How SlideFab 2 works

The question how SlideFab 2 works can be answered in different ways. It depends on how this question is seen.

Logical answer

The idea of SlideFab is to mass-produce PowerPoint presentations based on any Excel workbook. These created presentations are considered disposable. They could be re-created anytime.

For this endeavour a template presentation and an Excel workbook are required. The template presentation will be linked to the Excel workbook. This makes sure that texts, tables, charts, etc. will appear in the created presentation.

While the mere linking as described above is rather boring, it is important to build a flexible Excel model. In such a way that the data for the presentation can change. The model should be built in such a way that with new data, the created presentation does reflect this change. However, SlideFab can run an iteration loop and create multiple copies of the template slides. Through smart lookups the linked data can change within every loop.

Technical answer

SlideFab was programmed in VB.net using the Microsoft .NET framework 4.8 and the VSTO (Visual Studio for Office) environment using COM objects. On the one hand this programming language has a syntax which is rather similar to the one of VBA (Visual Basic for Applications, aka the macro language). But on the other hand it is way more powerful and offers the same features as C#.

So SlideFab creates an Excel object within PowerPoint to access and control all the workbook functionality required to link and run the slide mass production.

This technical background also explains why SlideFab not available for Mac and why it’s not available through the Office store. First of all, the .NET framework does not exist for the Mac. Secondly, the scripting language available at the Office store does not allow the required degree of control. What a pity.

SlideFab 2 Manual Outline