The NEW whiteboard (WBD) requires each presentation slide to be in a
single pdf or jpg file in order to be displayed during a presentation.
Users can have NEW produce this needed format automatically using the
"Convert Slides" button.
NOTE: In the following, "directory" means "folder" on Windows systems.
File formats that can be automatically converted by WBD:
- ps files: a single PostScript file containing one slide per page
- pdf files: a single pdf file containing one slide per page
- Microsoft PowerPoint file (requires user's computer to have one of
OpenOffice or Microsoft PowerPoint installed)
- LaTeX files: the user must provide both the LaTeX source file and a
postscript version (e.g., latex slides -> dvips -> ps file).
The CONVERT directory is the default location in which to put files
containing presentation slides for automatic conversion by NEW. The ps,
pdf, LaTeX or PowerPoint file(s) to be converted should be placed in
By clicking on "Convert Slides" the user is given a file browser from
which to pick the file to convert. In the case of a LaTeX presentation,
select the .tex file.
Conversion of slides is better done prior to the live NEW session;
users can use the PLAY-STANDALONE configuration to good advantage
(on Windows click on C:\Program Files\NEW\PLAY-STANDALONE.nwc).
The conversion process can produce the pdf slides needed by WBD, as well
handout versions of the slides printed 1, 2, 3, or 6 per page, provided
as pdf files
zip file archive of the generated pdf slide files
Once the user has selected which option(s) to use and clicked OK, the
conversion process begins. NOTE that this process can take several minutes.
The pdf slides generated for presentation will be placed in a directory of
the same name as the slides source file provided, and placed in the SLIDES
directory. Thus, a slides from a PowerPoint file titled "Uber.ppt" will be
placed in a directory named "Uber" within the SLIDES directory. The source
file(s) are unaffected by the conversion. The individual pdf files will be
named starting with the slide number. Conversion will try to append,
immediately after the slide number, the first few characters of the slide's
title (with omitting certain problematic characters). This step may not
succeed, in which case the slide names are left as a two or three digit
number corresponding to the slide number.
NOTE that the WBD places a limit on the size of file an individual slide file
can be: the default value is 64 kilobytes. If a slide's pdf version exceeds
this size, the converter will replace the pdf version with a jpeg version.
The converter is aggressive in its compression to ensure slide will fit under
the 64 Kbyte limit; this may adversely affect legibility of the slide. You
can set the value of the limiting size in the .nwc file that configures WBD,
by providing an XML line under <newClient> with tag <whiteboardPage>, for
example to set the limit to 250000 bytes:
If a zip archive of the presentation was requested, the zip file is written
in the SLIDES directory. Note that WBD's "Import Slide" can be used directly
on the zip file, so that the user need not expand (unzip) the archive before
use; WBD will unzip the file if necessary.
To convert Microsoft PowerPoint slides, WBD first tries to use OpenOffice:
if this is unavailable, and the user is using a Microsoft Windows platform,
WBD will try to use PowerPoint as a fall back. If neither is available, or if
the user is using a non-Microsoft platform and OpenOffice is unavailable,
WBD will be unable to convert the PowerPoint slides automatically; in this
case see note on manual conversion, below.
Users are strongly cautioned against using the graphical property of
"transparency" in any image appearing in a presentation. This feature will
result in *extremely* slow conversion, and very large presentation files that
will not be usable. A single instance of a graphic with transparency will
cause *all* slides in the presentation, not just the one on which it appears,
to be affected in this way.
For Windows PowerPoint users
In order for conversion to produce correctly formatted slides using PowerPoint,
the Windows system must be set to print on an "HP Color LaserJet 8500 PS" printer.
Further, the settings for this printer must be manually set to a paper size of
"Tabloid" or "11X17" (make this persistent by selecting this printer in
Start -> Settings -> Printers, right-click on "Properties" and adjust paper size
under heading "Device Settings").
This step is not necessary if OpenOffice is used to perform the conversion.
Manual Slide Conversion of PowerPoint Files
- open the presentation in OpenOffice
- click on the export as pdf button (or invoke via File pull-down menu)
- place the pdf file in the CONVERT directory
- use WBD's "Convert Slides" button directly on the pdf file
- set the default printer to the HP Color Laserjet 8500 PS
- print the presentation, selecting 'Print to File'
- place the generated ps file in the CONVERT directory
- from the File pull-down menu, choose "Save As" and choose Rich Text Format
- place the generated rtf file in the CONVERT directory
- use WBD's "Convert Slides" button directly on the ps file
It is also possible to generate labelled slides from either a:
--.pdf file of all slides produced from PowerPoint, using for example
Adobe Acrobat, with a .rtf saved from the same .ppt file and located
in the same directory as the .pdf.
--.ps file generated from LaTeX, with the .tex file used by LaTeX to produce
those slides and located in the same directory as the .ps.
Finally, it is possible to produce numbered (but not labeled) slides from any
multipage .ps or .pdf file.
The slides will be generated in a subdirectory of NEW/SLIDES having the same
name as the slidefile. If you choose to generate a zipfile, it also will be
have the same name as the slides file, with extension .zip, and will be located
in the SLIDES directory. If you afterward select the Import Slide button and
click on the zipfile, the WBD will automatically unzip the slides. This makes it
easy to generate a slidefile using one computer and send it as an email
attachment or web upload to another computer.
Handout PDF Files
Handout files are generated in the CONVERT directory and will be named as
"source_filename-n.pdf" where 'n' is 1, 2, 3, or 6 depending upon which
option(s) are selected at convert time.