Friday, January 10, 2014

focusing mask presentation done

Put, at last, my focusing masks presentation online. What a bear.

It was a lot of fiddling and experimenting and back-tracking to get the handout file the way I wanted. Of course, I couldn't do a straight export from PowerPoint initially as there was very little text (given "the new way" I generally do my presentations now).

The first step was to write detailed content, essentially my words, the script. That was captured into the presenter's notes. To show these notes, I knew I'd have to use the Notes Pages view in PowerPoint. So I formatted it to match the style and tone of the presentation slide itself, namely, white text on a black background.

But then when I tried to print this to PDF (via the BullZip virtual printer), I noticed a white border around the edge of each notes page. This is, of course, a "feature" of PowerPoint; there's no direct control of the page margins or the format of the page background. I experimented with PowerPoint's paper size, BullZip's page scale—nothing worked.

Switched gears. Exported the content to Word. Now I had total control. And now, sadly, Word mucked up all the images showing a thin white strip down the left edge of each. I had to blot that out... Ugh. But, there was good fidelity between Word and BullZip. So I was happy at last with the appearance of the PDF file.

Unfortunately, earlier on, the spelling check in PowerPoint went insane changing a bunch of content despite me wanted to ignore all the instances. I had to manually reconcile the file against older versions. Did so twice. But I bet there's still something that I missed...

The tale of woe. Anyhoo...

The December 2013 focusing mask presentation, delivered to RASC at the OSC, is available over on the lumpy companion site. Along with the hyperlinked references. And the handout.


Yep, found more spelling "mistakes."

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