{since I mention a Microsoft product, I include this disclaimer: “This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.”}

I use PowerPoint. A lot. As do a lot of people at Microsoft (surprise!). I like the Visio-like picture drawing, and I'm always on the lookout for someone else's clever animations that I can liberate.

PowerPoint has an outline view, where you can see the text of your slides in outline form. It also has a picture view where you can see slide miniatures. Finally there's a slide sorter view where you can see “all” the slides.

What I need is a way to outline at the multiple slide level. For example,

  • Slide 1
    • Slide 2
    • Slide 3
      • Slide 4
      • Slide 5
    • Slide 6
  • Slide 7
    • Slide 8
    • Slide 9
  • etc

I want to be able to cut/paste, collapse/expand and hide/show entire branches. I want to be able to view a different .ppt as an outline tree during Insert Slides from File. I want to see someone else's hierarchical organization of their material.

In other words, I want an intermediate level of presentation abstraction between single-slide and entire-presentation.

(A nice feature would be something similar to Word's split screen that allows you to see two points in the same document simultaneously.)

Once that is done I would also like a level of abstraction ABOVE the single presentation mode. This would be a multi-presentation “slide sorter” view, that would allow you to compare, contrast, and organize material across slide trees (remember all these presentations are now in the slide outline tree mode described above).

These changes would in and of themselves be worth a 10% to 20% productivity improvement for me.

Now all I need is an easy way to search (by topic, content, picture, animation, etc) the bazillions of slides floating around all the file servers all over this company . . .