If you were impressed by Skype's real-time translation feature, you'll likely be wowed by Microsoft's new PowerPoint "Presentation Translator" add-in. Despite the name, it's not focused on making your slides multilingual. Instead, it'll translate your voice in real-time using an iOS, Android or Windows app as you go over your presentation. The add-in also generates a link that viewers can use to view translations in their own language. At its Build conference today, Microsoft reps showed off how the feature can translate Spanish and Chinese sentences in real-time.
A presentation that can be given to any audience in any country, in any language, without laborious hand-translation. That's the promise of a new Microsoft PowerPoint cognitive service, PowerPoint Presentation Translator cooked up by Garage (Microsoft's experimental project arm) and demonstrated publicly for the first time on Wednesday at the company's Build developers conference in Seattle. Backed by machine learning, the cognitive service doesn't just try to find a language match for every word -- it looks at context. In the preview demonstration I saw, PowerPoint Translator left the slide acronyms intact, while properly translating the slide text around it. Its real-time captioning appeared instantly, a semi-miracle considering the cacophony in the demo room.
Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Have a million dollar idea and want to pitch it to investors? Need to make a case as to why Chris Hemsworth is the best Famous Chris? Want to list all the reasons why The Office is a better show than Parks and Recreation? But if PowerPoint makes you want to gouge out your eyeballs, might we suggest trying Slidebean instead.
Microsoft's latest update for Office 2016 on Mac adds features that make it a much better tool for collaborative projects. It gives you the ability to work with others in real time à la Google suite -- the apps will even show your who's currently editing via thumbnails in the upper right corner of the window.
A few months ago, Microsoft released a feature for PowerPoint 2016 that can help users make better-looking slides even if they aren't presentation experts. On Thursday, it got even better with a few upgrades. PowerPoint Designer kicks in when users add images to a slide, and it provides people with a bunch of options for how they can lay those images out alongside text. Previously, the feature was only capable of handling a single image, but it now allows users to add at least two images at once to a slide, with some themes capable of handling up to four pictures in a single slide. In a blog post published Thursday, Microsoft promised users will be able to insert more images across all themes inside PowerPoint, but it didn't give a specific date for users to expect that.