We are the champion in displaying real-time information on your PowerPoint slides. Typically information is stored in files and databases, and these numbers, names, percentages, KPIs, target dates etc are all displayed as characters and numbers. But in some cases, it is not possible to collect or connect to a data source to get the raw data. Sometimes you have to display a screenshot of a website to show the information because that (legacy) system is not able to export the information, or you have no access to it.
With our DataPoint, you can already grab an image of a website and show this in real-time on your slide, but some images or snapshots of websites are technically not possible to capture because of the technology used. For this, we have added a new feature to our DataPoint.
In the past, we often recommended to use some free plugin to display an URL on your slide, but there was a disadvantage with that technology. Every time that the PowerPoint slide was shown in the slideshow, the web page was rebuild on your screen and that was not always needed. This process starts with an empty browser and then you will see the website coming up. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, and sometimes in a blocking situation when the visiting website shows a popup error message. So not ideal for non-interactive information screens like our customers are typically using. So we had to come up with an alternative way.
The new web URL shape is added to the DataPoint ribbon.
To insert a website on your slide, always start by just adding a normal picture. Choose Insert, Pictures on your PowerPoint ribbon and navigate to any static picture (we just need the dummy to start with) and place it on your slide.
With this dummy picture selected, click to open the DataPoint menu and choose the Web URL button of the Shapes group.
Let’s bind a website URL to this picture shape. Start by pasting the desired URL from your web browser in the first text. Best is to leave all these default options. But if you want you can change the width or the height of the images, specify a timeout, enable scripts, Java and ActiveX.
Maybe note the delay option. This value is the time it waits between the moment that the website was shown and the moment where the picture is taken. Some websites and web technology require some more time to draw some elements on the website. So with this option, you allow the website to prepare the output better. Take the picture when you want: immediately or with some delay.
And very important for real-time updates of the website content, are the URL refresh rate settings. Set it to refresh only once in the opening of the presentation, or continuously when the slideshow is running on your screen. Change the interval setting to your desired value.
Don’t forget to crop the website if you want to show one specific area of the website only.
Select the website (picture) and choose Format from the ribbon. Then use the Crop tool to set the focus of the image to a specific region.
And this is how it looks when the full website is cropped to a specific region of interest for your viewers.
Add some more information and maybe some more slides with other information. Set the slideshow type to a kiosk and let the slideshow run forever. DataPoint will keep the slide content up-to-date while the slideshow is running. Optionally use our iPoint product to schedule, distribute, manage and auto-start the presentation on remote monitors.
With this web URL shape, you can display website content in real-time and very fast because DataPoint is rendering the website as an image in the background. Once that background generation process is done, only then it is delivered to your slide. So no more slow loading and building up of the website pages visible on your screens.