Hide the playbar in a Presenter presentation
October 16, 2009
Actionscript 2 | Flash | Powerpoint

One of our content experts wanted to use Powerpoint to create an interactive presentation. Although Captivate would probably be the ideal choice, she only owns Adobe Presenter, so I suggested she use that to convert the Powerpoint for the web.

The problem is that Presenter, by default, shows a navbar on the side and a playbar below the presentation. In this case, allowing linear movement would break the logical flow of the interactive module. This project is more of a decision-support tool, and less a linear learning module where the user must view every page. To make a module like this function correctly using Adobe Presenter, follow these steps:

  • Before entering Presenter, add navigation buttons or hyperlinked images to your Powerpoint slides that allow user interaction to choose the path through the module. Many slides will probably just need a "Next" button, but certain slides will function as decision points where your users will choose which path to follow. You may have to draw out a flow chart to do this correctly if there are a lot of slides and decision points.
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    Posted by ellen at October 16, 2009 12:33 PM

    [View instructions for adding hyperlinks and action buttons to slides].

  • In the Adobe Presenter menu, select Slide Manager. Set all the slides to Advance by User.

  • In the Adobe Presenter menu, select Presentation Settings. Click the Appearance tab. Uncheck "Show Sidebar"

  • Now we'll remove the Playbar.
    • Download and expand this zip file. playbarMod.zip Find the file noPlayBar.swf in the noPlayBar folder.

    • Open your Powerpoint file and select the first slide in the presentation.

    • Select Adobe Presenter > Insert Flash (swf). Select the file "noPlayBar.swf" and select As Slide animation. Click Open. Publish the Presenter presentation as usual. The playBar should be gone.

    If you want to turn the playbar back ON at some point in the presentation, I've included the file "yesPlaybar.swf". Insert it onto a slide to make the playbar visible again. Because Presenter preloads slides, Flash animations and swfs on upcoming slides may begin to play before you have actually arrived on those slides. To prevent the playbar from turning back on a slide too soon, select Adobe Presenter > Presentation Settings and choose the Quality tab. Select Control Preloading and Disable preloading of embedded Flash content.

    Thanks to Rob Rode for the tip on creating the noplaybar control.

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1 Comment

This was the perfect solution I've been looking for to disable and later enable Presenter's navigation bar at the bottom of the screen. Thanks! The noPlayBar.swf file worked as you instructed. However, the yesPlaybar.swf did not bring the navigation bar back on the slide it was placed on or any of the slides after it. Does the swf file still work? Any ideas why it might not have worked? I use Presenter 7. Thanks.

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