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Cool new Linux-only 3D transitions for OpenOffice Impress February 18, 2008

Posted by reverseengineer in Apps, Developments.

Microsoft Office Powerpoint is so (poorly) used these days. Presentations are either boring because of their unimaginative-ness, or horrifying from over-imaginative excess. Smart and sparing are probably two words a presenter must embrace. And maybe restraint too, for the creative folk among us.

The software is so much a part of office life that it has become an actual verb – “Could you powerpoint your report for the meeting tomorrow? Thanks.” And a noun – “Great report. Could you email me that powerpoint?”

I personally use Apple’s Keynote when I can – for three basic reasons: it’s easy to use; it works flawlessly and efficiently; and it’s got killer transitions.

Only one thing ruins it for me: it only works on Macs, and when people ask for a copy of the presentation itself, I have to decline, not unless I have the luxury of exporting it to Powerpoint and then tweaking the translation kinks out – which means I need to use Powerpoint anyway and defeats the purpose of using something other than Powerpoint to begin with.

But on a standard EeePC, your options tend to be limited to OpenOffice‘s Impress, the presentation component of the free productivity suite that comes in the box with it. If I’m going to insist on using the Eeep for everyday use (which includes work things), I’ll have to live with OOo and its version of Powerpoint.

While it does the job, Impress is largely just adequate. It’s no Powerpoint or Keynote, and using it in the trenches sometimes makes you uneasy, especially when it’s an important client and landing the account hinges on your presentation.

Things might get better for us Eeepers and other Open Office users though.

Some folk doing work for the Google Summer of Code 2007 have created ten new 3D Open-GL-rendered transitions for Impress that should be coming out in the new OpenOffice.org 2.4 due March. The transitions include flipping tiles, turning cubes, helixes and circles, among others.

Here’s the odd part. Apparently, the transitions will only be available for the Linux version, and they will not be for Windows, nor will they be exportable to the Windows version of OOo 2.4. The feature might be included in other versions as an extension package, or come built-in on other editions.

As of now you can try it out with a torrentable Linux-only experimental snapshot binary, but be forewarned that in its current state of development the requirements might be a bit hefty yet.

More on it from OpenOffice.org Ninja, including screencaps and video.



1. Alan Bell - February 22, 2008

The EeePC has a fairly capable onboard intel 3D graphics chip. It can run compiz quite well. I expect the 3d transitions will be smoother than the 2d transitions are. The snapshot binary didn’t work for me so I am attempting to do my own build. It takes a lot of room (more than 3gig) and a lot of processor time and there are an astonishing number of dependencies. I think it will get there in the end, but I have had to abandon building on the EeePC.

2. Kami - February 23, 2008

(plan) Version 3 of OpenOffice.org will include this cool effects for the Impress in this year.

3. Kami - February 23, 2008

for both Linux and Windows too.

4. Neil W - March 13, 2008

how do i print openoffice documents from my eeepc. it prints email perfectly but not openoffice docs. what do i need to do to resolve this matter

5. Theodotos Andreou - March 20, 2008

Another option is KeyJnote. It’s a command line presentation utility that takes a pdf file as input. It has a lot of cool features to emphasize the important parts. It works on Windows and Linux too. I didn’t try it on EeePC but if compiz is working this should work too.

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