Productivity on the iPad

You only have to wait a few more days, my impatient friends. Your iPad will soon arrive, and you’ll be able to play to your heart’s content. In order to help keep you occupied, I have found a few videos that showcase some of the features and apps built in to the device. Productivity is important, and many nay-sayers are adamant that the iPad won’t be usable for any type of work. How wrong they are.

Keynote is a very powerful presentation application, and was built from the ground up specifically for the iPad. You can create beautiful presentations from photos, charts and animations. You can use a template to create a new presentation, or bring in an existing document from your Mac or from PowerPoint. The large disply on the iPad will give you a good view of whatever you’re working on.

Pages is a word processor made for the mobile device. It can create newsletters, reports and other documents with a few flicks of a finger. When you rotate the iPad, your page fills the screen. Pages tracks what you type, so it can suggest words, correct your spelling, and insert punctuation automatically. It can even tell when you’re creating a list, and format it for you while you’re typing.

Numbers is the spreadsheet application from iWork that you’re already used to, and it’s powerful on the iPad. It’s easy to work with tables, charts and graphics on a canvas that you can use just by touching. You can again use one of the preset templates to get started, or import an Excel spreadsheet from Microsoft Office.

Who says you can’t be productive on an iPad? These built-in applications would suggest otherwise. While the iPad may not be suitable to be your “main” computer, I think it will do nicely when you’re on the go and need to get some work done.

Microsoft Office 2010 Comparison Screencast


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I recently asked all of you to submit your screencasts to me for review. The best of the best will be chosen to be featured here, in my various channels and outlets. This provides content of a different perspective for our community, and gives you new exposure for your work! Jack has submitted another excellent screencast, this time showing us a nice comparison between different versions of Microsoft Office.

Jack wanted to show us some of the differences between Office 2007 and Office 2010. One of the biggest changes is that Office 2010 now fully supports 64-bit operating systems. Also, Web Applications (allowing you to co-author documents across the web in real-time) have finally been implemented in the newest release, as well. Office 2010 also includes a redesigned Office button, as well as a nice backstage experience.

Differences in Word include the search function. In Office 2010, it shows up in a navigation pane, instead of a small window. Also in Office 2010, you have a paste preview, letting you see what you’re going to paste BEFORE you actually paste it. There are also enhanced picture editing tools. There are new options for working with text, including changing plain text into Word Art, or using shapes and styles.

The differences in Excel include graphs in single cells, instead of only within sheets like in Office 2007. Formatting tools have also been ehanced and upgraded.

There are also many interesting and excellent differences found within Outlook, Publisher and other Office applications. Thanks, Jack, for this sneak peak at what we can expect when we grab Office 2010 for ourselves!

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Microsoft Office 2010 Screencast


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Recently I threw down the gauntlet, asking all of you to submit your best screencasts. I plan to highlight the best of the best here in my channel, and help promote yours. Jack has sent a few in to us now, and they’re fantastic. This one gives you a quick (but excellent!) overview of Microsoft Office 2010.

Jack started off by letting us know that Office 2010 is only available at this time for developers and technical reviewers. Included features include support for 64-bit, enhanced Office button that leads to a back room of sorts, and web applications for Word and Excel.

The enhanced UI includes a minimizer to give you more work space. This hides the toolbar until you click the button again. The new Office button leads you to a backstage experience where you can edit, save, print or share your documents.

New features in Word 2010 include an improved search function. It opens in a new pane that won’t cover up your document. Other new features include a paste preview, which is very nice. Others include improved picture editing capabilities and more text effects.

Some things new in Publisher 2010 now have pages show up in the side window pane, instead of at the bottom. Powerpoint features include new animations and a video editing capability. Excel doesn’t have too many new features, but it does have a few nice improvements.

Outlook 2010 has a new conversation view, that allows you to group conversations, and even clean them up… allowing you to focus on the most important feature.

Jack did a great job with his screencast. Don’t worry if yours wasn’t chosen to be featured today, though. We’ve received a lot of excellent submissions. We’re still going through them all, and plan to upload one per day (when videos are normally uploaded).

Remember, you need to upload your screencast video to Geeks, and then send me an email with a link to your video, a short description, and of course – tell me where we can find you on YouTube (or wherever you want to be found online).

Keep those submissions coming!

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What’s Better Than Microsoft PowerPoint?


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Did you ever know how most presentations suck? It’s bad enough that people doing them tend to suck, as well. It’s not their fault, though. Most of the presentation software is just not that good. A good presentation shows pictures, and don’t have much text. The worst ones to watch are where the speaker just reads every word from the slides! They drive me nuts! What do you use to create presentations? Tell me you aren’t using desktop software! Adobe has thrown their hat into the ring. They have a basic, online office suite and a new presentation software!

Acrobat Presentations is excellent. You have tons of options. Best of all, of course, is the ability using an online platform gives you to easily collaborate with others. When you create a presentation with desktop software, it’s very difficult to allow multiple people to work together on it. Using Presentations, it’s a simple process.

Presentations is a better way to create, edit, and share presentations with others online. Built on the Adobe Flash platform, Presentations looks and behaves like a desktop presentation application – but operates inside a web browser.

It’s free, and cross-platform. There’s no reason to not try it!

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Can You put a PowerPoint Presentation on an iPhone?


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During the course of the average weekday, we record videos here on the live stream. Sometimes, I run out of ideas of what to do. So when I threw it out to the chat room for suggestions, Fireworks came up with a good one. He wanted me to check out AuthorStream. On AuthorStream, you can upload, share and discover PowerPoint presentations. Let’s look at the features available to you with your free registration.

  • Send to YouTube If you had set up ‘Rehearsed Timings’ or have recorded audio ‘Narrations’ in your PowerPoint file, they would automatically be available in a video format (MP4 or M4V) which can be shared on YouTube via send to YouTube feature.
  • Share on iPod via iTunes Your presentations will also be available to be downloaded in iTunes. Your viewers can then sync their iPods and have your presentations available even when they are not online!
  • Download PowerPoint As a viewer, you can now download PowerPoint files if their respective authors have given their permission to do so. This is a great feature for those who like presentations and want to use a slide or two to enrich their own.
  • Featured Audio/Animation Presentations Cool presentations get featured and you can view them categorized as Featured Presentations, Featured Audio Presentations and Featured Animated Presentations.
  • RSS Feeds Subscribe to the RSS feeds for categorized groups of slideshows as well as customized feeds for users and tags.

So… instead of emailing a Presentation to someone you need to collaborate with, why not use AuthorStream? You could even use Google Docs or MindMeister. Heck, for that matter, why not check out something like Drop.io?

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