Adobe launches free presentation tool

May 28, 2009 | 10:11

Tags: #adobe-labs #cloud-computing #flash-10 #microsoft-office #office #pdf #powerpoint #presentation

Companies: #adobe

If you've found yourself needing to make your point plainly obvious, but don't want to become a PowerPoint weenie, Adobe might have just the thing in its new web-based presentation offering.

As reported over on CNet, the company is offering an experimental collaborative presentation package via its Adobe Labs testing ground. While the package – dubbed Presentations – is still a little basic, it's just the thing for the student in a hurry – especially if you don't want to shell out for a license for the de-facto standard Microsoft Office suite.

Designed around Adobe's Flash technology, the entirely web-based suite – which joins the company's existing Buzzword wordprocessor and cut-down online version of Photoshop – offers most of the basic features you might require from a presentation package, including pre-defined colour sets, the ability to import your own images, and in-built tools to create diagrams and flowcharts.

The main thrust of the experiment, however, lies in its collaborative nature: Adobe is proud of its “simultaneous editing capabilities” which allow multiple users to edit the same presentation without locking each other out. While making changes to the same slide as another user is perhaps unlikely to end well, Adobe claims that features built in to the application “make it easy to see who has access to the presentation, who is viewing, who is editing and which slide each person is editing.

Once a presentation has been completed, it can be saved online or exported as a PDF format file, meaning that should the service go down you won't lose access to your carefully crafted slideshows.

The Presentations package is freely available, although you will need the latest version of Adobe's Flash installed – plus Adobe Reader or a similar PDF viewer if you want to make use of your files offline.

Is this indicative of the future of office applications, or is there still a lot to be said for the power of an offline office suite? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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