Presentation graphics-the latest business buzzword. Companies use the computer to advertise their wares; conventions use it to inform participants of various activities. A lot of these informative presentations are created by professional programmers, far removed from the everyday personal computer user at home or school. But now, thanks to Scholastic, anyone can create personal slide presentations.
There are lots of slide-presentation programs for sale. So what makes Slide Shop special? Simply put, it's versatile. It offers great graphics, great sound, and special effects; it comes on either a 5¼or a 3½-inch disk; it runs on Apple II and IBM PC and compatible computers. This versatility makes computergenerated presentations an exciting possibility for schools and homes alike.
The manual's tutorial gives the user an easy introduction to slide making. Slide Shop has plenty of its own background scenes and templates, along with over 70 clip-art ideas. With all these graphics, creating slides is simple.
But Slide Shop doesn't stop there. You can also import Print Shop graphics and paint them using the tools on Slide Shop's main menu. The paint palette offers 72 different colors and patterns with the Apple version and uses the CGA palette on IBM and compatible computers-it really gives you the feeling of being an artist. You can also get original slides into Slide Shop via a roundabout path: Create the graphic in SuperPrint (another Scholastic package), export it to Print Shop with Scholastic's Pelican Graphics Converter, and then import it into Slide Shop. For text, you have eight fonts in different sizes and styles. However, you can't add text to the predesigned scenes.
Sound and special effects can spruce up your slide scenes. Slide Shop is full of goodies that will help jazz up your presentation. You can add any of the 46 short musical passages to your slide. The selections range from patriotic to rock to classical. Thirty-six sound effects can give your slide that special chirp or buzz you need to get your point across. Speech samples are also included; start your presentation with a programmed "Welcome" or friendly "Hello."
After you've decided which sounds to use, you're ready to pull the presentation together with special effects. The large and impressive special-effects gallery features not just the regular wipes and smears, but right and left arrows, checker spirals, up and down slides, and more. You can choose from more than 40 different effects and place them anywhere in the presentation. The upand-down smear is especially interesting-the colors pour onto the screen in tiny streams and create the slide's text and graphics.
Now that you've designed your slides, complete with graphics, sound, and text, it's time to write the script. Use your script to arrange the slides into a presentation. It's here that you program in the special effects. Decide whether the next slide will just appear or be introduced with an eye-catching transition effect.
After you've written the script, give your presentation a name and save it. Slide Shop then offers a menu from which you can define how long each slide should remain on the screen and whether the presentation will be a one-time run or recycled.
There are several ways to present your slides. You can format a show disk and run your presentation without a program disk. This lets you send the disk to others, inviting them to parties or conferences. You can also record your presentation on videotape - handy when there's no computer at showtime. (You'll need a VCR, of course.) You can even print the slides to produce handouts and overhead transparencies.
Slide Shop's helpful booklet, "Guide to Effective Presentations," gives you hints on how to organize your information to get the most from your time and energy. It includes many ideas for magical effects that will enhance your presentation. Scholastic has three optional graphics-and-sound disks to make the program even more exciting. People and Places, Science and Technology, and Holidays and Special Events should give you almost anything you need to create a spectacular slide show.
Children can use Slide Shop as well; the program isn't so complex that elementary school-aged children can't put the program to work creating visual reports, party invitations, and seasons' greetings.
Slide Shop offers many avenues of creativity. From business advertisements to school lessons, communication comes of age in a more advanced, high-tech fashion when you have Slide Shop in front of you instead of a slide projector beside you.
- Nancy Rentschler
IBM PC and compatibles-$69.95
P.O. Box 7502
2931 E. McCarty St.
Jefferson City, MO 65102
(800) 292-2179 in Missouri
Optional graphics-and-sound disks available for Apple II and IBM-$37.45 each