Creating a presentation

There are three ways to create a new presentation:

  • Start with a pre-designed template and then customize this with your own text, photos and color scheme.
  • Create a presentation from scratch, bringing in all the required elements, text, graphics and photos onto the page and ordering the content into the presentation steps and pages you require.
  • Convert an existing website/web document into a presentation.

Creating a presentation from templates

Open Elements - "File" > "New from Elements".

Find the Presentations folder in the catalog and double click to expand it.

The theme folders contain collections of presentation designs and associated graphic files that each follow a specific theme. Browse through the various theme folders until you find a design you like and double click on the first thumbnail, named 'Presentation'.

A new presentation document opens displaying all the template pages, already populated with several pages, each containing a number of presentation steps that already have content. A number of transitions have already been applied to the pages and the steps.

Click Preview whole website to open a preview window - then click on one of the browser icons in the top right of the window to launch an external browser. You need to preview your presentations in a separate web browser to see the transition animations perform well. You can then use the arrows in the top left of the presentation (or on your keyboard) to see the steps and transitions in action. Also try moving the mouse pointer to the lower left corner of the Presentation preview windows to see the pop-up navigation controls.

Close the preview.

Customize the text and photos using your own content, just as when editing a website document.

Creating your own presentation from scratch

This section describes the best workflow for creating a presentation page by taking you through an example, to help you get started quickly.

Choose "New" > "Presentation (Widescreen)" or "New" > "Presentation (4:3 Normal)" from the File menu depending on whether you want a widescreen (16:10) presentation, or a normal (4:3) presentation.

Note: 16x10 is a better compromise for some wide-screen monitors and tablets that are not exactly 16:9, and it's not so squashed. But you can create any aspect ratio you require of course.

A new blank document window opens, displaying the presentation document icon on its tab at the top of the document window.

The Presentation Toolbar also appears at the right end of the top bar. The buttons on the toolbar are enabled only when you have something selected on the page.

  1. Use the Text Tool to add some text to your blank presentation, perhaps a heading at the top of the page. Select this text object using the Selector Tool and look at the status line at the bottom of the Designer window.  It will say that you have a text object selected on the MouseOff layer. Everything on the MouseOff layer will be permanently visible in your presentation, as if it's part of the background. So preview your page and you'll see your text heading on the page.
  2. Now add another new text object using the Text Tool. Again, this will be placed on the MouseOff layer and the status line will show you this when you select it with the Selector Tool. But now let's make this text appear as the first step in this presentation.
  3. With the text selected in the Selector Tool, click the 'foot' button, which is the first button on the Presentation Toolbar, called Make new step. Now look at the status line – it now shows that the selected object is on "Presentation step 1" instead of MouseOff.
  4. Preview the page again. Initially you can see only your initial text heading. Press the right arrow key on your keyboard and the second text object will fade in. That's the first step added to your presentation!
  5. Step 1 is now the current step, so if you draw another shape or add some new text, it will also be placed on step 1. Draw a rectangle using the Rectangle Tool. Select it with the Selector Tool and notice that the status line shows the rectangle as being on Presentations step 1 which is also the current step.
  6. Preview your page again and you'll see that when you click the right arrow key, the text and rectangle fade in together.
  7. A quick way to create a new step from an existing step is to use the Duplicate step button. Select the rectangle and press this button. The entire step is duplicated, including the text that you didn't select, but which was on step 1 along with the rectangle. Select the new text or rectangle and the status line shows you it's on a new presentation step. The new step now becomes the current step - Presentation step 2, and any objects you now create will be added to that step.
  8. If you want to move an object to another step, right click on it and you'll see a Presentation sub-menu in the context menu that appears. That sub-menu itself has a Move to step sub-menu, that lists all the existing steps on this page. Just select the required step. There's also a New step option in the menu, that does the same thing as the Make new step button you used above.
  9. You can change the effect used by each step easily. Select one of the rectangles you just added and then press the last button on the Presentation Toolbar titled Step transition effect. This brings up a dialog that allows you to select a different transition instead of the default "fade" transition. Choose Slide in from right. Preview your page again and this time when you press the right arrow key the text and rectangle slide in from the right.
  10. If you decide that you want an object to be permanently visible, instead of part of a step, select it and choose the Move to background button on the Presentation toolbar. That puts the object back on the MouseOff layer. Try this on one of the objects you placed on a step.
  11. Elements includes some useful components for presentations, under "Presentations" > "Presentation Components". Just drag and drop a component onto your page. Each component is added to the current step. If that's not what you want, use the presentation menu to move it to a different step, or to the background (MouseOff) layer. (Note that the Headings and Transition Controls components are always added to the MouseOff/Background layer).
  12. Remember as described above, the Page & Layer Gallery shows you all the presentation steps on your page, in order, since each presentation step is in fact just a separate layer. And only the current step and steps below/before it are shown on the canvas.

Converting an existing website into a presentation

In the website document, right click a page and choose Web page properties to display the Web Properties dialog.

Click the Website tab and click the Presentation website checkbox to select it.

The document's tab at the top of the workspace displays the presentation document icon.

Note: Layers within the document are not automatically turned into presentation steps when you turn a website into a presentation. You have to manually convert each layer into a presentation step. However, when you turn a presentation into a website, presentation steps are automatically converted to layers and renamed 'step 1' etc.


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