What is Multimedia Presentation Software?

S. Gonzales

Multimedia presentation software is known for incorporating sound, animation effects and cinematic-like special effects into presentations. It is a tool that computer users of varying industries and backgrounds use to dynamically present information to an audience. It differs from standard presentation software in its features and its interactivity potential.

Multimedia presentations can be burned on CDs or DVDs.
Multimedia presentations can be burned on CDs or DVDs.

Professionals may choose to use multimedia presentation software to create portfolios, brochures, eBooks and advertisements. Educators may find use in multimedia presentation software because it can help them create charts, diagrams, tables, slides and presentations for print and overhead transparencies. This type of presentation software is popular amongst educators and students alike because it engages both the student and the teacher and facilitates active learning. The amateur hobbyist may enjoy multimedia presentation software because of its ability to output dynamic personal projects like screen savers or home movies.

Many multimedia presentations are made with the assistance of digital projectors.
Many multimedia presentations are made with the assistance of digital projectors.

An advantage of working with multimedia presentation software is that it doesn't require that a user have any detailed knowledge of programming or code writing. The software usually comes with tutorials that are easy to follow and command functions that are self-explanatory and intuitive. This makes great presentations a possibility for anyone of any technical background to achieve.

Images, documents, text, and sounds like MP3 and WAV files can all be manipulated and combined using the software to create a presentation. Even complete or pieces of web pages, videos and animations can be added to a multimedia presentation. Active links, special characters and other features can be added later using the software's editing palette or paint-like application. When using these editing tools, animating, rotating, tweening — creating smooth transitions between images — and making timelines can be done easily and quickly.

Multimedia presentation software can have the ability to import other presentation software file formats into the program and convert them into their own propriety file formats or into universal formats like EXE files or AVI/QuickTime videos. Screen savers and CD menus can even be created from these files. Completed presentations may be emailed as attachments and some can even be played automatically through the recipient's browser. They can also be published on the Internet, downloaded directly onto a computer's hard drive or burned onto a CD-ROM or DVD. The mobile user who desires to show their presentation at a different location may find it necessary to copy their presentation onto a portable memory stick like a flash drive so that they can simply insert the stick into another computer and access the file at the new location.

Presentations stored on CDs and DVDs can then be played back using a laptop computer with a projector.
Presentations stored on CDs and DVDs can then be played back using a laptop computer with a projector.

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Discussion Comments


@w00dchuck41 - Thanks for the help. The company I work for is small, we don't buy software for home use.

Impress works great. It's a lot like PowerPoint. I wasn't sure if I could get Impress by itself, so I downloaded the Open Office.Org suit. You didn't tell me that Open Office.Org came with a bunch of other Microsoft-like programs.

I was going to buy Microsoft Word too, but Open Office Writer is just like it. I don't think I'll be buying any new office software anytime soon -- this gives me everything I need for now.

I'm actually surprised more offices are using this software. Businesses pay so much in software and here is the same thing free. I'll have to suggest it to my company.


@Almita - I'm a little curious why your company doesn't just buy you PowerPoint, but there are programs that you can use instead if you need to. Presentations are always popular because you don't have to sit and try to explain a graph.

One program in particular is Open Office.Org's Impress. It's a lot like PowerPoint interface wise and it can make PowerPoint files. I don't know if it can do everything that PowerPoint can do, but it's the closest your going to get to it for free.

I'm sure there are other programs out there that imitate PowerPoint, but I can't think of any at the moment.


I used Microsoft PowerPoint for all of my college classes, but it's too expensive to buy for home use. I do a lot of presentations at work now and it's unfortunate that I don't have PowerPoint at home. I end up staying late at the office to get all of my presentations done on time.

Does anyone know of any free presentation software that has a interface close to PowerPoint? They would have to be compatible with it. Programs imitating PowerPoint would be ideal, but I can learn to use new software pretty quickly. Are there any good programs out there or should I start saving for PowerPoint?

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