Microsoft Office 2010: First Look at PowerPoint Web App

By Tony Bradley, PC World |  On-demand Software, Office Web Apps, PowerPoint

Microsoft has kicked off the Technical Preview of Office Web Apps. Let's take a look at the Office Web Apps version of Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software and see how well it stacks up to its more robust Microsoft Office desktop cousin.

After logging into SkyDrive account and accessing My Documents, you start the Office Web Apps PowerPoint application by clicking New and selecting Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

On the next screen I have to give my presentation a name. Similar to the experience I encountered with the Excel Web App, there is a large thumbnail preview area on the right side of the screen, but because I have yet to create any slides the preview is blank.

After entering a name for the presentation and clicking Create, a few seconds go by and the Office Web Apps PowerPoint application appears in my Web browser. The bottom half-with the left pane displaying a thumbnail index of the slides and the right side occupied primarily by the current slide being worked with and a smaller area at the bottom for notes.

The top portion is another story, though. Overall, the Office Web Apps PowerPoint has the same look and feel as the retail Microsoft Office PowerPoint software installed on my computer, but the features available on the Ribbon in Office Web Apps are very limited compared with the real-deal PowerPoint.

After adding a title and some information in the subtitle box, I am able to work with the text like I would in the normal PowerPoint for the most part. I can change the size, color, and font of the text from the Ribbon interface at the top of the screen. One difference I noted though is that there were far fewer fonts available to me in the Office Web Apps version and they were displayed in uniform text rather than the what-you-see-is-what-you-get view of fonts I am used to in the desktop version of the app.

The lack of a WYSIWYG font list definitely slowed me down because I had to basically choose fonts one at a time to even see what they look like so I could decide whether or not to use them. Once I got my fonts worked out I clicked on New Slide in the Ribbon bar to move on.

New Slide displays a window with the available slide formats to choose from. This is similar to the experience of adding a new slide in the desktop version of PowerPoint. I chose the slide format that has two content elements so I could add a photo on one side with some text on the other.

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