Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sharing Presentation Slides

After giving a presentation last night, I told a bunch of folks that I would post the slides... somewhere... and distribute the URL on a mailing list. Our Java User's Group is just getting started, so we don't have a way to post files yet. And I don't currently have any hosting space that would be appropriate. What a great excuse to look at some free presentation hosting services!

There are two that I really like: SlideShare and Scribd.

Both are easy to use, and of course you can tag and search. They both have great resolution in the online viewers. Some other services get jaggy letters and diagrams, probably from less sophisticated processing or just being more aggressive about compression.

I highly recommend SlideShare for situations where most people will be viewing the slides online. The default size is just right for embedding, and the "related slideshows" it recommended for me really were relevant. If it could import notes from presentations and export to PDF, it would be perfect.

Scribd is excellent when you expect most people to download or print a copy after they've browsed it online. It can export to multiple formats (including MP3!) and there's a convenient "Print" button. The embedded viewer (Macromedia Flash Paper) has some cool advanced features: zooming, search, copy to clipboard. It also does a nice job with word processing documents, which fall right into its sweet spot.

If you're curious, you can see how my presentation came out:

It's not an "apples to apples" comparison, since I uploaded the original ODP file (ODF Presentation, used by OpenOffice) to SlideShare and a PDF including the notes to Scribd.

This is a pretty useful way to share "traditional" documents. Are there systems out there that provide similar functionality within an intranet?

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