This article describes best practice for using PowerPoint to create digital signage content, with a focus on exporting as high-definition video.
A common question from those creating digital signage content is, “Can I use PowerPoint?” And he answer is, “Yes, but…” PowerPoint is a readily available and easy to use tool but is not always the best choice for creating digital signage content.
Although native PowerPoint 2010 files are supported by Four Winds, it is not recommended for use due to the complexity it adds to content management and the additional system resources required by the digital signage players to use PowerPoint as a player application.
Images that are exported from any version of PowerPoint can be imported into FourWinds but the exported files are by default only 1280x720 rather than 1920x1080. These files have a 16:9 aspect ratio and can be scaled up or down by Four Winds to fit into template regions, but they are not ideal.
The “best” use case for PowerPoint is for cases where there is not a slideshow of many individual content items but rather a single content item that you want to be an animation or video. For example, a background image with a header and several bullet points or graphical elements, each with entry animations for emphasis. The total length of the animation might be 10 seconds, the length of time one might display a single image.
Those who are adept with PowerPoint can create dynamic and effective messages in a short amount of time. There are other tools such as Adobe Animate that can also be used to create animations but PowerPoint is a tool that most people have already and is easy to learn and use. PowerPoint animations can be exported as MPEG4 video with a full 1920x1080 resolution.
To learn more about creating animations in PowerPoint, there are FAST3 and Lynda.com courses that cover the topic in more detail than can be done in a KB article.
To export a PowerPoint slideshow as an MPEG4 video, follow these steps:
Steps (Using PowerPoint 2016)
1. Left click on "File” in the PowerPoint toolbar.
2. From the menu, Left click on Export
3. Left click on "Create a Video”
4. Left click on "Video Quality (ComboBox)” and choose “Largest Size and highest quality (1920x1080).
5. Left click on "Timings and Narrations (ComboBox)" and choose “Use Recorded Timings and Narrations” (Note: you should have already set your slide animation and transition to your desired settings).
6. Set “Seconds spent on each slide” to the duration of your slide(s) (Note: this setting would seem to conflict with the animations and transitions you have already set so you may have to experiment with the settings).
7. Left click on "Create Video”
8. Provide a location to save the video and a filename. Four Winds supports both MPEG-4 and Windows Media video formats but MPEG-4 is the default.
9. Left click Save.
10. You can now move/copy the video file to the S:\ drive for use with the campus Digital Signage Services.