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Microsoft Power Point ActiveX Presentations

Microsoft Powerpoint ActiveX Animations are in a highly compressed form for downloading and typically take up 10% to 25% of the Powerpoint file size - the only disadvamntage is that they need a viewer to be loaded. The viewer is smaller than that for a Powerpoint Viewer and is independent of Powerpoint version. Online viewing is possible if you are running one of the latest Browsers such as Internet Explorer 4.0 or Netscape Navigator 4. Our experience however indicates that there are currently sufficient incompatibilities in how various Internet Service providers and Browsers support the Powerpoint ActiveX Presentations that we do not recomend online viewing except perhaps in Internet Explorer 4.0. The problems occur in how the Service Provider passes information on the file type (via MIME or file ending) to the Browser and does not occur when using local files when Browsers use the file ending for determining the associated viewer.

If you do not have a suitable Browser and/or the viewer loaded when you come to run them it will tell you when you click on the presentations. It may also ask you if you want to open or save the presentation if you have security checks enabled and are online - as we indicated above it is sensible to save the presentation to the Desktop or a suitable directory and view the local copy off line after you have loaded the viewer.

The viewer can be downloaded and installed by a once only download of 800K from

Microsoft PowerPoint Animation Player

SECURITY ISSUES: There are a number of risks using a Browser which is permanently enabled for ActiveX or Java so off-line viewing is safer in any case. If you do not know what your security settings in are you should immediately find out - in Internet Explorer click Options on the View drop-down menu then click on the Security tab. You will find a set of check boxes and it is safest to make sure none are checked except when visiting major sites you know.

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Copyright © Peter Curtis
Content revised: 3rd December 2001