Generate Presentations with the Task Scheduler
DataPoint is the tool to update your slide content automatically. With this PowerPoint add-on, you can link your slides to any data source for up-to-date presentations. And PowerPoint is great for presenting information. You will get the most important figures visible on your slides, not the rough data, and you can click next to move thru all the information.
With the DataPoint Enterprise edition, you will get the great tool called the DataPoint Generator tool which is a command line editor. You can read more about the command line editor in this previous published article.
In that article, you will learn that DataPoint has a tool to create snapshot presentations with a command. That command looks like this:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\PresentationPoint\DataPoint Enterprise edition\DP15GEN.exe" "name-of-our-presentation.pptx" "snapshot.pptx"
Basically, with that statement, you create a new presentation as a snapshot presentation, which is an up-to-date presentation with the latest information in it, but then disconnected from the linked data sources.
Use the Task Scheduler
You can use the Task Scheduler to schedule the generation of up-to-date PowerPoint presentations. For example, you can generate an automatically updated presentation every morning at 07:00. We have to add that command to the scheduler. The task scheduler will execute the task automatically for us, at the time specified.
Open your computer’s Control Panel and click System and Security, and then the Task Scheduler link. Open the Task Scheduler Library and choose to Create Basic Task.
In the first phase of the wizard, enter a name and a description of your task. Click Next when done.
Choose the run frequency. Most common options are daily, weekly or monthly. For example, I will choose daily. And click Next when completed.
Here we set it to run every day at 07:00 in the morning. Click Next when done.
Choose here to start a program and click Next.
For the Program/script, click the Browse button and select the program or script that you want to execute. Here, the program is set to “C:\Program Files (x86)\PresentationPoint\DataPoint Enterprise edition\DP15GEN.exe”. It is a good idea to put the full path between double quotes when you have spaces in the path. We would recommend to use double quotes (“) here all the time, even when there are no spaces in the path.
For the arguments, specify the minimal arguments of the DataPoint Generator tool, and those are:
- input presentation or source presentation
- output presentation or name and location of the snapshot presentation
Click Next when done.
For the last step of the wizard, get an overview of all your settings for this new task.
Here in this window, you will see a list of all tasks, last run time, next run time and the status. From here, you can force a manual run by right clicking the task, and then Run from the popup menu. For the automatic run, you have to wait for the next morning.
You can set up multiple tasks here, or even run a batch script (BAT file) to generate multiple snapshot presentations, after each other. The presentation will be generated with the latest information of your data sources, and then disconnected from the data sources, so that you can distribute the presentation to others that:
- do not have the DataPoint add-on
- have no access to your data sources
- you don’t want them to have access or change the source connections of your base presentation