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presentation software (presentation graphics)

Presentation software (sometimes called "presentation graphics") is a category of application program used to create sequences of words and pictures that tell a story or help support a speech or public presentation of information. Presentation software can be divided into business presentation software and more general multimedia authoring tools, with some products having characteristics of both. Business presentation software emphasizes ease- and quickness-of-learning and use. Multimedia authoring software enables you to create a more sophisticated presentation that includes audio and video sequences. Business presentation software usually enables you to include images and sometimes audio and video developed with other tools.

Some very popular presentation software, such as Microsoft's Powerpoint and Lotus's Freelance Graphics, are sold stand-alone or can come as part of office-oriented suites or packages of software. Other popular products include Adobe Persuasion, Astound, Asymetrix Compel, Corel Presentations, and Harvard Graphics. Among the most popular multimedia authoring tools are Macromedia Director and Asymetrix's Multimedia Toolbook. These authoring tools also include presentation capability as well. Most if not all of these products come in both PC and Mac versions.

Recently, a new presentation tool has arrived: your Web browser and the tools for creating Web pages, such as Microsoft's FrontPage and Adobe's PageMill. The ubiquity of these tools and the browser as a playback device make this a popular approach, especially when a presentation can combine HTML pages on the hard disk with links to outside sites (if you have a live Internet connection).

This was last updated in March 2011

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