Create Autorun CD Menu

Create Autorun CD Menu on portable media such as CD, DVD and USB Drive

KS-SW - Klaus Schwenk Software
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Creating an Autorun PowerPoint Presentation for CD-ROM or DVD-ROM

PowerPoint is a Microsoft Office product. It is used to create interactive PC presentations for training, demonstration, product, service and company presentation purposes.

CDs, DVDs and USB (Flash Drive) sticks are used to distribute PowerPoint presentations

These components make it possible to achieve inexpensive and convincing marketing presentations for products, services and company profiles.

A presentation has to be impressive

It goes without saying, of course, that the success of the presentation will depend on how much impact your PowerPoint presentation makes. As well as making it attractive and professional, it is also essential to remember the old adage that "first impressions count". When your customers insert the CD or DVD into their drives, you want them to be presented with a clear introduction menu giving them all the options available. You certainly don't want to be making them search through all the files in the hope of finding your presentation. Getting off to a good start is essential, after all you don't want to annoy your users before you have even gotten started. A smooth and well presented introduction enables your presentation to shine through.

The autorun CD

And it is set against this background that you need to give your CD or DVD autorun functionality. With autorun functionality a program is started automatically as soon as the CD is placed in the drive. This means that your users will not be expected to search through the CD in search of the right program or file.

The autorun program

What features should the autorun program, which starts automatically when the CD is inserted, have?

  • Fast to load
    the program should load as quickly as possible so that the user receives a fast response after inserting the CD into the drive.
  • Fast to inform
    the user should be provided with information about who created the CD and what it contains.
  • Clear navigation
    Leave it up to your CD users to decide which presentation they want to watch and in which order. You can also give your users the option to watch a presentation again or to skip it.

CDMenuPro helps you to create your autorun presentation

CDMenuPro has been specially designed to create autorun menu applications for CD, DVD and USB Flash Drive. It comes with a large number of templates and project assistants that enable anyone to create professional results in no time at all.

The advantages of using a CDMenuPro as the starting application of an autorun CD

  • Quick to load
  • The user gets a fast response after inserting a CD
  • The user receives immediate information about the CD and its contents
  • Users have the option of aborting and ending the CD menu immediately
  • Users are offered a graphic user interface
  • Users can decide for themselves which documents or presentations they want to see and in which order
  • The user can decide whether or not to repeat a presentation
  • Files can be started as well as programs
  • The creator of the CD can ask users to agree to terms of use before using the CD
  • The option of password-protecting access to the CD menu is available to CD creators
  • The creator of the CD can save documents on the CD in an encoded form

CDMenuPro also comes complete with a helpful PowerPoint integration assistant (only with the business license version), which makes it easy to integrate your PowerPoint presentation onto a CD or DVD.

The Viewer is another important aspect

How will your users be able to view your PowerPoint presentation if they do not have PowerPoint installed on their computer?

Well, it was this problem that prompted Microsoft to create a PowerPoint Viewer program. The viewer is available in two versions: the PowerPoint Viewer 97 and the PowerPoint Viewer 2003, which was released with Microsoft Office 2003. While the 97 viewer has to be installed before it can be used, the 2003 viewer can be used straight from the CD, without having to be installed. The CDMenuPro PowerPoint integration assistant supports both PowerPoint viewers.

Please note:
Please make sure you read the viewer's read-me file before creating your presentation. This is important because there are a few limitations such as for animated diagrams and several embedded graphic formats. In order to achieve a fully-functional presentation on all target PCs, it is essential to avoid using in your PowerPoint presentation the objects described in the read-me file.

The PowerPoint viewer may be used on a royalty-free basis on the CD. Please make sure you observe Microsoft's licensing agreement.

PowerPoint Viewer 2003 download

What should be taken into account when creating a PowerPoint presentation?
  • You need to save your presentation as a "Screen Presentation (*.pps)".
  • Sound and video files will not be embedded, this files must ber saved separately with the presentation on the CD.
  • Split up longer presentations into several smaller ones. Always bear in mind that the transfer rate from a CD to the PC is between 5 and 10 MB/sec. This means that a 500MB presentation will take between 50 and 100 seconds to load! High load times can give users the impression that the program (or CD) has crashed.

There are alternatives

The IntroCreator can be used for short company, product and marketing presentations. Just like for PowerPoint, the IntroCreator software lets you create several sheets with animated text and/or images.

Advantages of using the IntroCreator:

  • small and compact files that load quickly
  • the Player can be distributed on a royalty-free basis
  • you can integrate the presentation into the Player
  • the IntroCreator has been optimized for distribution on data-carrier mediums (CD, DVD)
  • it works on all Windows systems, from Win95 to Vista.

Because of its compact size, the IntroCreator is ideal for creating business card presentations such as electronic business cards on cheque card CDs, mini CDs and for all smaller, less comprehensive presentations.

For more information, please visit the Intro-Creator website
» Intro-Creator Homepage

Watching PowerPoint presentations on TV.

It is not possible to use CDMenuPro to create PowerPoint presentations for TV-DVD players. CDMenuPro only works on systems with the Windows operating system. Software does exist, however, that can transform PowerPoint presentations into a TV-DVD film. These can be watched on a TV set. Doing this, however, means having to accept a significant reduction in quality and limitations with regards to navigation.

The solution: a HDMI connection
Both modern TV recievers and new PC graphic cards come with a HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface). This interface enables TVs and PCs to be connected, making it possible to watch PC-based presentations on the TV.

Important notice
During this article most of the references have been based around the term CD presentation. Presentations can be created and used just as easily on DVDs and USB sticks. It is important to bear in mind, however, that the autorun feature for USB sticks was only introduced with Windows Vista.