What can I do with Zoom?
Zoom gives you a complete overview of your entire PowerPoint slide library. You can select, print, email, or pdf your existing slides and presentations.You can work across presentations with single or multiple slides without touching PowerPoint at all unless you want to edit a file. You can select slides from different presentations and assemble them in a new file with a few clicks.
Most importantly, Zoom enables you to structure your individual PowerPoint slides according to your own preferences without paying attention to the underlying file structure. Assign one or more labels to your slides and organize them by project, by topic, by person or any other structure that makes sense to you. Zoom will then consolidate your database, collapse duplicate slides, and only show you unique slides in the label view.
How many slides can Zoom handle?
Technically, Zoom is able to work with an unlimited number of presentations and slides. We’re typically testing with almost 2,000 files and up to 50,000 slides of which over 35,000 are unique. Depending on the performance of your computer it might take a few seconds to load those slides if you are trying to view them all.
Zoom doesn’t have a menu bar, how do I work with it?
We wanted to give you as much space as possible to show and work with your slides. Therefore, all actions and commands within Zoom are initiated by right-clicking and selecting from the context menu.
Try right-clicking on the different elements of the Zoom window and find out about the many features we have built into the application.
What are ‘Labels’?
Labels allow you to organize and slice your slide library any way you like. You could for example create a label for each project you’re working on, or label slides by topic or product, or simply assign one, two, or three stars to certain slides to easily find important information, or mark slides ‘confidential’, ‘preliminary’, or ‘public’ as a note to your colleagues… or simply all of the above.
Start creating Labels by right-clicking on ‘Labels’ in the tree on the left. Then all you have to do is assign a label to an individual slide by right-clicking on the slide, choosing ‘Labels’, and checking the boxes next to the respective label(s) you want to use. Don’t forget to hit ‘Apply’ when you are done.
What does ‘Unique Slides’ mean?
When you’re indexing your slide collection or adding a new presentation Zoom recognizes identical slides. In the ‘Label’ view we’re only displaying unique slides, i.e., duplicate slides are collapsed into one.
Many times you are reusing a certain slide time and time again in a variety of presentations. The label view eliminates those duplicates and greatly reduces the number of slides you have to sort through.
The icon at the bottom of the slide shows you how often and in which presentations each unique slide appears. Label changes will be assigned to all instances of a unique slide, however if you start editing you will be asked to select the specific presentation that you’d like to work on.
How do I create a new presentation in Zoom?
Assembling a new presentation from existing slides in Zoom is easy. Simply select the slides you like, right-click, and choose ‘New Slide Deck from Selection’. The New Slide Deck area at the bottom will open and your slides will be added. You can also open the area manually by clicking on the arrow on the right and then drag and drop your slides into the new file.
Once you’re done, right-click again and save the file or choose ‘Save and Edit’ to open it in PowerPoint.
You can also run a screen presentation or slide show right out of Zoom. Select ‘Open File in Slide Show’ and Zoom will run the presentation for you.
Zoom is requesting Proxy Server settings after installation?
Proxy servers are used by some universities or companies as a filter between the end user and the open internet. Zoom will try to automatically detect your proxy server settings.
In rare cases your environment requires manual configuration and you will see the dialog window on the right. You can get this information from your IT department. Your username and password will usually be the same you use to sign into your workplace computer.
For security reasons, Zoom will not store your username and password so you will have to enter it on every startup. Alternatively, you can work offline but you will not receive notifications about important Zoom updates. In this case, use the button in the ‘About’ dialog to check for updates manually.
How can I un-install Zoom?
You can easily uninstall Zoom through the Windows programs menu. Click on the Windows menu button (in Win7) or the search button (in Win8) and enter ‘Uninstall’. Select ‘Uninstall a program’ and find Zoom in the list of installed programs that comes up. Zoom should usually be the last program in that list. Select Zoom and click ‘Uninstall’. Please note that this will remove all Zoom data including thumbnails, labels, and database entries from your computer. This process can not be reverted!
Working With Zoom
Can Zoom automatically find all files on my machine?
Zoom will find any PowerPoint file (ppt, pptx, pps, or ppsx) in the folders that you choose to be indexed and watched. If you add files and folders or make changes to presentations outside of Zoom the software will pick up those changes immediately or upon restart at the latest.
If you save a file from inside Zoom but in a folder location that is not monitored the slides will not get added to Zoom.
How do I know if a slide exists in multiple presentations?
Simply assign a label to the slide (or find it in the ‘unlabeled’ category). In the label view each unique slide will only show up once and an icon below the slide will indicate if it exists in multiple presentations and how often.
If you hover over this icon the tool tip shows the respective presentations. You can access the related files by right-clicking on the slide and selecting ‘Go to File’.
Does Zoom work with network folders?
Yes, Zoom will work with presentations that are located on a network. It’s easiest to use a network folder that is mapped to a drive letter on your computer. Go to your Windows Explorer and choose ‘Tools’ – ‘Map Network Drive’ to assign a drive letter to a network folder. However, you can also find and select other network folders in the Configuration dialog. Click the icon in the upper right corner to access the Configuration.
When you are disconnected from the network you will not be able to modify PowerPoint files that are located on the network but you can still see the slides, scroll through your presentation, and use the labeling.
You can even run a full-screen presentation even if you don’t have access to the network files. Zoom simply uses the stored thumbnail of the slides to run the presentation.
Zoom thus gives you the ability to take your networked presentations on the road with you.
How can I convert PowerPoint slides and presentations to PDF format?
You can either convert complete files or selected slides to pdf. Select the file in the tree view on the left and right-click, then select the ‘Save as PDF’ option. If you only need a few slides select them in the slide window on the right (hold shift or control to choose multiple slides), then right-click and ‘Save Selection as PDF’.
If you’d like to email your slides as PDF you don’t have to save them first. Just choose the slides you want and select ‘Email Selection’ then click the PDF option in the name window.
What are ‘unlabeled’ slides?
When you start using Zoom your slides will not be categorized and labeled. All your slides will show up under the ‘unlabeled’ category.
After you have created labels and assigned them to slides those slides will disappear from this view. Use the ‘unlabeled’ category to find slides that you haven’t categorized yet.
To harness the full potential of Zoom only irrelevant slides should remain in this category once you’re done setting up.
Can I see and edit Notes on slides?
Yes, the Notes are available. The little information icon (‘i’) below the slides contains abbreviated Slide Notes. If you double-click on a slide you will see a browse window which shows you the full Notes on the left. You can currently not edit the Notes from within Zoom.
By the way, Zoom’s ‘Search’ functionality will also find text contained in the Slide Notes.
How do I use ‘Shared Labels’?
Zoom enables you to share labels between different Zoom users. By using the Export and Import icons in the toolbar you can save all (or part of) your labels in a separate file and then transfer them to another computer. Upon import Zoom will match the slides in the second collection with the ones from the first to assign the labels.
Important: No actual PowerPoint files (or slides) will be transferred through the export/import so both computers have to have access to the actual PowerPoint files (either locally or through the network).
And one more thing: the export functionality is a great way to backup your labels. After you’ve gone through all the work of labeling your slides you don’t want to lose those labels on a system crash. So make sure to export your labels from time to time to a file that you keep in a safe location.
What are ‘Virtual Files?
Virtual Files are a great way to avoid duplicating slides over and over again and saving storage space. They are just like a PowerPoint file… only virtual (i.e., not saved as a file to disk). When you’re pulling together a new slide deck from existing slides don’t save it as a PowerPoint file but save it as a Virtual File. The slides will be stored in your Zoom database and you can see the new file in the tree on the left.
The great thing with Virtual Files is that they will update when the underlying PowerPoint slide changes. This means that you can keep the same slide in various Virtual Files, maybe you’re using the same slide in presentations for several projects. Whenever information on the slide needs to be updated you simply modify the underlying PowerPoint slide and all your Virtual Files update automatically.
Of course you can also save your Virtual Files to disk, e.g, if you need to send them to a colleague.
Virtual Files, like labels, can be exported to a transfer file and imported on another machine. This way you can work with the same information on several computers or share your Virtual Files with your team.
Zoom is using a lot of resources, what can I do?
Zoom probably has not finished indexing all your PowerPoint presentations yet. As a standard it will run in the background even if you close the software to pick up any changes to your files and folders and update the slide library immediately.
In the ‘configurations’ window you can adjust the performance parameters for indexing. For example, you can tell Zoom to only index presentations when the Zoom application is running. In this case it might take a short amount of time to update the library when you’re starting Zoom but it wouldn’t prevent you from working with your slides right away.
If you’re running the latest version of Zoom, you can also choose the amount of resources you want Zoom to use for indexing. In most cases, this only affects the first indexing run through your entire library. Any subsequent updates of file changes should be instantaneous in any case.
When I start Zoom it shows an empty screen?
Before you can work with Zoom you have to choose the folders that you want Zoom to index and monitor.
Click on the ‘Configurations’ icon in the upper right to bring up a window that let’s you select specific folders. Zoom will include any sub-folders in the folders you choose.
Pick your most important folders first to minimize initial indexing time. You can always add more later.
I receive popup messages from PowerPoint when Zoom is indexing?
This can happen once in a while when Zoom is still indexing presentations and generating thumbnails in the background. Zoom is using internal PowerPoint processes and some will create short-term popup messages that should disappear quickly. As soon as you are actively working with PowerPoint Zoom will stop indexing and no messages will appear.
In the ‘configurations’ window you can tell Zoom to only index presentations when the Zoom application is running. In this case it might take a short while to update the library when you’re starting Zoom but it wouldn’t prevent you from working with your slides right away.
Why is it taking so long to save the new presentation I created?
Zoom has to copy each slide from its original presentation to create the new file and then index all new slides to update its database.
The larger your new presentation the longer saving will take. However, we are constantly working on improving the copying and indexing performance.
I get a proxy server error when trying to install Zoom?
Error 407 or 417 are the most common proxy server issues. Listed below are several possible causes of the connection error you’re receiving. Please determine which of these causes may be applicable to you and follow the instructions to resolve the problem.
- Your firewall, anti-virus software or proxy is preventing the program from accessing the Internet. In this case, you need to add Zoom to your security software’s exceptions list.
- You may not have the latest updates for Windows XP. If you’re not currently running Windows XP Service Pack 2, please try upgrading Windows.
- You’re on an authenticated proxy server that isn’t supported. Currently, we support the Negotiate authentication scheme. This includes both Kerberos and NTLM, depending on what is available. Additionally, proxies using ‘integrated authentication’ are supported, provided that the current user is authorized to go through that proxy. Please determine if you’re on a supported proxy server.
If you’re still in doubt about the best solution please don’t hesitate to contact our technical support.
My computer comes up with an error code during installation?
If your error message says “The system cannot open the device or file specified” your ZoomSetup file is encrypted (typically shown as a green filename). Select properties and change the file attribute to unencrypted. Otherwise send us the error code and we’ll work on a solution.
My network folder does not show up in the configuration dialog?
Check if your network shows up in your Windows explorer under ‘Network’. If you can see it there, try to map your network folder to a drive letter. In your Windows Explorer select ‘Tools’ and ‘Map Network Drive’, then assign a Drive letter to the network path you would like to map. Best also check the ‘Reconnect at logon’ option. After you click ‘Finish’ that drive will appear in Windows Explorer under ‘My Computer’.
You might need to restart Zoom but afterwards your network drive will appear in the Zoom configuration window with the Drive letter you selected.
Some of my thumbnails have slight graphics errors?
The 3rd party image converter we are using to turn your PowerPoint slides into thumbnails in rare cases can have issues with advanced graphics layouts.
Note that your actual PowerPoint slides will NOT be affected, even if you create a new presentation from this thumbnail. You will see these errors only on the thumbnail representations in Zoom. We are reporting any issue we find as soon as possible and they will be fixed one by one in subsequent releases.
A new file I’m saving is not showing up in Zoom?
Check the settings and make sure that you’re saving your files in a location that is monitored by Zoom.
Also, if you’re using Windows 7, make sure that your files are saved in your Private Documents Library and not the Public Library because you probably did not include that one in the monitored folders.
Don’t read text on your slide to the audience
Your audience typically reads faster than you can speak. Which means that when they realize that you’re just reading off the text on the page they will read ahead and you will lose them immediately.
- Instead, keep the text on the page to a minimum and make sure you expand on the mentioned points in your presentation with additional background information. This way you’ll keep your audience interested and listening.
The average time to talk about a single Powerpoint slide is about 3 minutes!
Don’t turn your slide show into a comic strip at 20 slides a second. If you can’t talk about a single slides for 2-3 minutes you probably don’t have enough background information or your message is weak.
- Try condensing several slides with the same message into one.
Make room by taking out superfluous words!
There is no need to write text on slides in full sentences if you are presenting your PowerPoint deck to an audience. You can clean up your slides considerably by focusing on the important parts of a sentence. It will make your slide much more readable and keep your presentation concise.
- Instead of
‘The proposed investments in the IT department will pay off in three to four years’
‘IT investment payoff: 3 – 4y’.
Restrict yourself to one message per PowerPoint slide!
Don’t try to put all your available information on one slide, especially if they address different topics or points you want to make. Instead think about the intended message of the slide first, put it in the title and then start adding content and designing the slide.
- Combine slides with the same message into one, prepare separate slides for different topics and messages.
Use intelligent graphics to make your point!
Good graphs with numbers and statistics are obviously a great way to underline your reasoning. But simple graphics such as arrows, boxes, bubbles, and other shapes can help you make a point as well. They aid you in directing the readers’ attention and thereby controlling the flow of information and the logic on the slide.
- For example, if you are going through a chain of reasoning on a slide underline your arguments by using arrows.
Limit the use of fancy images, animations, and cartoons!
Try to use images and cartoons only when they are useful to make a point. Too many PowerPoint presentations include random waving stick-figures everywhere. It will distract the audience from your message and leave an unprofessional impression in many cases.
- Always ask yourself: do I really need this clipart?