As promised in HOWTO: Present using Cooliris (the basics…) this post outlines more advanced options when using Cooliris as a presentation tool. It covers the following:
- Using a Nintendo Wiimote to control your presentation
- Customising the HTML page
- Adding titles to slides
- Linking to websites from slides
- Adding a ‘branding image’
1. Using a Nintendo Wiimote to control your presentation
The Nintendo Wiimote is a wonderful thing. It (potentially) connects via Bluetooth to any suitably-equipped computer. I use a Macbook Pro and a program called Darwiin Remote (free) and it couldn’t be easier to both use the buttons on the Wiimote as well as the motion-sensing element to control the cursor. If, however, you’re using Windows you’ll need Wiin Remote (free) but good luck getting your ‘Bluetooth stack’ working (try BlueSoleil – or better still, buy a Mac!) Linux users need WiiLi.
If you have no joy with the above, simply invest in something like the Kensington Si600 Wireless Presenter which will do the job – albeit in a less cool way… 😉
2. Customising the HTML page
PicLens Publisher does all the hard work for you in terms of creating the HTML page, thumbnails and RSS feed you need to present using Cooliris. However, if you want to customise your presentation to look a bit more like mine, then you’ll need to edit the HTML page produced by the program.
In keeping with my love of all things free and Open Source, I’d recommend the cross-platform program KompoZer for this. It’s got a WYSIWYG editor and is very straightforward to use! If you look at my presentations, I add the following:
- my avatar
- title of my presentation
- details about me
- link to HTML version of presentation
- details about the presentation method (feel free to link to my posts!)
- Creative Commons license information (at bottom)
3. Adding titles to slides
This is the bit that involves delving into code. Don’t worry though, as it’s very straightforward. You need to find the file entitled photos.rss and open it with a text editor. You should see something like this:
The part of the RSS feed that I’ve highlighted (between the <title> tags) is the title of each slide. This is what you need to change in order to alter the title of the slide. They’re in the order you specified when you made the presentation.
4. Linking to websites from slides
This is very much like the above process of adding titles to slides, except you edit a different part of the RSS feed:
The highlighted section above (between the <link> tags) is where you need to put the link to the webpage you wish to display when the relevant icon is clicked during your presentation:
5. Adding a ‘branding image’
This is perhaps the least useful of the advanced tweaks – yet in some ways the most satisfying as it gives you ‘ownership’ of your presentation.
The branding image needs to have a transparent background (I used a PNG file but I suppose you could use a GIF) and no more than 26 pixels high. There’s no real limit to its width. You can add anything in there – as you can see I put the shortened link to the presentation for people to go back to. Need an image editor? Try the GIMP!
Put the image you have generated into the images sub-folder of your presentation folder. You then need to add the following to the bottom of the photos.rss file:
I’ve highlighted the section you need to add – although of course you’ll need to change name_of_your_file.png to whatever you decided to call your branding image! 🙂
I think Cooliris is a great presentation tool. It’s engaging, free to create and access, and enables people to re-use parts of your presentation (if you CC-license it!)
I’d like to thank Alan Levine for pioneering this method. The blog posts he wrote that guided me are below:
Regular readers of this blog and followers of my tweets will be aware that I’ve recently come across (via Alan Levine 1, 2) a great way to present to an audience using a plugin for the Open Source, cross-platform web browser Firefox.* Cooliris makes your presentations look like an interactive version of this:
(examples available in the Presentations section)
Why use Cooliris as a presentation method?
- It looks extremely cool and engages your audience
- It generates HTML pages for your images so you can quickly and easily put your presentation slides online
- It’s free (if you use something like OpenOffice.org to create your images)
- It can be controlled using a Nintendo Wiimote (I use Darwiin Remote with my Macbook Pro)
The purpose of this post is to show how to create a basic presentation with Cooliris, and then how to enable the more advanced features. 😀
Cooliris: the basics
The basic steps are: export your slides as images, import them into PicLens Publisher, and then upload generated folder to web server (optional, as you can run it locally from your hard disk)
1. Export your slides as images
Keynote (click to enlarge):
Powerpoint (click to enlarge):
OpenOffice.org (click to enlarge):
As far as I’m aware, although the options would suggest otherwise, there’s no obvious way to export all you slides to images in OpenOffice.org. Instead, we can generate them by creating an HTML version of the presentation which will also create images. As a bonus, this can be uploaded alongside the Cooliris version of the slides for those without the plugin. 🙂
2. Use PicLens Publisher
Cooliris used to be known as ‘PicLens’ – hence the name of PicLens Publisher, a Mac/Windows program that does everything you need to convert your images ready for an interactive Cooliris-powered presentation!
Simply follow the instructions given to you in the program:
Once you’ve finished, go to the folder that you exported your files to and open gallery.html in Firefox (with the Cooliris add-on). You should see an interactive presentation like the ones I produced!
3. Upload your files to a web server (optional)
If you want your presentation to be online, do the following:
- Rename the folder containing your PicLens Publisher-created files to something without spaces (e.g. preso)
- Rename gallery.html within the preso folder to index.html
- Connect to your web server and navigate to where you want the preso folder uploaded to
- Upload the preso folder generated by PicLens Publisher to your web server
That’s it! You’ve created your first Cooliris-powered, interactive presentation. Details on how link to websites from your slides, name them, customize the icon at the top, and use a Wiimote to present will feature in a follow up post. 🙂
* Cooliris is also available for Internet Explorer and Safari, but I’m not entirely sure why you’d want to use those… 😉
Click here to go straight to the slides
I’m at the annual Schools History Project Conference for the fifth time this weekend and am presenting for the third time. This is the first time that I’ll be presenting without my partner in crime, Nick Dennis, as he’s unable to make the conference. It’s a shame, but it means I can focus entirely on what I did with my Year 10 History class this academic year at my previous school.
I’ve used the Cooliris presentation method, pioneered by Alan Levine, and which I piloted in my Open Source School presentation earlier this month. I’m not so sure he uses a Nintendo Wiimote (along with Darwiin Remote) with Cooliris, though. It’s an excellent presentation method – and free if you create your slides in OpenOffice.org (as I do!) 😀
The easiest way to share the link directly to the slides that go with this presentation is to go to:
Links (in order mentioned) to the websites mentioned in the presentation can be found below: