PowerPoint

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PowerPoint

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Navigation:  Widget Designer > Devices >

PowerPoint

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The PowerPoint connection in the Configuration dialog allows to easily remote control a PowerPoint presentation and receives feedback information that can be displayed and used via scripting. This involves the current and total slide number, speaker notes and even thumbnails. The PowerPoint feature consists out of two elements which communicate with each other via a TCP connection. Besides the "PowerPoint device" in Widget Designer, you need our PowerPoint plugin (i.e. add-in).

Note that the PowerPoint device is only available in the licensed Widget Designer edition, not the Free version.

Configuring the PowerPoint Add-In

powerpoint-add-in_zoom66The plugin can be downloaded from our Download-Center. Install it on the PC that runs the PowerPoint presentation. Make sure it is a Windows system with Win8.1 or 10. The PowerPoint application should be from Office 365, Office 2010 or newer.

After the installation, simply start PowerPoint and look for the tab "WD PPT Remote". There, click the icon "Server Config" and "Start Server" to open the TCP connection.
Further, you can change the port number, for example if you have more than one PowerPoint PC transmitting information to the same Widget Designer.
With the Thumbnail options you can choose whether Widget Designer receives thumbnails from the previous, current, and/or next slide. You can also choose from three different sizes: Small-192x108, Medium-320x180, Large-640x360 pixels. Each time, when a slide is changed, PowerPoint generates new thumbnails and transmits them. Please be aware that this does not only increase network traffic but also slows down the responsiveness. In the moment when PowerPoint creates thumbnails, no commands can be processed.
You can close the dialog and then start the slide show.

There is no restriction in the number of open PowerPoint presentations. However, you will note, that there is only one TCP Server for all open instances. The presentation that is in "Slide Show" mode transmits information via the add-in. In other words, if you have multiple presentations, go ahead and load them as usual but make sure that only one of them is presenting and the others are in normal view mode. As soon as another presentation is toggles in Slide Show mode, the transmitted information adopts.

As mentioned, you can connect multiple PowerPoint systems to one Widget Designer. You just need to choose another port and add more "PowerPoint devices" in WD.

Further, you can connect multiple Widget Designer systems to one PowerPoint add-in. Technically said, the add-in starts a TCP Server that can connect to multiple TCP Clients which is the PowerPoint device in the Configuration dialog. Information (i.e. feedback) is sent to all Clients at the same time and commands can be received from either one of them. That allows remote controlling the same presentation from various points.

Adding a New PowerPoint Device

To add a PowerPoint device in Widget Designer, open the Devices menu and select "PowerPoint > Create PowerPoint". This will open the Configuration dialog. Alternatively, you can add a new device in the Configuration dialog with the "+" button when the dialog is already open.

In the dialog, the left side lists all devices and connections that were already added to the project. The circle in front of the entry symbolizes the current connection status:

wd_config_status_filled-blue

The PowerPoint Client is enabled and connected.

wd_config_status_empty-blue

The PowerPoint Client is enabled but not connected; check the IP address and port settings and the general network connection.

wd_config_status_filled-gray

The connection or device is disabled, i.e. the "Enable" box is not checked.

On the right side you see several options:

wd_config_powerpoint

The Type informs you about the type of device or connection.

The Name is the unique identifier for this PowerPoint object in WD and the general rules for naming objects apply here as well: only letters, numbers and underscores are allowed; the first symbol must be a letter.
It is possible to change the default name to a more descriptive one. When scripting, enter this Name to access available members or use the Project object and device Type instead; examples are shown further down.

The Id offers an alternative way to address the device when scripting.

The "Enable" check box is ticked per default and can be used to disable the device or connection internally.

Now, please enter the IP address of the PowerPoint system. If needed, adjust the Port. Click the "Apply" button to save any changes done here. The shortcut [Ctrl + Enter] can also be used to apply changes.

If the connection is successful, the Name displays the file name and Total Slides shows the number of all saved slides. Other information can be received via scripting or an Event Listener, both described below.

Once the settings are applied, the dialog can be closed. The newly created device will also be added to the Devices menu > PowerPoint > PPT and can be opened from here or with the Devices menu > Configuration.

Using the Device in Regular Scripting

As soon as a PowerPoint device is created, it can be addressed via scripting to perform actions in the PowerPoint application as well as retrieve information from it.

To send commands to the PowerPoint application, create a CustomScript button or anything with a scripting field. For calling the previous or next slide, the PowerPoint Display is most likely the best choice.

Enter the device's identifier name (per default that is "PPT1") and Script Assist will offer a list of all PowerPoint Members.

You can for example trigger the next action (which is your specified animation or text):
PPT1.Next

... or jump to a specific slide number:
PPT1.GoTo(3)

You can also retrieve information via scripting, e.g. the current slide number:
vint = PPT1.GetCurrentSlide

As an alternative to explicitly naming the device, the "Project" object can be used. Choose the device type and address the device by entering its ID or name. Script Assist then offers you the same list of members. This is the alternative for the first example from above:
Project.PPT(1).Next

Substituting the ID with a dynamic variable allows automation. Actions can be performed on many connections of the same type simultaneously, e.g. by using for-loops:
For i = 1 to 10 {

 Project.PPT(i).Next

}

The chapter "Project and Context Member" shows more examples with for-loops and if-clauses; of course, normal variables can also be used.

Using the Device with Event Listeners

Event Listeners can be added in the Configuration dialog and provide a simple way of listening to triggers from connected devices.

Please see the chapter Event Listener for a detailed description of its functionality and PowerPoint Events for an overview (with examples and description) over the events raised by the add-in.

Using the Device as a Widget

There is also a PowerPoint Display widget available which shows the thumbnails sent from PowerPoint and allows to execute a script if you click on the image, hence it is a perfect control to see the current slide and call the next one for example.