Though the installation of the Microsoft PowerPoint program was a bit of a bear, its integration with Microsoft Office makes it a great choice for users of Microsoft Word and Excel; many of the commands and toolbars are shared. For example, users can drag text from Word or graphs from Excel into PowerPoint. PowerPoint users can also create special text effects, like curved or wrapped text, using Word Art.
If you're new to presentation programs, you'll appreciate PowerPoint's extensive help functions, including Cue Cards that offer step-by-step instructions for common scenarios and IntelliSense, a feature that senses what task you're attempting to perform. Advanced users will find it annoying, but beginners will likely welcome the help.
To make creating your presentation as easy as possible, PowerPoint includes the Pick a Look Wizard and the AutoContent Wizard. The former customizes the look of your presentation for you, while the latter helps organize your content.
If your company has a small sales force, you'll appreciate the PowerPoint Viewer. This feature lets you give a presentation on any Windows-based or Macintosh system without installing the actual PowerPoint program. Unlike installing multiple versions of the software, it's perfectly legal to install multiple versions of the Viewer.
Look for a more robust version of PowerPoint when Mac Office 98 is launched later this year. This version of Office will update the Macintosh version to be on par with the PC version.