Today I reached the point where I have much improved, fully working, stand-alone version of SlideMagic running on my machine, every line of code put in by myself. That was quite a journey…

  • I started with experimenting with PowerPoint macros to automate some processes for the template store

  • Then I moved on to Windows and C# to start writing a 100% accurate conversion plugin that can read and convert SlideMagic files to native PowerPoint and was considering expanding the plugin to cover a full slide edit engine inside PowerPoint

  • I got the sense that Microsoft is not putting all its energy into C#/com plugins for Office, but rather is focusing on Javascript. At the same time, I discovered Electron (owned by Microsoft…), that would allow me to write an app that would run on both Mac (early adopters) and Windows (the market).

  • Next phase: learning JavaScript and coding a stand alone SlideMagic to PowerPoint converter, outside of PowerPoint.

  • Then came the big leap: why not write the whole app from scratch…. Writing a converter is relatively straight forward: you read the file and translate it. An app where the user can click an unlimited amount of items is a different piece of cake…

  • Bit by bit, I made progress: all app modes in one screen, live what-you-see-is-what-you-get editing, hard core image cropping and processing, drag-and-drop (tricky), shift-click selecting multiple objects (app complexity to the power n), and a complete PDF rendering engine in addition to the PowerPoint conversion.

Next challenge is to make the software enterprise grade (users are unpredictable), by closing presenter view windows randomly, canceling file downloads, adding huge amount of images, and crazy long data charts, to name just a few abuses. Also, I am running everything on an i9 processor at the moment, not your average corporate IT infrastructure. And Electron needs to deliver when it comes to runnings things on Windows.

In addition I am checking whether I should expand my existing patent to cover a few small but clever additions I made to the user interface, and until that is closed I cannot yet share a lot of info and/or alpha test version here.

To be continued.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

If you liked this post, why not subscribe to daily updates about presentation design via email? Just blog posts, no spam, or you can follow Jan on Twitter to never miss a thing.