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How to Create Presentations on the Raspberry Pi with LibreOffice Impress

If you’re called upon to deliver a presentation, you can use LibreOffice Impress on your Raspberry Pi to create your slides and play them back. You probably realize that most LibreOffice programs have a counterpart in the Microsoft Office suite, and Impress is a bit like Microsoft PowerPoint.

You can open PowerPoint presentations using it, and although some of the nifty slide transitions are missing, sophisticated layouts can be carried across without a problem. Each picture has some placeholder text on it, however, which is hidden by the pictures in PowerPoint but appears onscreen in Impress.

To create a presentation, simply follow these steps:

  1. Start Impress, or choose to create a new presentation through the File menu in any of the LibreOffice applications.

  2. In the Tasks panel on the right, click the Layouts heading.

    This opens a panel that gives you 12 different slide layouts to choose from.

  3. Click the slide layout you would like to use.

  4. Click in the title box and type the title you’d like to use for the slide.

  5. Your slide has up to six boxes for content. Click one of these and start typing to add text in the box.

    Alternatively, in the center of the content box are four buttons you can click to add different types of content, including a table, a chart, an image, or a video. If you want to add a picture, click the bottom-left button and then choose the picture you’d like to use. If you click a different slide layout on the right, it is applied to the slide you’re already working on.

  6. To add a new slide, click the Slide button on the menu bar, or use the Insert menu.

    Repeat steps 3 to 5 to fill in the slide.

  7. To edit a previous slide, click it in the Slides panel on the left.

    image0.jpg

You change the formatting of a title, piece of text, or picture by clicking it in the main slide area and then clicking the options on the menu bar at the top of the screen. The menu bar changes depending on whether the content is an image or text.

For best results, avoid using image files that are much bigger than you need: They slow down the computer and can crash the software if you use too many.

When you put your mouse pointer over one of the slides in the panel on the left, three buttons appear that you can click to start the slide show, hide the slide (which stops it showing in the slide show, but doesn’t delete it), or duplicate the slide.

You can also start the slide show from the Slide Show menu at the top of the screen or by pressing F5. To start from the first slide, click it in the Slides panel before you begin the slide show.

When the slide show is playing, you can use the left and right cursor keys to advance through the slide show and the Escape key to exit.

Impress has lots of additional features to explore, including colorful templates (click Master Pages in the Tasks panel on the right), transitions that animate the display of a slide (also found in the Tasks panel), and tools for making shapes, including speech bubbles and stars (see the menu at the bottom of the screen).

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