Five utilities for a better PowerPoint

Get more from your PowerPoint presentations with these five additional applications.

PowerPoint may be one of the most popular business applications of all time. As is the case with any widely popular application, an entire cottage industry has been built around providing add-ons and other utilities for PowerPoint. This article discusses five such utilities.

This article is also available as a TechRepublic Screenshot Gallery.

Five Apps

1. Tabs for PowerPoint

Tabs for PowerPoint is an extremely useful utility that gives you tabbed access to PowerPoint presentations. The reason why this is so helpful is because older versions of PowerPoint only allow one presentation to be open at a time. PowerPoint 2013 will allow you to open multiple presentations, but each presentation opens in a separate window. Tabs for PowerPoint supports PowerPoint 2003-2013 and allows the use of tabs in a manner similar to Excel.

Tabs for PowerPoint sells for $19.00, but a free trial version is available for download.

a2_tabs for PowerPoint 2.jpg

2. PowerPoint Slide Show Converter

PowerPoint Slide Show Converter is a utility that converts a PowerPoint presentation into an automated slide show. The program uses a very simple interface and operates in either Simple Mode or Special Mode.

Simple Mode merely asks for a source file and an output file name, but also provides a check box that can be used to create an autorun file for a CD or DVD. Special Mode lets you set the timing on the slide transition or wait for a mouse click. You can also specify a transition effect or choose whether you want to optimize the presentation for text or images.

PowerPoint Slide Show Converter sells for $49.00, but a free trial version is available for download.

b1_PowerPoint Slide Show Converter 1.jpg

3. Recovery for PowerPoint

Recovery for PowerPoint is a utility that is designed to repair corrupt PowerPoint presentations. The utility supports PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2010 and works with the PPT, PPS, and PPTX file formats. 

Recovery for PowerPoint uses a very simple interface that walks you through the recovery process by prompting you for information such as the corrupt file and the recovery location. Over all, the utility is intuitive and easy to use.

Recovery for PowerPoint sells for $199.00, but a free trial version is available.

c1_Recovery for PowerPoint 1.jpg

4. Batch PPTX to PPT Converter

Batch PPTX to PPT Converter is a utility for performing bulk conversions of PPTX files to the older PPT format. This allows the presentations to be opened using older versions of PowerPoint.

The utility seems to work well. The interface is intuitive, and it only takes a few seconds for a conversion to complete. The down side to this utility is that it requires PowerPoint in order to work. The utility forces PowerPoint to open the document and then save it in a legacy format. This could just as easily be done manually if only a few documents need to be converted. However, the utility may be worthwhile if large numbers of documents require conversion.

Batch PPTX to PPT Converter sells for $149.90, but a free trial is available for download.

d1_Batch PPTX Converter 1.jpg

5. Mix-FX Flash Text Effects

Mix-FX Flash Text Effects is a utility for creating flash based text effects. Although this utility can be used for Web development and other non-PowerPoint uses, the documentation provides instructions for including your text effects in a PowerPoint document. Unfortunately however, the ability to save text effects in the manner required to import them into PowerPoint seems to be disabled in the trial version.

The Mix-FX utility is easy to use and includes a wide variety of animated text effects that you can apply to any of your fonts.

Mix-FX Flash Text Effects sells for $27.00, but a limited free trial is available for download.

e1_mix fx 1.jpg