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Method for Presentation Graphics Programs to Indicate the Stage in Multi-Stage Animated Presentation Slides Disclosure Number: IPCOM000015660D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Aug-03
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20

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Presentation graphics programs and packages such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Lotus Freelance Graphics are widely used today for business presentations. These programs allow the set up of screen show effects for a single slide. One particular example of a screen show effect is the staged appearance of graphical objects on the slide. For a multi-staged slide, the presenter has to perform an input device activation such as a keyboard button push or mouse click a repeated number of times, where each activation performs the next screen show effect in turn. A problem with this approach is that the presenter can become uncertain regarding the number of pending activations for the current slide. Accordingly, the presenter can perform too many or too few activations than desired. In the first case, succeeding slides are prematurely displayed and the presenter needs to backup. This typically requires to step through all stages again. In the second case, the presenter possibly skips some important detail(s). In either case, the flow of the presentation is disturbed with a loss of synchronization between speech and presented slides. This problem can be solved by giving the presenter an indication of progress through a multi-staged slide. The advantage of such an indication is that it provides the presenter with the desired indication how far into a multi-staged slide progress has been made. Undesired disturbance of the flow of the presentation can thus be avoided. Running a presentation from a computer via a video projector exhibits the complete display area of the computer screen. Therefore, there is no "out-of-band" possibility for the visual progress indication. As a consequence, the indication must be made "in-band". Proposed here is a method for such an "in-band" indication. We suggest that a visual progress indication is embedded unobtrusively in fine graphical details of the slides. By unobtrusively, we mean that an observer in the audience following the presentation would hardly notice the signaling. Most presentation graphics programs provide a rich set of templates, which provide attractive background graphics. Our technique uses some area of this background graphics typically near the border of the slide to discretely display a visual progress indication. By implementing our technique in the presentation graphics software, the visual progress indication is automatically generated. The presentation software "knows" the number of screen show effects, and hence, the number of activations required for a particular slide. It therefore can easily change an adequately designed visual pattern in the background graphics to reflect the total number of activations and the number of pending activations for a particular slide. Alternatively, instead of showing a countable indication, the indication could be relative using some fine shading or coloring or any other graphical means. 1