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Building Presentations for Distribution to Others

If you're making a PowerPoint presentation that you intend to distribute to lots of different people, here are some important things to watch out for that will cause problems:

  1. Stick with the fonts that come installed with Windows; Fancy fonts that appear on your machine will cause problems if everyone else doesn't have them.
  2. Avoid embedding sounds and videos: these will not go from Mac to Windows gracefully, and you have to be very careful about how you insert the files in order to get them to "travel" properly. See the FAQ section for more information on this.
  3. Design the presentation on the lowest version that you think might be in use. For example, if you want the presentation to be able to be viewed by Mac users (who may not have upgraded to the latest version), you will want to design your presentation in PowerPoint 4.0. If you don't have PowerPoint 4, then you'll want to save your presentation in the lowest format you think people will have. For cross-platform distribution, 4.0 is still your safest bet; for Windows-only distribution, save to PowerPoint 95. When you down-rev save, be prepared for some visual changes in your file--the previous version may not support some of the features you've put in, so be sure to sanity check your file on several different machines and versions BEFORE you distribute it!
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