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Thread: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux ?

  1. #1
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    Default User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux ?

    I was chatting with my 83+ year old mother last night on the phone about her computer. She boots about 50-50 between winXP and openSUSE-11.1. She was complaining about some Windoze problem that neither my wife nor I could remotely fix (with us living a continent away) and she noted she would not boot to winXP if it were not for the fact she can play back (from her Hot Mail account) power point presentations MUCH easier under winXP than she can under Linux. Hence she often boots to winXP because she can handle those files easier under winXP.

    Her PC requirements are basic.

    She needs to be able to browse with Firefox (she uses Hot Mail for email), print documents & scan/copy documents (with her HP inkjet) , play solitaire, look at videos (sent as attachments) and manage her digital camera's database. Linux does all that. BUT she also gets many emails from friends with MS-Power-Point presentations with audio tracks, and her firefox browser displaying Hot Mail and calling Open Office under Linux just does not "cut it" when it comes to playing those back (visually with audio). Using openSUSE Linux with Hot Mail under firefox to play back Power Point presentations does not reliably work (or when it does work, the audio is desync'd by Open Office with slides or audio does not work at all). On the other hand, MS-Power-Point under winXP does play those back well and reliably (which is no surprise as its a proprietary Microsoft format).

    Her PC is too old to run winXP as a virtual session. She has angrily refused 3 efforts in the past 3 years to buy her a new PC (so I can run winXP as a virtual session).

    Hence the question - is there a Linux way (besides Open Office) to easily initiate from Hot Mail and play back an MS-Power-Point slide presentation which has an audio track ? And play it back with first rate quality (including audio playback).

    I'm thinking I may look into Microsoft's Free Power Point Viewer under wine Download details: PowerPoint Viewer 2007 and also WineHQ - Powerpoint Viewer 2007 (I note sound does not work for the openSUSE reporter/user ) , ... but I need to figure out how to make sound work, and make it launch in a user friendly manner from Firefox (and of course both audio and slides need to work easily for my mother).

    Or is there another/superior app to OpenOffice and to Power Point Viewer to run from Linux to display such files (launching from Firefox) ??

    Of course displaying/playing audio from such files on my Linux PC is not a problem. The problem is making it seemless enough that my 84-year old mother can do it. Any installation will be tested first on my PC here in Germany, and then installed on her PC (in North America) when I take control of it over the web via VNC.

    Any recommendations ?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu
    I was chatting with my 83+ year old mother last night on the phone about
    her computer. She boots about 50-50 between winXP and openSUSE-11.1.
    She was complaining about some Windoze problem that neither my wife nor
    I could remotely fix (with us living a continent away) and she noted she
    would not boot to winXP if it were not for the fact she can play back
    (from her Hot Mail account) power point presentations MUCH easier under
    winXP than she can under Linux. Hence she often boots to winXP because
    she can handle those files easier under winXP.

    Her PC requirements are basic.

    She needs to be able to browse with Firefox (she uses Hot Mail for
    email), print documents & scan/copy documents (with her HP inkjet) ,
    play solitaire, look at videos (sent as attachments) and manage her
    digital camera's database. Linux does all that. BUT she also gets many
    emails from friends with MS-Power-Point presentations with audio tracks,
    and her firefox browser displaying Hot Mail and calling Open Office
    under Linux just does not "cut it" when it comes to playing those back
    (visually with audio). Using openSUSE Linux with Hot Mail under firefox
    to play back Power Point presentations does not reliably work (or when
    it does work, the audio is desync'd by Open Office with slides or audio
    does not work at all). On the other hand, MS-Power-Point under winXP
    does play those back well and reliably (which is no surprise as its a
    proprietary Microsoft format).

    Her PC is too old to run winXP as a virtual session. She has angrily
    refused 3 efforts in the past 3 years to buy her a new PC (so I can run
    winXP as a virtual session).

    Hence the question - is there a Linux way (besides Open Office) to
    easily initiate from Hot Mail and play back an MS-Power-Point slide
    presentation which has an audio track ? And play it back with first
    rate quality (including audio playback).

    I'm thinking I may look into Microsoft's Free Power Point Viewer under
    wine 'Download details: PowerPoint Viewer 2007'
    (http://tinyurl.com/3buwr5) and also 'WineHQ - Powerpoint Viewer 2007'
    (http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManage...rsion&iId=9374) (I
    note sound does not work for the openSUSE reporter/user ) , ... but I
    need to figure out how to make sound work, and make it launch in a user
    friendly manner from Firefox (and of course both audio and slides need
    to work easily for my mother).

    Or is there another/superior app to OpenOffice and to Power Point
    Viewer to run from Linux to display such files (launching from Firefox)
    ??

    Of course displaying/playing audio from such files on my Linux PC is
    not a problem. The problem is making it seemless enough that my 84-year
    old mother can do it. Any installation will be tested first on my PC
    here in Germany, and then installed on her PC (in North America) when I
    take control of it over the web via VNC.

    Any recommendations ?
    Hi
    I would try crossover demo rather than wine in the first instance. I
    use it with office 2003, but must admit never tried one with audio.

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel 2.6.27.29-0.1-default
    up 4 days 21:28, 2 users, load average: 0.26, 0.14, 0.11
    GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - CUDA Driver Version: 190.18


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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    I would try crossover demo rather than wine in the first instance. I use it with office 2003, but must admit never tried one with audio.
    I had a legal copy of cross over for a while. But no more.

    I need to check out their demo.

    Working audio is key. Its absolutely essential for my mother. My mother can (with a few extra mouse clicks and soe frustration) get openOffice to play the slide presentation's slides but NOT the audio. The audio playback in parallel is far too hit and miss.

    Looks like I have my homework cut out for me.

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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux

    I just finished downloading and trying Microsoft's free Power Point Viewer 2007 on my 64-bit openSUSE-11.1 PC, running it under wine.

    I have wine-1.1.31-1.1 installed.

    Both audio and video worked on the three .pps presentations I tested. In comparison, in Open Office, audio worked in only one of the 3.

    I am now puzzling if it is even possible to have Power Point Viewer, running under wine, to be called directly from firefox when the link in Hot Mail is clicked. ...

    hmmm ... I need to expand my knowledge a bit here .

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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    I just finished downloading and trying Microsoft's free Power Point Viewer 2007 on my 64-bit openSUSE-11.1 PC, running it under wine.

    I have wine-1.1.31-1.1 installed.

    Both audio and video worked on the three .pps presentations I tested. In comparison, in Open Office, audio worked in only one of the 3.

    I am now puzzling if it is even possible to have Power Point Viewer, running under wine, to be called directly from firefox when the link in Hot Mail is clicked. ...
    I'm still puzzling over this. I created a small script and put it in /home/oldcpu/bin trying a couple of different syntaxes:

    This:
    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    wine "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\PPTVIEW.EXE" $@
    and this:
    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    wine "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\PPTVIEW.EXE" $1
    and in both cases when I click on the file from konqueror (and firefox) and if I select those scripts as the application to open the .ppt (power point) file I get instead this window:


    which is NOT what I want. I want the file to download and play automatically. Clearly I have more work to sort here.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    and in both cases when I click on the file from konqueror (and firefox) and if I select those scripts as the application to open the .ppt (power point) file I get instead this window:


    which is NOT what I want. I want the file to download and play automatically. Clearly I have more work to sort here.
    Well I've spent too much time on this and got no where.

    I simply have no idea how to do this. I want the file passed to a script when a user in Firefox clicks on a file in firefox, and when the window "you have chosen to open "somefile" ... Which should firefox do with this file? Open with < browse> " pops up, ... I want to be able to select a script and pass the file URL to the script.

    I keep passing an empty field passed to the script, no matter what I try. ... frustrating ... time to go to bed!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux ?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu
    oldcpu;2050845 Wrote:
    > and in both cases when I click on the file from konqueror (and
    > firefox) and if I select those scripts as the application to open
    > the .ppt (power point) file I get instead this window:
    > '[image: http://thumbnails.imagebam.com/5236/7c9a7052352303.gif]'
    > (http://www.imagebam.com/image/7c9a7052352303)
    >
    > which is NOT what I want. I want the file to download and play
    > automatically. Clearly I have more work to sort here.

    Well I've spent too much time on this and got no where.

    I simply have no idea how to do this. I want the file passed to a
    script when a user in Firefox clicks on a file in firefox, and when the
    window "you have chosen to open "somefile" ... Which should firefox do
    with this file? Open with < browse> " pops up, ... I want to be able to
    select a script and pass the file URL to the script.

    I keep passing an empty field passed to the script, no matter what I
    try. ... frustrating ... time to go to bed!
    Hi
    You just need to add a mime type associated with your program. There
    was a thread a few months about how to do it, will need to search.....

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel 2.6.27.29-0.1-default
    up 5 days 4:50, 2 users, load average: 0.01, 0.06, 0.07
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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm
    Hi
    You just need to add a mime type associated with your program. There
    was a thread a few months about how to do it, will need to search.....
    http://forums.opensuse.org/network-i...hx-pop-up.html

    --
    Cheers Malcolm (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel 2.6.27.29-0.1-default
    up 5 days 4:56, 2 users, load average: 0.01, 0.02, 0.04
    GPU GeForce 8600 GTS Silent - CUDA Driver Version: 190.18


  9. #9
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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Thanks. I reviewed the link you passed. Its far from intuitively obvious what has to be done. That thread, in fact, does not appear to be what I have in mind. I simply want to take a .ppt or .pps file from the web, and have the file launched into a wine application with no additional clicks. Unfortunately, I can't pass the file, and hence when the wine app runs, it asks for the file (which explains the dialog box).

    While the solution may be with mime types, its not obvious to me (after 20 minutes of searching) as to what the edits may be.

    Time to go to bed.

    I'm rather surprised this has not been done before (or if it has, surprised I could not find the answer). ...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: User friendly viewing Power Point presentations in Linux

    For the record, before I forget. ...

    I noted on the wineHQ site a number of users reported problems running Power Point Viewer 2007 under wine. One reported audio did not play in presentations.

    I decided to try myself, and I found it did work under wine for the different .pps (power point presentations) that I used to test, where each of those presentations had an audio track that successfully played. So audio does work with Power Point Viewer 2007 running under wine.

    I have wine-1.1.31-1.1 installed on my 64-bit openSUSE-11.1 PC (running KDE-3.5.10).

    I do not know if necessary, but I first installed wine-gecko, following the instructions here: Gecko - The Official Wine Wiki
    ie I ran:
    Code:
    $ wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/wine/wine_gecko-1.0.0-x86.cab
    $ sudo mkdir -p /usr/share/wine/gecko
    $ sudo mv wine_gecko-1.0.0-x86.cab /usr/share/wine/gecko/
    then to install powerpoint viewer, all I did was run:
    Code:
    wine powerpointviewer.exe
    and that installed power point viewer under wine, and created a entry in the wine group under the KDE-3.5.10 menu

    But I'm still struggling to have that launch a .pps file from Firefox. This weekend I'll have to do more reading on mime types with Firefox.

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