Slide presentation software is software that allows users to display slides using a computer during a presentation. These slides are often incorporated into a slideshow and used as a visual tool to enhance the presentation. Slides can be displayed on a screen behind a presenter and slide appearances may be controlled by the presenter.
Presentation software has become a mainstay of presentations across business and education sectors. However, it wasn't until the 1980s when personal computers became popular and the development of programs for private citizens began to take off that slide presentation software became a reality for the average computer user. Before that time, the ability to work with this software required specialized skills and businesses hired employees for the sole purpose of working with the presentation software.
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With the advancement of technology in personal computers and programs, slide presentation software became available to the open market. Costs of presentation software decreased and their usability became more intuitive, making it easy for even the novice user to put a slide presentation together quickly and efficiently. Many companies began developing their own programs, including Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Presentation, OpenOffice.org Impress and Apple's Keynote. While this software is available to be used on both PC and Mac computers, Microsoft's PowerPoint is hugely popular and many novice users refer to any slide presentation software as just "PowerPoint."
Users presenting with slide software are allowed to manipulate text and images on the slides and use the slideshow feature to present their information. On slides, text can be inserted and edited, stock images, clip art or personal pictures can be inserted and manipulated and their slideshow presentation can also be modified to reflect the needs of the presenter. For instance, slideshow details can be configured so that the slides change at specific intervals during the presentation.
Slide presentation software can also boast a number of extra features that help with display. For example, users may be able to choose between transition effects between slides, making the presentation more dynamic for viewers. Presenters may also print out the presentation's slides and present them as paper handouts to their audience so that each member has a physical visual tool with which to refer during the presentation. For more advanced users, slideshow presentation software can be exported into Flash animations or converted into PDF documents so that they can be emailed to remote attendees who can follow the presentation with little trouble.