Sunday, July 1, 2001

Mobilize your PowerPoint presentations with Presenter-to-Go


By Craig Bobchin

When Handspring first announced the Visor line of PDAs, people got very excited about the possibilities of the Springboard modules. It's been almost two years now since the Visor was introduced, and the modules are really starting to show up -- admittedly, after a bit of a delay.

One of the most exciting of these modules is one that I never even considered, and I'm sure that the idea took everyone else by surprise as well. If two years ago I had told you that you would be able to use your Visor to give a PowerPoint presentation to an audience, you'd probably have laughed at me and tried to have me committed.

Well, guess what? I'd have the last laugh. You see there's now a Springboard module that lets you do just that. It's called Presenter-to-Go from Margi (at, and it's one of the coolest modules I've had a chance to play with. The module is pictured in Figure A.


Presenter-to-Go let's you use your Visor to run PowerPoint presentations.


Setup was supposed to be easy. Just load the CD and run the setup program. However this is where I ran into my first and only problem with the system. It seems that the version of the software I was using didn't include support for Windows 2000. Instead, the software required either Windows 98 or Windows ME. Neither of these was on my laptop. I had to go to the Presenter-to-Go Web site to download the newest version of the driver. Once I had this, things went a lot more smoothly.

Installation takes about five-minutes, and installs two pieces on the PC. One is a printer driver that will allow you to create presentations from Word, Excel, Adobe .PDF, and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) files, as well as PowerPoint presentations. In fact, you can create a presentation from virtually any Windows application by printing to this printer driver. For PowerPoint, you get a button that you push that does most of the work for you. Simply name the file and go. The other part of the PC side of the equation lets you move the converted presentation to the Palm HotSync manager system. Once you synchronize the Visor with your PC, you're ready to go. One caveat you should know about is that Presenter-to-Go doesn't support PowerPoint slide transitions, animation, or multimedia features. You'll need to remove these from your presentation before you convert it.