If you want to create a no-nonsense, straightforward slideshow, Presentation, which is a part of the Ability Office Home suite, may be the application for you. This presentation software offers all the basics, but little else. Its relative ease of use and strong file compatibility make it a solid choice for basic slideshows.
The first thing you should know about Presentation is that it is not a multimedia application. You canâ€™t add video or audio files to your presentation, but you can add photos, text and informational data charts, including the more than 40 two-dimensional and three-dimensional options. You can also add any of the over 100 cookie-cutter shapes, which include the standard action buttons.
The word art graphics tool lets you add text on a path or warp text into graphic shapes, and you can also wrap text around objects in your slide. Object effects are limited to drop shadows and outline or fill adjustments, and there are no editing options for photos in this slideshow maker.
When it comes to laying out your slides, there are no real slide theme templates; rather, there are a dozen or so color schemes that act as themes, and you can customize and save these themes as needed, adding them to whatâ€™s available. And itâ€™s more than just colors; you can also add background photos, gradients or textures to these themes. You create gradients individually, but there are more than 60 textures available.
Once youâ€™ve decided on a color scheme, there are 20 master slides to choose from, as well as nearly 30 slide transitions. There are no object animations, nor are there 3D effects or a number of other features we found in other slideshow makers. Conspicuously missing are the ability to organize slides into groups, protect your files with a password, rehearse presentation timings and even set up slides to progress on a certain time schedule.
There are a few word processing tools in this presentation software, such as the thesaurus and spelling checker, but there is no grammar checker or dictionary. Organizational tools include the grid and guides with snap-to functionality. And you can organize objects easily, thanks to the layers functionality and the ability to group multiple objects together, so you can size and move them all around as one object.
Ability Office Home’s Presentation has the ability to save slides as any of the most common image formats, including RAW and PICT files, which are options we found in few other slideshow makers. There is no native software file format for this application; instead, the default save setting is as a PowerPoint file, which we found to be incredibly convenient. And while you canâ€™t save slideshows as movie files, you can save them as PDFs or in the web-ready HTML format.
Navigating this slideshow software is simple and intuitive enough, though there is no drag-and-drop functionality. And we found that it force closed more than once as we were scrolling through and previewing the slide transitions. Unfortunately, the auto-save or auto-recovery functions found in some other office suites is not present here, so our work was lost. When we returned to the transitions list and scrolled through it more slowly, we were able to avoid crashing the software.
Unfortunately, Presentation does not have a strong help and support system for its customers. There is a help menu and a user manual, though the latter mostly repeats information from the help menu and includes info on all of the office suite programs, meaning thereâ€™s more information to sort through to find your answer. The online written tutorials are basic at best, and are mainly how-to guides for installing and registering this presentation software and its suite. There are FAQs available online, and contacting the support staff via the online form will get you a timely response.
While Presentation â€™s feature set is basic compared to that of its peers, it is still more than enough to create a lovely photo or informational slideshow. And its file compatibility is certainly up to par with the rest of the bunch. However, you may find it frustrating to work with Ability Office Home if you require extensive help options in the support department, or if you work at a fast pace that may cause certain applications to crash.
Ease of Use
Help & Support