lame audio/visual guy to use a shared PC. It would be great if there were a way to just play any presentation on any machine.

It's called QuickTime!

Just export to QuickTime and you can view the sideshow with full effects interactively! Click advancements and timing are preserved!
post #30 of 35
I've been using Keynote for about three weeks now, and I have to say that I am not "wow"ed. It's good eye-candy for sure and generates a few ooohs and aaahs (cool transitions, build-ins/-outs, action and such), but the bottom line is, I am finding it easier to create the basic version in PPT and import it into Keynote, do further edits, and present.

I am also disappointed by the clunky print feature (try printing in B&W by omitting background clutter, or, e.g., two slides to a page), its lack of ability to seamlessly export to PPT (e.g., even themes), the surprisingly pedestrian themes (and, as of writing, my relative lack of ease in being able to play around with its settings -- that could be because I have not looked at the manual, but then who has the time to do that; it should be obvious to do esp. seeing as it is from Apple), some MSFT-type labels (where the heck did they come up with "Inspector"), etc.

Overall, it is cute, it is a decent early effort, but not ready for prime time.

PS: Those of you that may have an answer to my printing-related question, could you please check http://discussions.apple.com/thread....01641&tstart=0 (thanks in advance if you can help resolve it).
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

I really wish Apple would make a free downloadable Keynote player application for Windows.

The must-have for Keynote is the ability to distribute decks to attendees after the presentation. That's standard procedure at our firm. Ideally I'd like to just be able to carry my iPhone or touch into a meeting, hook up to the projector via the dock connector, and afterwards have a way to distribute a self-contained deck.
Without that, I'm afraid I'm stuck with PP.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

IMO, Keynote needs better integration with numbers. IIRC, graphs can't be imported into Keynote from Numbers. Why, I don't know.

Uh, have you tried cutting and pasting???
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by vocaro View Post

Uh, have you tried cutting and pasting???

Yes, but why not have graphs and charts browse-able within keynote like photos, video and audio? Then give users the ability to edit within keynote. Maybe you might want to change the colors of a graph or background once you've brought it into KN. That would make the app better IMO.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Then give users the ability to edit within keynote. Maybe you might want to change the colors of a graph or background once you've brought it into KN. That would make the app better IMO.

Of course it would. I'd be very happy to see LinkBack support in Keynote, for example.

But you were talking about importing charts, not editing them. Importing is most definitely possible, and quite easily done.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Along the same lines, Marware's Project X (below) provides project management software compatible with Microsoft's Project files but developed specifically to take advantage of features in Mac OS X, leaving little demand for a Mac version of Project.

I can't believe reading this here! Did any real project manager worked with this app? It has errors in its calculations, it is slow and very hard to use. I tried it our a couple of times. It is unusable - especially in large projects.

If you want to know what I prefer? Merlin (http://www.merlin2.net) - this tool really rocks! V2.5 even in a network.
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