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Getting Started with PowerPoint Mobile 2010

PowerPoint Mobile 2010 is the most advanced version of PowerPoint on any mobile device. Along with Presentation Companion, a free add-in from Microsoft, PowerPoint Mobile 2010 lets you control the navigation of slides as you present to your audience. It also displays slide notes.
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Microsoft Office has always been the dominant standard on desktop machines on both Windows and the Mac. Also, there has been some sort of Microsoft Office presence built in within Microsoft's phone platform since its inception: Think about Office for PocketPC, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, and so on.

PowerPoint's presence on these phone platforms has been less than stellar, and it is only with the new PowerPoint Mobile 2010 that you can do more than just move from slide to slide.

To harness these new abilities, this is what you need:

  • PowerPoint 2010 or 2007: Both these versions work well enough, but you can't use PowerPoint 2003 and older versions. Also Mac versions of PowerPoint still don't work with PowerPoint Mobile 2010.
  • Presentation Companion: This is a free add-in for PowerPoint 2010 or 2007 that you can download from the Microsoft site (see Figure 1). There are different versions of this add-in for 32- and 64-bit releases of Microsoft Office. Do make sure you download the add-in that's specific to your version, and install it. Once installed, you'll see a Presentation Companion button in the Add-Ins tab of the Ribbon in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010. Here are the download links for Presentation Companion:
  • 32 Bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=F74BE278-D2D8-442F-8F4E-77DD8F08F1EB&displaylang=en

    64 Bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=e3d5b853-9b79-482b-af62-2426e2ada7ef

  • PowerPoint Mobile 2010: You'll need a Windows Mobile 6.5 or later[nd]equipped phone that already includes this program (see Figure 2).
  • Connectivity: This is typically a Bluetooth connection, and Presentation Companion helps you set this up. You must have a Bluetooth-equipped laptop and mobile device for this connectivity to work.

Once you have these four prerequisites in place, follow these steps:

  1. Make any changes you want to your presentation on the laptop. Also for the entire experience to be useful, make sure that the copied presentation has Notes (in the Notes pane) for at least a few slides. Save your presentation and close PowerPoint altogether. Do note that you must save your presentation in the new PPTX file, not the older PPT file format.
  2. Copy the presentation you want to use from your laptop to the Windows Mobile device. Typically you can do that by connecting your mobile device via USB to your laptop. It will show up in the My Computer window. Click the Windows Mobile device to open it almost the way you use a USB drive. You can then copy the PPTX file to your Windows Mobile device. Disconnect the mobile device when done.
  3. On the mobile device, choose Start | Office Mobile 2010 | PowerPoint Mobile 2010 to bring up the file browser you see in Figure 3. Navigate and choose the exact same file that you copied from your desktop or laptop in the previous step.
  4. PowerPoint Mobile 2010 on the mobile device will now open your presentation. Move your cursor (or your finger in a touch screen device) to the bottom area of the slide to bring up a bar. Click the Menu button on this bar to bring up the contextual menu you see in Figure 4. Click the option that says Presentation Companion.
  5. You'll see some helpful tips next. To disable these tips, you can check the option that says "Do not show this message again". Or just click the Next button.
  6. Now move to your laptop, launch PowerPoint 2007 or 2010, and keep the original PPTX file open. Select the Add-Ins tab of the Ribbon and click the Start button on the Presentation Companion group (see Figure 5). The Start button thereafter changes to a Stop button that you will use in the end; we'll come back to this one later.
  7. You will also be prompted to set up your computer so that Bluetooth devices can be discovered and paired. Click Yes. PowerPoint will then ask you if you want to email the presentation to yourself. Because we already copied the PPTX to the mobile device, click No for now.
  8. Back in your mobile device, click the Next button so that your Bluetooth-equipped laptop is discovered. Soon enough you'll see your laptop listed as a Bluetooth device (see Figure 6). Select it and click Connect.
  9. A successful connection will result in the screen that you see in Figure 7 on your mobile device. Click the Yes button to start the presentation on both your mobile device and the laptop.
  10. You'll see nothing different on the laptop from what you see without the connected PowerPoint mobile device. On the device itself, though, you'll get Previous and Next buttons as well as all the notes you added for the slide being shown (see Figure 8). The OK button stops the presentation on both the laptop and the mobile device.
  11. Once you stop the presentation on the mobile device, you can also close the Bluetooth connection between the laptop and the mobile by accessing the Add-Ins tab of the Ribbon, and clicking the Stop button (see Figure 9).

Microsoft's PowerPoint Mobile 2010 has made presentation remotes quite obsolete. The next version of PowerPoint Mobile that ships with Windows Phone 7 will have to meet many more expectations!

Geetesh Bajaj's book, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 Complete Makeover Kit, co-authored with Echo Swinford, was released by Que in early November 2007. Geetesh has authored several other books, and he also trains business users in creating and delivering better PowerPoint presentations. In addition, he runs the http://www.indezine.com site that attracts millions of visitors.

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