Slid.es for lightweight presentations
For a long time, PowerPoint was the unchallenged ruler of the presentation software roost. Things seem to be changing, though. Many Mac users prefer Apple’s Keynote software and the online tool Prezi is very popular among educators. All of those tools rely on proprietary formats that restrict the kinds of situations where presentations can be used – online, offline, laptop, mobile, etc. This article introduces you to a new tool that is a little trickier to use but very versatile.
The new WYSIWYG editor Slid.es (formerly rvl.io) can help you do all of this without the hassles of coding. I used it last month to create a presentation for a meeting and everything went fine. I built the slides on the screen, linked images to my Flickr space, and arranged the deck to my liking. Then I embedded the slide deck on a web page and presented it from my iPad.Viewing notes: to move forward, backward, up or down while watching a presentation click the on-screen arrows, swipe your tablet, or use keyboard arrow keys. Pressing ESC gives you an overview of the deck and lets you click the slide you’d like to see next.
Using a deck offline
It’s very easy to view your decks online. If you WANT to use a deck offline you’ll have to go through some extra steps:
- In Slid.es, open the deck you want to use, choose the “Export” option, and copy the code
- Open the index.html file in your favorite editor and replace the “slides” code block with what you just copied (the snippet below shows you where it goes)
- Edit the theme to match the “Style” you selected in Slide.es (see the stylesheets in the css/theme folder). Oddly, the “Quicksand” theme I chose uses a CSS file called “sky”:
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”css/theme/sky.css” id=”theme”>
- If you have images then download them and put them in a folder called “img”. Change the image links in the index file to something like “img/imageFileName.jpg”
The “Slides” section goes in this spot in the middle of the index.html document:
The folder should now contain everything you need to present a show – with or without an Internet connection. You can also upload the folder to a website. The size of my final folder, not counting images, was a whopping 520K. To get even smaller, eliminate the plugins and lib/font folders from the original framework. I have not (yet) found a way to save the folder on my iPad and play the presentation offline.
It’s not as tricky as it may sound. Honest! I’m no coding whiz and I was able to pull it off.