Tips and Tricks

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					Tips & Tricks

Using Producer:

      I'm encountering some synchronization problems between my Windows® Media
       files and my slides - what are some possible reasons for this?
            o Synchronization problems can occur with longer clips: If you capture a
               long clip at a bit rate below 48 kbps and then publish at another low bit
               rate, the audio synch can degrade over time. This is because the audio
               filter used by Producer upsamples to 48 kbps then downsamples to the
               target bit rate which can cause errors. A workaround is to capture using a
               profile with at least 48 kbps audio or adding a transition to your video,
               reducing the long video runs.

      I'm creating content that is viewed by users running Windows NT4 clients. They
       find that they can't navigate around within the Table of Contents. My Windows
       XP/2000 users have no such problems. Why is this?
           o Customer feedback and Microsoft testing on Producer version 1.0
               identified some technical limitations triggered when viewers using the
               Windows NT4 operating system attempted to navigate through a Table of
               Contents. Producer version 1.1 (released in June, 2002 and available on
               this CD) addresses these limitations, but a byproduct of the remedy is that
               viewers on Windows NT4 will not be able to "seek ahead" or otherwise
               navigate through the table of contents even if that content resides on a
               Windows Media Server. Viewers with NT4 desktops will be able to navigate
               through the TOC if the content is played locally or from CD.

      I’d like to add quizzes and surveys to my Producer presentations. How can I
       pause and restart the media player to accomplish this?
            o Many people have asked how to incorporate quizzes, polls or other forms
                of interactivity in a seamless fashion with Producer. This can be done
                through the use of Producer’s HTML track. We’ve provided two ways for
                you to get started:
                     1. Below you will find two .htm files that include code that will pause
                        and re-start the player. You can modify this code to suit your
                        needs. While there are many ways to author .htm files to
                        accomplish this goal, for our example here we use the onLoad
                        command. Note: Microsoft Producer will load the HTML pages at
                        the beginning of the timeline but they will not be displayed until a
                        template with an HTML section is loaded into the templates track
                        on the timeline. Spacer.htm is a blank HTML page that is used to
                        delay the load time until the beginning of Submit.htm. Submit.htm
                        pauses the player so a viewer can take the quiz, then it restarts
                        the player when the viewer clicks the “submit” button on the quiz
                        page. (You will need to expose the HTML for approx. 5 seconds on
                        the timeline to give it enough time to load properly.)
                         HTML Sample Code
               2. If you prefer to create your own .htm pages here’s some code you
                  can use.
                       To “Pause” the Windows Media Player: <body
                          leftmargin="0" topmargin="0" marginwidth="0"
                          marginheight="0" onLoad="parent.MediaPlayer_Pause()">
                       To “Start” the Windows Media Player:

   I want to synchronize some PowerPoint® slides that contain AVIs embedded in
    the slides. When I import the PowerPoint file, Producer doesn't recognize the AVI
    file. How can I do this?
         o Producer has an option that will separate embedded audio/video files from
            the slides in which they were embedded. From Producer, navigate to
            Tools/Options/General and click the checkbox next to the phrase
            "Separate audio and video from slides on import".

   Can I include all of Producer's output in a frameset and then add other frames
    around it?
       o Yes. To do so, make sure that the HTML file that contains the IFrame
            hosting your Producer output is in the same directory as the ASX file.

   I'm getting error messages when I try to capture or import audio/video content,
    any ideas how to troubleshoot?
        o Typically, import and capture errors such as these are due to faulty
           DirectX installs. Try manually re-installing DirectX v8.1 to see if that fixes
           things. To do this free up space on your system drive (if necessary) and
           go to

   There are missing graphics when I import some of my PowerPoint files, what
    should I do?
       o Verify that you are running the latest version of Producer (currently
           version 1.1). Producer 1.0 didn't recognize more than 50 elements on a
           given slide. Producer 1.1 resolves this issue.
       o If the suggestion above doesn't work, View your PowerPoint deck as HTML
           and see if it displays the slide properly. If it doesn't display properly as
           HTML, Producer won't be able to display it properly either.

   How can I distribute the Producer templates I create?
       o A Producer template consists of an individual folder that contains all the
          necessary files to display that template properly. On this Resource CD
          you’ll find 11 new templates and we’ve provided two options to install
          them - either of which you could use for the templates you create. First,
              we’ve used the WinZip application (found at to
              create self-extracting executable files that automatically provide a dialog
              to install each template in Producer’s templates folder. Users need only to
              click “Open” and “Unzip” in response to the WinZip dialog and the
              templates are automatically copied into their Producer templates folder.
              You could provide this same functionality for your users as well. The
              second option is to have your users manually copy the templates from the
              location that you’ve stored them to their Producer templates folder, which
              is found at c:\Program Files\Microsoft Producer\1033\Templates\. (If
              Producer is installed somewhere other than the program files folder, locate
              the producer installation and install in ..\Microsoft

Slide best practices:

      What are some keys to ensuring my slides will be easily readable to my audience?
         o Slides should only emphasize key points
         o Limit to 4 lines per slide at 32 pt font
         o Limit to 6 words per line -32 pt font (28 at an absolute minimum)
         o Ensure that the colors and format used are designed for display
         o Condense information

Video production tips*:

      Leave enough "safe space" around the speaker's head to avoid cutting off any
       part of the body when viewed on-screen. One way to do this is to mentally divide
       the screen into four horizontal sections, and make sure the speaker's eyes line up
       with the top third portion of the screen.
      Ensure that you have the proper exposure setting on your camera. You might
       want to consider using your camera's manual settings to "up" brightness/iris one
       stop over the factory setting.
      It is advisable to always use tungsten lighting to illuminate the speaker. If you're
       shooting in a room that contains fluorescent lights, place a green color correction
       gel over your tungsten lights (this will match the fluorescent lights).

       *Courtesy of

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