Thursday, June 25, 2009
I had started a blog under separate cover about the glories of Keynote - the relatively new Apple software, now in Version 2, that really takes a run at PowerPoint for the presentation software crown. It does an exceedingly good job at dethroning Microsoft Office for a variety of uses. When you have data, and want to demonstrate insight, nothing helps like good, solid visuals.
Keynote typifies what I like about the Mac platform (I work in both Windows and Mac) - fewer clicks, and features that have you slap your forehead and say, "Well that's just genius - and so obvious a feature to have!"
Twitter has become part of our toolbox - it can and often is a surprise how connected people are on this network. It may not be highly adopted (perhaps 5% of online users), but it certainly comprises an audience of early movers and opinion-shapers.
A not entirely unrelated story about an e-Bay auction: Twitter was one of the channels I used to publicize an auction for an old crew jacket I had in the closet - the 1990's CGI animated series 'ReBoot'. Expecting about $60, I pulled up the finished auction and hit the 'refresh' button on my browser - that couldn't be right - $700 U.S.!
Experiments like these give us a whole new appreciation for - experiments! We've determined the clickthroughs and sources for this 'campaign' and are darned sure to be testing similar tactics for our customers!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Well, this week has been a head-turner!
I have mad skillz with PowerPoint, but I'll tell you, this week, working with Keynote, is turning me into a convert.
With a bit of ingenuity, the feature set of Keynote just slams PPT.
First off, creating a large presentation with many, many charts - I am able to copy a chart format and apply it to other charts in the series. Oh, and I can do this with multiple sets of charts - assigning each a new master.
The drag-and-drop functionality just continues to stun me.
Beyond dragging and dropping colours, I can reorder data in charts by ... dragging the columns instead of using my math PhD (not) to figure out how to convince Excel to do the same re-ordering.
When it comes to projecting a show - the presenter console is wicked.
Sure, with PowerPoint, I get the clock, the thumbnails ... but with Keynote I can customise this to suit me, dragging things around, resizing them, turning them on and off.
What gets me is that these features might be in PowerPoint, but I'm a power user and I haven't noticed them. I would have to dig and discover ... and maybe do a search.
Microsoft - your profit has dropped for the first time in 23 years - interested in listening to some suggestions about ... simplifying?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The Mac has a native application in iWork, its office suite, called Keynote.
It is most 'famous' for being the presentation software that everyone thought was PowerPoint in the movie "An Inconvenient Truth". Al Gore toured with his laptop and would update his presentation on the road as he travelled, so the story goes.
Now, what you see in the documentary may be one of Keynote's big selling points - it tends to look fluid, simple, and almost cinematic.
The big question becomes, what do you want to do with your tool?
PowerPoint has an enormous installed base - most Windows office machines, and a good proportion of Mac machines running Microsoft Office. So if interoperability is what you want - PowerPoint is a good first choice.
Just watch out for the different PowerPoint versions - you'll suddenly be knee-deep in right-clicks if you start mixing versions and charts.
I have to vote (with some reservations) that if you want elegance, Keynote has an edge. As a relatively new Mac user, I have come to appreciate the clicks I don't have to make on a Mac.
Usability, (once you get used to the different conventions) is greater on Keynote. To change the colour of a chart series in Powerpoint:
- Click on the chart- click again (carefully) to select the data series- select the Fill Tool- select a colour fro the main or sub-menus
To change the colour of a chart series in Keynote:
:have the Colour Inspector open- drag the colour you want over the data series and drop it!
In the first round - there you have it. A standalone show does well on Keynote. In fact, you can export it as a movie, and the Mac handles this really well.A show that needs to move around from machine to machine would tend to be PowerPoint. That is, if you refuse to use OpenOffice (more on that in another article!)