[OS X TeX] White vs. Transparent?

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sat Mar 25 13:43:12 EST 2006

Le 25 mars 06 à 16:34, Victor Ivrii a écrit :

> On 3/25/06, Alan Munn <amunn at msu.edu> wrote:
>> (And please don't let's turn this into a debate about why I should
>> use Beamer or Keynote...; my Powerpoint presentations require fast
>> integration of Excel charts etc. from multiple authors using both PCs
>> and Macs, none of whom use LaTeX.)
> My condolences. The problem is that (as I suspect) very few people in
> this list use
> PP and this makes your chances to get a PP related answer pretty low.
> My remark about beamer had just a purpose to explain why I cannot tell
> much about KN specifics.

Unfortunately I do have to use PowerPoint at times, when contributing  
to presentations involving several people, most of them on Windows  
and all of them -- except me -- using PowerPoint -- I prefer Keynote.

There are several issues here:

- Compatibility between PowerPoint and Keynote: In my experience  
Keynote imports fairly well PowerPoint presentations (sometimes you  
have to cut a PP presentation into several separate ones before  
importing into Keynote, which otherwise fails with unhelpful error  
messages), but exporting to PowerPoint isn't as good. Namely, for  
some reason a number of included graphics appear as black blocks in  
PowerPoint (I suspect this is precisely the result of PowerPoint not  
handling transparency), while the others have "gained" a markedly  
bitmapped look.

- Compatibility between PowerPoint Windows and PowerPoint Mac: These  
are really two separate applications, and even if the file formats  
are similar the same presentation delivered under Windows and Mac OS  
really looks different. For one thing, most of the animations  
included on a Mac (or exported to PowerPoint Mac from Keynote) won't  
work on Windows; I suspect this comes from them using a QuickTime  
container, even if they are indeed in a format -- for example AVI --  
that Windows can play. Maybe installing QuickTime on the PC solves  
this. Another issue is fonts: you have to use fonts present on both  
the Windows PC and the Mac.

Microsoft has published guidelines on compatibility of Office  
applications between Macs and PCs. Quoting some information (in  
French) I had gathered for my department's fourth-year assessment  
earlier last year, when we had a number of such compatibility issues:

> - Pour Office en général
> <http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/office2004/using.aspx? 
> pid=usingoffice2004&type=howto&article=/mac/LIBRARY/how_to_articles/ 
> office2004/of_xplatform.xml>
> - Pour Word
> <http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/word2004/using.aspx? 
> pid=usingword2004&type=howto&article=/mac/LIBRARY/how_to_articles/ 
> office2004/wd_compat2004.xml>
> - Pour Excel
> <http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/excel2004/using.aspx? 
> pid=usingexcel2004&type=howto&article=/mac/LIBRARY/how_to_articles/ 
> officex/xl_crossplatform.xml>
> - Pour PowerPoint
> <http://www.microsoft.com/mac/products/powerpoint2004/using.aspx? 
> pid=usingpowerpoint2004&type=howto&article=/mac/LIBRARY/tips_tricks/ 
> officex/pp_crossplatformtip.xml>
> En pratique pour PowerPoint :
> - Pour les images, les convertir au format PNG (de préférence),  
> JPEG ou GIF avant de les inclure dans la présentation PowerPoint.  
> Inconvénient : il s'agit de formats bitmap (dans l'espace physique  
> pour GIF et PNG, en composantes de Fourier pour JPEG), donc de  
> qualité moyenne. Raison de plus pour utiliser Keynote, qui lui  
> travaille en PDF (format vectoriel) de façon native ;-)
> - Pour les vidéos, utiliser le format AVI plutôt que QuickTime.
> - Pour les polices de caractères, se limiter aux polices suivantes :
> 	Arial
> 	Arial Black
> 	Century Gothic
> 	Comic Sans MS
> 	Copperplate Gothic Bold
> 	Copperplate Gothic Light
> 	Curlz MT
> 	Edwardian Script ITC
> 	Impact
> 	Lucida Handwriting
> 	Monotype Sorts
> 	Tahoma
> 	Times New Roman
> 	Verdana
> 	Wingdings

Meaning, in essence: use PNG (preferably), JPEG or GIF for images;  
use AVI rather than QuickTime for animations; and use fonts from the  
above list.

In my experience, when taking a presentation from PowerPoint Mac to  
PowerPoint Windows, it is safer to have separate copies of all images  
and animations, and to re-include them one by one.

That said, regarding your original question about quality of output,  
I have found that the markedly bitmapped look of images in PowerPoint  
Mac presentations isn't present in PowerPoint Windows presentations.  
Maybe Microsoft hasn't put the same amount of efforts in the Mac  
version as in the Windows one ;-) Or I haven't looked closely enough  
during the very few times I've used Windows.

In practice, I would recommend making PowerPoint presentations on  
Windows whenever possible. Sadly! Or use Virtual PC for those with  
PPC Macs, and for those with MacTels to take a walk on the wild side  
<http://www.macworld.com/2006/03/firstlooks/xpmini/> ;-)

Bruno Voisin------------------------- Info --------------------------
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