Often when a user creates a PowerPoint presentation, it is not solely intended to be shown in face-to-face meetings. Sometimes it will be necessary for the presentation to be archived and accessed remotely, and for those uses, audio and video are needed to put the slides in context.
Microsofts Producer plug-in for PowerPoint is a useful tool for creating rich-media presentations out of PowerPoint slides, making it a simple task to add audio and video to slides and to properly synchronize the content.
In tests of the beta of Producer 2003, which works with PowerPoint 2002 and 2003, I found many welcome new features that improve the capability and quality of rich presentations created with the tool.
Among the best new features are the synchronization capabilities, which allowed me to do a sort of virtual TelePrompTer while adding video and audio.
Editing the presentation was an intuitive process: Producers interface is very similar to that of Microsofts Movie Maker, and the tool can automatically create a number of formatted Web pages that show the slides and the associated video.
For more information on Producer 2003, go to www. microsoft.com/office/preview/editions/producer.asp.