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article Getting the Most from PowerPoint - Package for CD Feature

Many business users familiar with Microsoft PowerPoint will value the ability to easily create slide shows for use in a whole range of situations: providing financial data to shareholders at an AGM, highlighting course content for participants undergoing health and safety training, or presenting key information on a product to a potential customer. Whilst this extremely useful software is commonly used in the business environment, the full potential is rarely unlocked by those users with only a basic understanding of PowerPoint.

Among the less well known features included is "Package for CD", known as "Pack and Go" in PowerPoint 2000 and prior versions. Using this tool the business user can package a presentation for distribution on CD or DVD along with all graphics, fonts and music as well as PowerPoint Viewer, guaranteeing that all the intended recipients will be able to view the slide show on their computer, even if they have not the full version of Microsoft PowerPoint.

The feature is launched by left clicking on the Office icon in PowerPoint and then selecting the "Publish" menu followed by "Package for CD". The user then has the possibility of naming the CD, adding or removing additional presentations to the package and determining the order in which the packaged slide shows will be played. By default PowerPoint Viewer is included in the packaged CD; the user is able to modify how the presentations will be played in the viewer. All linked files, such as graphics or Excel charts are also embedded into the package and the user can also ensure that the presentation will be displayed correctly on any computer by embedding any custom fonts utilised.

Package for CD also includes security options; passwords can be set to prevent unintended recipients from modifying or if necessary from opening the presentations and the files can be checked to prevent private or sensitive information, such as the author's name, being disclosed. Once finished, the packaged presentations can either be saved to a network drive for internal distribution or copied to a CD or a portable USB flash drive. To view the presentation the recipient simply inserts the CD and if Autorun is selected the presentation will automatically be launched. Alternatively by opening the CD or folder and right clicking on the PowerPoint file and selecting "Show" the presentation will be played.

By combining this feature with a thorough knowledge of slide show design acquired on an advanced PowerPoint training course, the user will become proficient in the production of professional presentations transforming PowerPoint into a potent tool for communicating messages to a business's stakeholders and consumers.

Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on advanced/powerpoint/training, please visit

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