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What's New in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 for Developers

Office 2003
 

Siew Moi Khor
Andrew May
Microsoft Corporation

October 2003

Applies to:
    Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2003

Summary: Read an overview of the new features and enhancements of Microsoft's premiere presentation software application, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003. Enhancements include Information Rights Management, Research Library, improved Smart Tags support, and the ability to perform ad-hoc collaboration using Document Workspace sites based on integration with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies. (20 printed pages)

Contents

Introduction
Information Rights Management
Research Library
Smarter Smart Tags
Collaboration Using Document Workspace Sites
Other Feature Enhancements
Conclusion

Introduction

Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2003 contains many new features and improvements that make creating presentations even easier than before. This article provides a high-level preview of some of these features.

Information Rights Management

Information Rights Management (IRM) in the Microsoft Office System is a new feature that enables individual authors to specify permission for who can access and use presentations or e-mail messages, and helps prevent sensitive information from being printed, forwarded, or copied by unauthorized people. Once permission for a presentation is restricted with this technology, the access and usage restrictions are enforced no matter where the information is, since the permissions to access the presentation are stored in the file itself.

Note   You can create content with restricted permission using IRM only in Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, and Microsoft Office Word 2003. However, the Rights Management Add-on for Microsoft Internet Explorer allows authorized people without the Microsoft Office System to use Internet Explorer to view content with restricted permission.

Creating Content with Restricted Permissions

IRM enables an individual author to create a presentation with restricted permission for specific people who can access the content. Permission for presentations can be restricted on a per-user or per-group basis. (Group-base permissions require Active Directory for group expansion.) Presentation authors can give each user a set of permissions according to the following access levels: Read, Change, and Full Control. Table 1 lists the access to the presentation for each level. By default, presentation authors are assigned Full Control. Note that users given Full Control access can perform any of the duties the presentation author can: restrict printing access, set expiration dates, and even give permission to others or change permission for existing users.

Table 1. Access given to a presentation based on IRM access level

  Read Change Full Control
View X X X
Edit   X X
Copy   X X
Save   X X
Print     X
Access file programmatically     X
Set IRM Properties     X

Users with Full Control can also specify an expiration date past which users can no longer access the presentation. For example, a presentation author could give a group Change access to a presentation, but limit access to the presentation to the next five days. Expiration dates are set on a per-presentation basis. Once permission for a presentation expires, the presentation can only be opened by users with Full Control access to the presentation.

To specify permissions for a presentation, use the Permissions dialog box (Figure 1). Use this dialog box to restrict access to the presentation, and to add users you want to give access permissions to the presentation.

Note   To open the Permissions dialog box, from the File menu point to Permissions, and then click Do Not Distribute; or click the Permissions button on the Standard toolbar.

Figure 1. Permissions dialog box

To set additional access properties, click More Options to display the next Permissions dialog box (Figure 2). You can add and remove users, or change their access level, as well as specify the following additional permissions for all users of the presentation:

  • Specify expiration date
  • Enable all users to print the content of the presentation.
  • Allow users with read access to also copy the contents of the presentation.
  • Enable all users to access the content of the presentation programmatically.
  • Type an e-mail address from which users can request additional permissions. This includes unauthorized users. If an unauthorized user attempts to access the presentation, a message is displayed containing the e-mail address entered here, so that the individual can request permission for the presentation.
  • Allow users with earlier versions of Microsoft Office to view the presentation with a browser that supports IRM.
  • Require that users be connected to the Internet in order to verify a user's permission each time they access the presentation. This prevents users from accessing the presentation offline.

Figure 2. Permissions dialog box with additional options

Policy Permissions

Administrators for companies can create permission policies that are available in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Office Word 2003, and Microsoft Office Excel 2003, on the Permissions submenu and define who can access information and what levels of editing or Office capabilities users have for a presentation. For example, a company administrator might define a policy called "Company Confidential" that specifies that only users inside the company domain can open presentations, workbooks, or presentations that have that policy applied. You can display up to twenty customized policies (in alphabetical order) on the Permission submenu at one time so that individual authors can use them for the content they create.

Additional Server Requirements for IRM

Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 with Windows Rights Management Services is required to enable IRM in the Microsoft Office System. Microsoft also hosts a free trial IRM service for customers who do not have Microsoft Windows Server 2003. This service enables users to share presentations and messages with restricted permissions using Microsoft .NET Passport as the authentication mechanism, as opposed to Microsoft Active Directory® directory services.

For more information about Information Right Management, see Information Rights Management in Office Professional Edition 2003.

Using the Object Model for Information Rights Management

The Presentation.Permission property returns the Permission object, from the Office type library. The Permission object contains a collection of UserPermission objects, each of which represents one user that has access to the presentation. Use the Permission property to specify the access the user has to the presentation, and the ExpirationDate property to set an expiration date for the user's access to the presentation. Because these properties belong to the UserPermission object, you can specify them on a per-user basis, as opposed to setting them once for all users (as in the user interface).

For example, the following code grants Change access level permissions for the active presentation to three users. Bill and Jane are granted access for the next seven days, after which only Wendy has access for an additional seven days. In addition, Bill and Wendy are given permission to print the presentation, while Jane cannot.

Sub AddUserPermissions()
Dim strText As String
strText = "Permission has been added for the following users:" + vbLf
With ActivePresentation.Permission
    .Add "bill@tailspintoys.com", _
        msoPermissionChange + msoPermissionPrint, Now + 7
    strText = strText + .Item(.Count).UserId + vbLf
    .Add "jane@tailspintoys.com", _
        msoPermissionChange, Now + 7
    strText = strText + .Item(.Count).UserId + vbLf
    .Add "wendy@tailspintoys.com", _
        msoPermissionChange + msoPermissionPrint, Now + 14
    strText = strText + .Item(.Count).UserId + vbLf
End With
    MsgBox strText, vbInformation + vbOKOnly, "Permissions Added"
End Sub

The Permission object model is available whether permissions are restricted on the active presentation or not. The Permission property of the Presentation object does not return Nothing when the specified presentation does not have restricted permissions. Use the Enabled property to determine whether a presentation has restricted permissions.

The Permission object model also supports the use of administrative permission policies as well. Use the ApplyPolicy method to apply a permission policy, and the PermissionFromPolicy, PolicyName, and PolicyDescription properties to return policy information.

Research Library

The new Research Library feature in the Microsoft Office System makes searching for relevant information and integrating that data into Office presentations easier. The Research task pane is a task pane-based feature (see Figure 3) in Word 2003, Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio® 2003, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Office OneNote™ 2003. The Research Library that functions within Office applications allows Office users to access the Research Library services easily while working on Office presentations.

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Figure 3. Search results returned in Research task pane and inserted into a presentation (click picture to see larger image)

Research sources that are built into the Microsoft Office System, provide easier access to reference tools such as dictionary, thesaurus, translation, encyclopedia, and some Web sites in multiple languages. Figure 4 shows the research services enabled by default in the Microsoft Office System, while Figure 5 shows the available built-in research services options that you can choose from.

Note   To display the Research task pane, on the Tools menu, click Research or click the Research Library icon on the toolbar. To search for information, just type keywords in the Search for field, or alternative by clicking on the word in the presentation you want to search for information on while holding down the Alt key.

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Figure 4. List of built-in research sources enabled by default (click picture to see larger image)

Figure 5. List of built-in the Microsoft Office System research sources options

Additionally, the Research Library which can be controlled by administrators at a corporate level is extendable, allowing developers and third-party information providers the ability to create their own research services. This means developers can build custom research sources that integrate information from a company's back-end database sources, thus making business-specific data available to users. The data sources can be local or remote, behind a corporate firewall or on the Internet, including SharePoint sites. It is noteworthy that extending the research library allows developers to provide an innovative and intelligent solution that permeates across multiple applications in the Microsoft Office System, since the Research Library feature as mentioned earlier, is supported in many applications in the Microsoft Office System.

In addition, the Research Library integration of smart tag technology allows developers to create custom actions such as transforming, inserting or grabbing data from live feeds as shown in Figure 6. Smart tag integration in the Research Library feature is supported in Word 2003, Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Outlook 2003, and Visio 2003.

Figure 6. Custom smart tag actions integrated into a Research service

You can customize actions available in the Research task pane to integrate smart tags, hyperlinks, and textual data that you can insert into presentations as structured XML data, which is not the case with typical Web searches.

The Research Library feature provides this functionality using formatted XML packets. Once a Web service is registered on a user's computer, the user can generate queries, which the Microsoft Office System sends on to the service by using SOAP. A research service receives a basic query packet, an XML string that adheres to the query protocol schema. Then the research service processes the query and returns the results of the query by using one of the authorized results schemas.

Users must opt to register a service from a research service provider on their computer as shown in Figure 7. Once registered, users can initiate searches by using the research service. When users initiate searches, the Microsoft Office System sends query packets to your service. When the Microsoft Office System receives a response from a service with the results of the search, the application from which the user initiated the search displays the results in the Research task pane as shown in Figure 3 above.

Figure 7. Users given the option to register a custom Research Library service

A Research task pane must respond to a list of Research Library predefined interfaces. The two primary interfaces are the Registration and Query interfaces:

Registration

Before a user can use a custom Research task pane, you must register it with the Microsoft Office System. Registering allows the Microsoft Office System to get all the necessary service data and perform dynamic updates. The Microsoft Office System also helps deploy the custom Research Library by advertising the service to an end-user, performing automatic registration, advertising the service, and performing user initiated installation. If this mean research service is not implemented, providers must write the registration key themselves.

The registration interface returns a XML document based on the registration schema that defines the origin of the Research Pane XML Web service, additional licensing information, and a pointer to the Query interface. The registration interface is called by the Microsoft Office System to install the information that the Microsoft Office System needs to use the custom Research task pane.

When you provide your end users with a URL to your Research Library service, they type the URL into the Add Service dialog box Address field to search for your service as shown in Figure 8. If the search returns results, users can register your service on their computer as shown in Figure 7 above. For this to function properly, you must have a SOAP function called Registration located at the URL that you give your users.

Figure 8. Users adding a service entering the URL a service provider send them in the Address field

The Registration function takes a String and returns a String.

In Microsoft Visual C#®, it looks as follows:

    [WebMethod] Public String Registration(String)

In Microsoft Visual Basic® .NET, it is:

    <WebMethod> Public Function Registration(reg as String) as String

Query

The second step in setting up a Research Library service is to develop a way to process the queries that you receive from your users. The Query interface is the primary interface that Office calls when the user interacts with the Research task pane. This includes any searches on a term, or a request through a form that collects input from a user. The Query function allows office to send queries to the server, and allows the server to respond with rich results. It is strictly a communications protocol, unrelated to the back end.

To process the queries that you receive from users of your service, create a SOAP function named Query. This function, as shown in the syntax example below, takes a String and returns a String.

In C#, it looks as follows:

    [WebMethod] Public String Query(String)

In Visual Basic .NET, it is:

    <WebMethod> Public Function Query(reg as String) as String

The application that accesses to your service calls this Query function, and passes in a string comprised of XML data that adheres to the XML query packet schema. The Query function that you create processes this string and then returns a string that adheres to the response schemas.

The Registration and Query interfaces are developed as Web services that return XML packets based on pre-defined schemas included with the Research task pane SDK.

Updating Registration Settings

When you register your service by implementing the Registration function, the Research Library framework periodically requests that providers update their registration information. Information is updated at the provider level. This is performed automatically, as opposed to when a service is registered using custom installations requiring a custom update application if the service registration settings change.

Smarter Smart Tags

Smart tags were first introduced in Microsoft Office XP and supported in Microsoft Word 2002, Excel 2002, Microsoft Outlook® 2002 (when Word is used as the Outlook e-mail editor or when reading HTML e-mail), and Microsoft Internet Explorer (smart tag actions only, no recognizers). Smart tags enable the dynamic recognition of terms within presentations, making data in presentations more meaningful and actionable. For example, once a term is recognized, the user can invoke an action from a list of actions associated with that particular smart tag. Examples include inserting relevant data, linking to a Web page, database lookup, data conversion and so forth.

With Microsoft the Microsoft Office System, smart tag support has extended to Microsoft PowerPoint® and Microsoft Access. In addition, the Research task pane that is available across multiple Office applications also supports smart tags. Smart tags in the Microsoft Office System are enhanced based on feedback from users and developers.

You can build custom smart tags using any programming language that can create a Component Object Model (COM) add-in. A smart tag dynamic-link library (DLL) is a COM DLL with applications that support it, for example, Word 2003, functioning as hosts in the Microsoft Office System.

In Office XP, the ISmartTagRecognizer and ISmartTagAction interfaces (as defined in the Microsoft Smart Tag 1.0 Type Library) are implemented to build custom smart tag COM add-ins. In the Microsoft Office System, the ISmartTagRecognizer and ISmartTagAction interfaces exist unchanged. However, the smart tag application programming interface (API) library is extended to support two additional new interfaces that enable new functionality: ISmartTagRecognizer2 and ISmartTagAction2.

The library, which is also backward compatible, is named the Microsoft Smart Tags 2.0 Type Library. With this library, it is possible to develop a smart tag DLL that works in both Office XP and the Microsoft Office System. The new features are not supported and therefore do not work in Office XP. Nevertheless, developers can address the needs of customers who are running both versions in their organization.

Below is a list of some of the new smart tag features in the Microsoft Office System:

  • Smart tags reloading without having to restart the host application

    In Office XP, smart tag recognizers and actions are loaded only when the application is initially started. In the Microsoft Office System, you can reload smart tags without having to close and reopen the host application, which makes them more accessible and convenient for users. Also, newly downloaded smart tag actions are immediately available, and you can dynamically update smart tags as designed without requiring a restart. This feature also benefits developers who are in the build/debugging process of smart tags.

  • Dynamic caption

    In Office XP, once a caption that appears on the smart tag action menu is set, you cannot change it during run time. In the Microsoft Office System, you can alter smart tag action menu captions at run time. The name of an action depends on the string that is defined for the smart tag. With this capability, developers can create more useful action menus to give users a better experience. Previously, a smart tag action menu offered users the opportunity to "buy this DVD now." Now the same action can provide richer, timelier information with greater detail, such as "buy this DVD on sale for $11.99 until June 5," programmatically derived at run time.

    With dynamic captions, developers can tailor relevant actions based on the presented information. Developers can also suppress inappropriate action items when it makes sense to not display a specific action item (for example, an action item with a caption that says "buy now" for a product that is discontinued, or one that says "schedule a meeting" for a date that passed).

  • Cascading Menus

    In Office XP, smart tag menus only supported one level of menu items, you could not cascade or logically group menu items. In the Microsoft Office System, you can create cascading menus as shown in Figure 9. With that capability, you can logically group actions to make it easier for users to navigate the options, shorten the overall menu length, or simply consolidate actions under one heading so they are separated from other action handlers.

    Figure 9. Cascading menu in the Microsoft Office System smart tags

  • Tokenizer feature built into smart tag infrastructure

    The Tokenizer feature built into the smart tag infrastructure in the Microsoft Office System, which breaks down strings, punctuation, and white space into actual words for use by the recognizer, enables streams of tokens to be passed to recognizers in addition to raw text. Therefore, developers implementing the smart tag API do not have to tokenize the text. Developing recognizers for languages that do not have spaces between words, such as some East Asian languages, is much easier. It also simplifies development for Western languages as well because developers can operate on tokens rather than having to worry about separating a text buffer into words based on white space and punctuation. Tokenization is also very useful for developers who write smart tags that support multiple languages because developers no longer write language-specific code to do this.

  • Enable or disable the smart tag button and underline

    You can choose to enable or disable the smart tag button and underline for individual smart tags by setting properties in the property bag and using the ISmartTagAction_ShowSmartTagIndicator property in the ISmartTagAction2 interface.

  • Extended object model support

    The smart tag object model support is extended to provide developers with more flexibility from Microsoft Office Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA).

  • Deploy smart tags for all users on a computer

    In Office XP, you could only deploy smart tags for use at an individual (current user) level on a given computer. In the Microsoft Office System, you can deploy smart tags for use by all users of a computer rather than just the person who installed them. To do so, write the smart tag registry keys under HKEY_LOCAL_COMPUTER rather than HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

  • Smart tag actions for XML in Word 2003 and Excel 2003

    You can build smart tag actions for XML elements in Word and Excel documents in the same way you build them for smart tags labeled by smart tag recognizers.

  • Microsoft Office Smart Tag List enhancement

    The Microsoft Office Smart Tag List DLL (MOSTL) is the built-in smart tag recognizer and action handler run-time which allows you to build smart tags using XML, without writing a single line of code. In the Microsoft Office System, MOSTL is enhanced to support regular expression usage (see below for more detail) and the ability to set properties on items in a list of terms.

  • Pattern matching using regular expression in MOSTL

    Using regular expression to do pattern matching, you can create more useful and powerful MOSTL based smart tags. You can now write regular expressions to recognize terms that predictably reoccur (for example, a part number where the string always begins with some letters and ends in a sequence of digits) without having to add every possible part number in the MOSTL XML file.

  • XML expansion pack

    The XML expansion pack for deploying the smart document solution is a new technology that simplifies securely installing smart tag DLLs, Component Object Model (COM) add-ins, and other files that extend Office. You can use the XML expansion pack to deploy smart tags, which greatly simplifies both smart tag deployment to the desktop and keeping them up to date.

    There are also new types of smart tags developers can implement in the Microsoft Office System that offer varying life spans and scope in the recognition of terms:

  • Expiring

    In the Microsoft Office System, you can mark smart tags to expire on a certain date and time. This feature is especially useful for smart tags that are no longer of value after a certain date or time, saving developers from maintenance tasks and cleanup. For example, a smart tag that links to an online coupon can be set to expire when the coupon is no longer valid, ensuring that users do not waste time or that they are not misled.

  • Unsavable

    Unsavable smart tags are smart tags that are active when the presentation is open but are unsavable with the presentation. It is inappropriate to save some smart tags with a presentation. Not saving certain smart tags ensures that private or sensitive information (for example client data) is not accidentally forwarded outside a department or organization with a presentation.

  • Fragile

    Developers creating recognizers for smart tags can avoid unwanted recognition. In the past, smart tags that recognized client names ran the risk of misinterpreting the user's intent if similar client names were entered, for example, Smith Auto and Smith Auto Body. In this scenario, if the user paused after typing Smith Auto, the recognizer fires off the discovery of a real client, but when the user finished the term Smith Auto Body, the original recognition persists and does not represent the actual context. In the Microsoft Office System, you can avoid this by setting the fragile property on a smart tag, allowing it to stop recognizing whenever the user types in the paragraph, not just in the middle of the smart tag itself.

Collaboration Using Document Workspace Sites

Currently, people do ad-hoc collaboration in a variety of ways. For example, people collaborate by using e-mail, or with applications such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, or with groupware tools such as Microsoft SharePoint™ Products and Technologies or real-time collaboration tools such as instant messaging and conferencing. In the Microsoft Office System, ad-hoc collaboration combines the best approaches through the new Document Workspace feature–-the ease of getting collaborative efforts started using e-mail, online file management and sharing with SharePoint Products and Technologies, and the rich editing functionality found in Office applications.

Document Workspace sites capitalize on natural entry points, supplement and integrate with existing tools, and minimizes collaboration apparatus overhead. In addition, Document Workspace sites makes collaborative efforts straightforward, from sending a simple shared e-mail file attachment to automatically creating a SharePoint site.

Shared Workspace Task Pane

Before discussing Document Workspace sites in more detail, it is important to understand what a Shared Workspace task pane is. When a user opens a presentation that is located on a SharePoint site (whether it be a regular, or Document Workspace site), the Microsoft Office System application that opens the presentation provides a special task pane that shows relevant information about that site directly in the application. As shown in Figure 10, this pane displays information such as the list of people who are collaborating in the Document Workspace site, as well as their online status, a list of tasks, other presentations in the Shared Workspace library, relevant hyperlinks and other information. Word 2003, Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft Office Project 2003, Microsoft Office Visio 2003 and Microsoft OneNote display the Shared Workspace task pane when they open a presentation that resides on a SharePoint site.

The task pane is not just view-only. It allows a user to invite new contributors to the Document Workspace site, create, assign, or mark tasks as completed, upload additional presentations, view other presentations in the library, and add or follow hyperlinks related to the presentation. Also, integration of the task pane with Instant Messaging technology allows the user to see who is online through the familiar "pawn" icon, and send instant messages or e-mail to team members. This pane brings the context of the presentation right into the user's environment.

Figure 10. The Shared Workspace task pane and a list of people collaborating on the document

Document Workspace Sites

With existing models, when multiple authors are collaborating on presentation, users often start by sending a presentation to their partners by e-mail. If they post it on a server, they often also need to have a local copy of the file to work on either because they occasionally have to work offline, or they find the server copy locked for editing by another user. However, using e-mail and having offline copies as the basis of your collaboration results in presentations getting out of synchronization or being "forked" into multiple incarnations. This requires a lengthy process of reconciliation of changes, often much more than is necessary if all users edited or reviewed an up-to-date version. With e-mail collaboration, it is also hard to track the progress of the other contributors.

Document Workspace sites make typical ad-hoc document collaboration easier in several ways. As with any SharePoint site, Document Workspace sites centralize all of the "artifacts" of collaboration—task lists, deadlines, related documents and presentations, hyperlinks, and contacts for project participants. They also integrate with the Microsoft Office System applications through the Shared Workspace task pane in the application that appears beside the presentation, allowing for easy access to all of these resources and bringing the team-collaboration context into an author's personal productivity tools. Unlike e-mail, where the original author has no way of knowing if any of the people she or he asked to contribute to the collaborative effort even started work on it, with the Shared Workspace task pane and Document Workspace sites, each partner can see the editing and task progress or completion.

Documents that are stored locally and connected to the Document Workspace site can be easily synchronized with the master copy on the server to keep all the contributors up to date with changes made by others. When working with a local copy of the presentation that is connected to a Document Workspace site, the user can always access the most up-to-date version before starting work—thus avoiding a forked presentation. If the user is online and opens a local, connected presentation, the Microsoft Office System application first checks it against the master copy on the servers running SharePoint Products and Technologies. If the local version is out of date, the application offers the user a choice to download the most current version. Alternatively, if the user was working off line and their version is newer, the user can push changes to the presentation back to the server at any time. If someone else made changes to the presentation in the intervening time, the application offers the user a chance to reconcile the differences. Figure 11 shows the Shared Workspace service options, such as when to check for updates and set alerts.

Figure 11. Shared Workspace service options

By using Document Workspace sites, you can effectively collaborate while minimizing overhead and delays, avoid multiple forked versions and presentation content being out of date, avoid bottlenecks, work around a file being locked, and you have the ability to track progress without having to set up a server. You can also programmatically create a Document Workspace site, do bulk manipulation of collaborative data, and synchronize files using the object model for Document Workspace sites.

Entry Points to Creating Document Workspace Sites

Creating a Document Workspace Site by Using E-mail

In Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, when you attach one or more files (presentations, pictures, and so forth) to an e-mail message, you see the Attachment Options task pane as shown in Figure 12.

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Figure 12. Shared attachment option when sending an attachment using Outlook 2003 (click picture to see larger image)

By default, the attachments are sent in the same way they were in previous versions, but if the user selects the Shared Attachment option and then sends the e-mail, in addition to sending the attachments normally, a Document Workspace site is created on an available server running SharePoint Products and Technologies, and a copy of all the attachments are stored there. You can also specify the SharePoint site on which to create the Document Workspace site, or leave it set to the default choice. Any recipient of the e-mail is automatically added to the Document Workspace site as a contributor. Therefore, just by sending an e-mail and attachment, the user kicks off a powerful collaboration tool for the user's team of co-workers, regardless of where they are working.

Every recipient of the original e-mail gets the attachments normally, but also sees a link pointing to the Document Workspace site where the latest copies of the presentation can be found, and other information related to the new document collaboration. For recipients without the Microsoft Office System, they can either work on the potentially out-of-date attachments, or use the included link to the Document Workspace site to see the latest information and work directly from the server while online. For recipients who are using the Microsoft Office System, there is an added benefit—any attached Office documents, are now connected to the master copies on the Document Workspace site. When those documents are opened, the application offers to check for an updated version on the server, therefore, if the e-mail attachment is resolved as out of date, users can choose to download the latest copy to work on, or work off the server. The Shared Workspace task pane also appears and provides information from the Document Workspace site in the task pane. Because this shared attachment is on the user's local computer, it can be edited offline or online, even when other users are working on the server copy or on connected local copies. There is no need for the users of the Microsoft Office System to send copies of the presentation by e-mail.

With shared attachments connected to Document Workspace sites, and the shared task pane, each co-author working on a computer is prompted when the presentation is changed by others, and is given the opportunity to review the changes or contribute in real time as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13. The document update options

Using Tasks and Alerts lists on the SharePoint site, each team member can also track the progress of other contributors. Instant messaging integration makes it easy to see when other authors are online and initiate conversations with them.

Creating a Document Workspace Site by Using a Microsoft Office System Application

Word 2003, Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, and Visio 2003 let users easily develop a local document or presentation into a Document Workspace site, by collaborating in ad hoc ways. While editing a local presentation, an author can invite partners and assign tasks, creating a Document Workspace site to store the presentation and associated data without needing to know anything about SharePoint Products and Technologies or how to set it up.

To create Document Workspace sites in Office applications, on the Tools menu, click Shared Document. The Create button in the Shared Workspace task pane as shown in Figure 14 also allows you to create a Document Workspace site from within an Office application. A user can create a Document Workspace site for any presentation stored on their hard disk. This presentation then becomes a connected local copy of the presentation, with a master copy on the server. The user can invite other contributors, add links, and so forth without using e-mail.

Figure 14. Adding or creating Document Workspace sites from the Shared Workspace task pane

Creating a Document Workspace Site for a Document on a SharePoint Site

Sometimes SharePoint sites can grow quite large and have a large number of members. In this case, some users may want to take a presentation to a semi-private space to work on it further, without disrupting the current "public" version with editing in progress. You can fork a presentation that exists in the SharePoint into a private collaborative Document Workspace site, and periodically (or finally) publish it back to the original source location. In this semi-private space, users work on the presentation alone or with a few others. You can do this using the Create Document Workspace site command in the context menu of SharePoint Products and Technologies for the presentation. This creates a site and applies the Document Workspace site template (see Figure 15). By default, only administrators can create Document Workspace sites in SharePoint Products and Technologies. The right to create Document Workspace sites is also inherited.

Figure 15. Creating a semi-private Document Workspace site from a more "public" Document Workspace site

Policies

Additionally, Document Workspace sites give you the ability to set up policies to:

  • Specify the location of your personal site on the server running SharePoint Products and Technologies.
  • Specify the display list for the location picker where you want Document Workspace sites created.
  • Turn the location discovery mechanism on or off.
  • Specify the Shared Workspace task pane polling interval.
  • Prevent or force the Shared Workspace task pane from showing up automatically for documents associated with a SharePoint site.
  • Prevent or force the Shared Workspace task pane from showing up automatically when there is important status information.
  • Prevent or force the Attachment Options task pane from showing up automatically.

Other Feature Enhancements

What follows is a list of other feature enhancements and improvements. This is not a comprehensive list.

Update Viewer

The Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer has been improved with high fidelity output including support of PowerPoint graphics, animations, and media. No installation is required for the new Viewer. In addition, the Viewer support viewing and printing. The updated viewer runs on Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition or later.

Package for CD

Package for CD is the new way to efficiently distribute you presentations. Make CDs of your presentations for viewing on computers running a Microsoft Windows operating system. Package for CD enables you to package your presentations and all of the supporting files, including linked files, and automatically run your presentations from the CD. By default, the updated PowerPoint Viewer is included on the CD when you package your presentations. No installation of the PowerPoint Viewer is required on computers that don't have PowerPoint installed. Package for CD also gives you the option of packaging your presentations to a folder instead of a CD for archiving or posting to a network share.

From the File menu, click Package for CD, and select the options you want for your presentation.

Support for Ink Devices, such as the Tablet PC

Quickly provide input by adding your own handwriting to Office presentations on a Tablet PC as you would by using a pen and a printout. Additionally, view task panes horizontally to help you do your work on the Tablet PC.

Enhanced Slide Show Ink Annotations

Use ink to mark up your slide while giving a presentation, or draft slide for review. Not only can you keep the ink that you used in your slide show presentation, but you can turn on or off the slide show markup after you have saved the ink markup in your presentation. (Some aspects of the ink feature require that you run PowerPoint on a Table PC.)

Fax Over Internet

Fax over internet allows you to send and receive faxes using third party internet fax services. From the File menu, point to Send To and then click Recipient using Internet Fax Service.

Conclusion

Information Rights Management in the Microsoft Office System enables users to control the information contained in a presentation even after it's left their immediate control, by allowing them to create permission restrictions that are saved as part of the presentation itself. This enables users to restrict permission to sensitive information, and control information privacy and integrity.

The new Research Library feature in the Microsoft Office System enables information search from within PowerPoint, and makes integrating that data into presentations uncomplicated. By harnessing the research library extensibility, developers can build custom research sources that integrate information from back end databases and make business-specific data readily available to users.

Enhancements and improvements to smart tags make smart tag technology in PowerPoint 2003 even more useful and powerful. With Document Workspace sites, part of SharePoint Products and Technologies, you can initiate, manage, and terminate an entire collaboration project cleanly from within the presentation.

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