Tips and Tricks for Presentation Software

There's no one "right answer" on which software you should use to deliver your presentation. In fact, maybe you don't even need to use presentation software at all! Below are a few of my favourite "things you never knew about your software" tips and tricks.

reveal.js

Available on: any OS that can run a local web server (presentation delivered through a browser); if you have any internet connection, you can also upload your slides and deliver them from the web.

  • Presentation notes are not reliable. Sometimes they freeze and get out of sync. Generally this doesn't happen, but I would not yet trust it enough to give very high pressure presentations where I needed to have the speaker notes available to me.

Keynote

Available on: OS X. Notes as of version 6.5.3.

  • The "outline" view will accept a paste of text from an outside application. This means you can write an outline in Markdown or OmniOutliner or whatever, and then paste this into the "outline" view to create a series of slides.
  • Any customisations you add to your presenter display are ONLY available from your computer. There does not seem to be a way to export this information, so if you are not presenting on your computer, you will not have the presenter display apply your settings.
  • If you paste a 4:3 slide into a 16:9 presentation, the software will crash if you try to use the arrow keys to run the presentation (bug has been reported to Apple).

LibreOffice

Available on: Linux, OS X, Windows. Notes as of version 4.2.8.2.

  • Presentations are a package of zipped files. If you unzip the files, you can easily retrieve asset images from the presentation without having to screenshot the slide.