Wednesday, April 10, 2019

PowerPoint into MP4 with iSpring Suite 9

PowerPoint into MP4 with iSpring Suite 9 Article
iSpring Suite's integration inside PowerPoint allows you to create various types of training from your PowerPoint presentations. The wide range of tools within the Suite allow you to create rich, interactive course material using your existing slides.

If you're interested in iSpring, check out our other articles on the tool:
Our recent iSpring Flip 9 articleA guide to iSpring 9 VisualsiSpring Audio Editor reviewReview of the TalkMaster dialogue scenario designerOur Cam Pro review

However, sometimes you don't need large, in-depth courses. Short demonstrations of interfaces and procedures, for example, might simply be bogged down by many clicks and extra content. In this case, you can instead leverage iSpring's Publish to Video feature. This automatically records your whole presentation into an .mp4 video file.

 

Why Convert PowerPoints Into Videos?


There are many potential advantages to this. Firstly, as long as the video plays, it will look the same, no matter what device or platform it's playing on. Also, this makes for content that is easily deployed, because it's all in one .mp4 file.

Of course, as it's a video, you're probably wondering: how do I control how long users see each slide? There are a few ways, each taking more work than the last, but giving you more control.

Before you start, I strongly recommend working off of a copy of your PowerPoint file. This way, if you don't like the way you timed some of the slides, you can just start over.

 

iSpring's Slide Timing Methods For Videos

 

The first is right there in the Publish dialogue, which you access through this button: iSpring Suite 9 Publish Button Location
 
Once you go into Publish, you'll see a field called "Slide duration." If the combined animations in the slide are shorter than this minimum duration, the slide will be at least this long. For example, in the image below, it's set to 5 seconds.
iSpring Suite 9 Publish Video Dialogue
On-click animations, in this case, are evenly spaced inside this slide duration. Since click interactions don't exist in a video file, iSpring advances these click interactions automatically during video export. With a slide duration of 5 seconds, which is the default, the click will automatically take place in the middle. Therefore, with two clicks, the first would occur 1/3 of the way through, and the second at 2/3rds. That's a little vague, but this diagram should clear up what I mean:

Evenly Spaced Slide Events Diagram
However, what would you do if one slide has way more content and clicks than another? In this case, you can set slide durations individually, but retain the automatically-spaced clicks. For this method, you'll go to Slide Properties, shown on the left here: iSpring Suite 9 Publish Button Location
Once you've opened Slide Properties, you'll see this window, which I've cropped as we're only using part of it: iSpring Suite 9 Slide Properties Duration Controls
As you can see, I've highlighted the Slide Duration controls. You'll use these to define each individual slide's duration. Any that you don't define will use the default value set in the aforementioned Publish dialogue. Aside from allowing you to set slides individually, this works much the same as the slide duration option from Publish.

Finally, the most powerful method is through iSpring Narration Editor. This tool's main purpose is to add voiceover narration, video accompaniment, or music. For this article, though, we'll only use the timeline. This method not only allows you to define slide duration, but also precisely determine when each and every click occurs. iSpring Suite 9 Narration Timeline
On the timeline, there are blue bars of slightly different shades. Each of these represents one slide. Meanwhile, the yellow pips along the bars are your clicks. Simply drag the clicks around to determine when they take place.

This method is ideal if some clicks will bring up a lot of content, and others, much less. Still, it takes more work than the other two, so don't do it this way unless it's necessary. After opening up the Narration Editor, when you close it, it will ask you to save or discard Narration changes. If you don't intend to time everything manually using Narration Editor, do not save when it asks.

 

Exporting Your Video For Delivery

 

Now that your presentation is correctly timed for the video, let's take another look at Publish: iSpring Suite 9 Video Publish Output Options
As you can see, you can set the video dimensions, if needed. You can also set the compression quality, which can make your filesize smaller. However, I generally prefer to output a high quality video from iSpring and compress it using another tool. I find that using the open-source transcoder HandBrake here results in a smaller file with better detail preservation.

Finally, if needed, you can choose to publish either all slides or only the current slide as a video. I've mainly found the latter useful for testing/proofing purposes.

Below is an example PowerPoint to video conversion. There are two slides in this PowerPoint presentation, one for the back of the camera, and one for the front. I used Slide Properties to give the first slide a duration of 36 seconds, while the front is 12 seconds.



I hope this article helped with what you're looking for. Of course, if you have questions or comments, feel free to use the comment section below! You can also find us at www.relate.com, or visit iSpring at www.ispringsolutions.com.

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