Subsetting PowerPoint

I do most of my presentation slides in pure XML, but I also do a few more high-level/less-code talks in PowerPoint. Sometimes I need to give the same presentation to different audiences or at different lengths. In XML it’s easy to “comment out” individual slides or whole sections to reduce a presentation to size. Is there any plausible way to do this in PowerPoint?

I do not want to maintain multiple copies of the slide deck. I want to have one slide deck that I can easily customize for 60 minute, 90 minute, half day, or full day presentations by including or excluding slides. The simpler this is to organize the better. Any ideas?

If PowerPoint can’t do this, can Keynote or OpenOffice Impress?

3 Responses to “Subsetting PowerPoint”

  1. John Cowan Says: files are XML, zipped up. Just write a script to unzip them in a scratch directory and comment out the slides (in content.xml) that you don’t want, then zip -u. In particular, pages are represented as “draw:page” elements, where the namespace for “draw:” is “urn:oasis:names:tc:opendocument:xmlns:drawing:1.0”. XSLT is your friend.

  2. Mark Mascolino Says:

    In the slide navigator of PowerPoint, you can right click on a slide a choose “Hide Slide”. This will prevent the slide from being shown during the presentation although the slide will still remain in the slide deck.

    I know that this is probably completely out of the question for you, but the MS SharePoint product lets you maintain a “library of slides” that you can pick and choose from to create different presentations. The ppt client does smart thing and will pull down any changes the next time you open the presentation. Pretty slick stuff but I doubt you’d go through the effort to install SharePoint just to get this feature.

  3. Elliotte Rusty Harold Says:

    The trick seems to be using the Slide Show/Hide Slide menu item.

    There’s also a Slide Show/Custom Shows… menu item that enables you to define several different shows with different combinations of slides from the source input.

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