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A multimedia presentation tool, Showreal has worthy aims – to allow Mac design-professionals to create presentations quickly and easily. This it does, but the cost of such simplicity is that Showreal has next-to-no features.
A Showreal presentation is essentially a slide show, with the presentation advanced from slide to slide with a mouse click, or cursor key. Each slide can contain a foreground and background image, some header text and some body text, or a range of other media formats, such as QuickTime video, Flash player movie, a Director presentation, even a Web browser.
Adding elements to a slide is easy enough, as is importing media, and shuffling the slides around. Setting time delays for automatically advancing slides is straightforward, and there are 17 transition effects to use between slides.
But that’s it. Showreal is lacking in a whole lot of areas. And, there’s no interactivity possible. For instance, you can’t add interactive buttons to jump to one slide or another. And, there’s no animation capabilities, unless you use an imported Flash or Director projector. The Showreal manual makes a lot of its ability to embed Director or Flash movies, but if you already possess these programs, then why would you want to spend £199 on Showreal? They can do everything Showreal can – and a lot more.
The biggest limitation with Showreal is the restriction of on-screen elements at once. Only two images and two blocks of text can be displayed on any one screen, which is laughable. It means that to make any half-decent presentation, you will need to pre-prepare most of the contents of each screen in a graphics program.
Some salvation for Showreal comes with its ability to run several presentationsat once, and to switch between them. Self-contained presentations can be made for distribution, and there is the option of making a player that will run on a PC.
Showreal is a nice idea but is poorly executed. If it could create interactive buttons, and placed no restrictions on the number of text or graphic elements that can be displayed on-screen at once, Showreal would be a funky little presentation tool. As it is, there are better tools on the market – such as Katabounga, Flash, or Scansoft’s Kai’s PowerShow.