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September 17, 2007

Google Presentations Finally Launched

File manager

Google has finally released the presentation app. You can only import Microsoft PowerPoint files that have less than 10 MB and export a presentation as an HTML file with images. You can change the theme or the layout of a slide, but there aren't too many options available. There's also an option to create the first slide of a presentation from a document, but it only works for short documents.

Editing a presentation

The presentation can be shared with everyone and any viewer can follow the presenter or take control of the presentation. The preview includes a group chat feature based on Google Talk's gadget that shows the active collaborators and viewers. If all the viewers click on "View presentation", they can watch the presentation at the same time.

Viewing a presentation

To see a scrollable overview of all the slides in a presentation, check the "Printable view". It's also a way to search inside a presentation, but you can't go to a certain slide.

"As with its other applications, Google intends to add additional features, like customization for mobile screens and the ability to integrate files stored on remote servers," mentions InformationWeek. But for now, Google's new presentation app is pretty average: it doesn't have options for embedding, you can't export the presentation as a PowerPoint file, there's no option for adding transitions, notes, audio files or content from the web. Google Presentations' strongest point is collaboration, but it delivers far less than other online presentation apps.

"Presentations are a natural addition for Google Docs , as they are usually created with the intention of being shared. Web-based, collaborative presentations offer users much-needed relief from manually managing and compiling group members' input in separate attachments, and they make it possible for multiple users to view a set of slides while a moderator controls the presentation. Users will see that these features are still in simple, early stages; the Google Docs team is making them available today in response to strong user demand for presentation-sharing, and updates and improvements will continue to roll out over the coming months," explains Google.

It's also worth mentioning that the new member of the Google Docs family doesn't have a name and that Google Docs & Spreadsheets transformed into Google Docs.

The local copy of the presentation

Update: Here's an example of published presentation.

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