Linux presentation software may not be ready for the desktop - Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

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Linux presentation software may not be ready for the desktop

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

A presentation I recently created for a project makes me think that current presentation software for Linux may not yet be mature enough even for basic desktop use.

I had to create a simple presentation with about 50 slides for later delivery in MS PowerPoint format. Just a slide show with one or more JPEG/GIF images and a title per slide, with occasional captions. I have a reasonably recent Linux distribution, Slackware 10.0.

The OpenOffice (I have version 1.1.3) presentation module has all the features I needed, including exporting to PowerPoint format, except one: OO Impress is unable to maintain an image aspect ratio while interactively resizing it. OpenOffice 2 apparently still has this limitation.

KPresenter (I have version 1.3.1 with KDE 3.2.3), the KOffice presentation application, does have this feature, but some bugs make its user interface a bit rough. KPresenter can export to OpenOffice 1.1.3 format. So my plan was to create the presentation with KPresenter anyway, move it to OpenOffice, and then generate the final PowerPoint file.

After putting together over 50 slides and about twice as many images, it finally came time to move the result to OpenOffice. But I realized that KPresenter does not include images when exporting to OpenOffice format. Ouch...

I hope aunt Tillie doesn't need to prepare presentations.

Copyright © 2005 by Paolo Amoroso

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