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Presenting on the Cheap with GoodReader

by on November 2nd, 2010

Regardless if you’re in the corporate world or in small business, PowerPoint [and not Keynote] is the de facto standard in creating presentations. This presents a challenge for iPad users who want to use their portable device in meetings and presentations on the road. Firstly, Keynote for the iPad simply isn’t as robust as its desktop cousin, and furthermore, the program has a problem displaying customized templates and fonts. This is a huge no-no when you have strict corporate style guidelines. However, there is a quick, easy and cheap solution until Microsoft steps in with their own Office for iOS or a PowerPoint viewer app. Here’s what you’ll need:

1 – iPad [starts at $550 and goes up to just under$900]

1 – VGA connector cable (or component cable if that’s your flavour) [$35]

1 – Copy of GoodReader [$2.99 in the App Store]

Ability to convert your PowerPoint Presentation into PDF [Priceless]

I hope you see where I’m going with this. The process now is quite simple:

1. Print or Save your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF.

2. Transfer your new PDF into GoodReader via iTunes or GoodReader’s own wireless browser interface.

3. Connect your iPad to a massive screen. [My preference are LCD displays in the 52"+ range.]

4. Fire up GoodReader and open your PDF to start presenting.

While the process is simple and straightforward, there are a couple of issues in using a PDF to present rather than a PowerPoint file. Firstly, converting to a PDF strips away fancy animations and slide transitions. [This isn't a great loss though. I'm not a big fan of cheesy transitions.] On a similar vein, PDFs won’t be able to play rich media files such as videos.

Now you may wondering why simply not transfer the raw PowerPoint file into GoodReader instead. Unfortunately, GoodReader opens PowerPoint files as a continuous page, rather than transitioning from slide to slide. Surprisingly, this issue doesn’t exist with a PDF.

Despite the downsides, presenting via GoodReader definitely has its benefits. Firstly, you can immediately share the presentation from your iPad without needing to go back to a desktop and reformatting the file. Above all else, though, you’ll be able to integrate your iPad into your professional workflow.

I hope I’ve given you one way to improve your presentations on the iPad. How’s the iPad in Canada nation using their tablets to present? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks. Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted under: App Store, Tutorials

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Definitely a plus to carry around the iPad versus your laptop for presentations.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Definitely a plus to carry around the iPad versus your laptop for presentations.

  • Prakash

    Here is a FREE solution: Use iBooks to display your pdf files (presentation slides). Don’t need Good Reader for this!

  • http://www.nicklenko.ca Nick Lenko

    I’ve created a keynote presentation for my portfolio to show potential employers at job interviews – always goes over great!

  • Douglas McKee

    I’ve been using GoodReader to show my slides when I teach since the fall. It works great except for two things. First, it’s really easy to lose the dock to vga connector, although I’ve only done it once. Second (and more important) I haven’t found a way to remotely change slides. Ideally I’d like an iPhone app that would talk to the iPad. I can always dream!