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Convert SGI graphics for use in PowerPoint

Thanks to Andrew R for posting this solution on the PowerPoint newsgroup:

There have been several requests about converting SGI Showcase presentations to GIF or PowerPoint formats. After trying several methods and making a number of support calls to SGI, the following is the best method I have found.

The SGI Showcase file format is not supported by other programs. Therefore, use Showcase to open and convert the file. In the File menu, select the Export submenu, and then the EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) format. EPS works better than PS (PostScript) for transferring images.

Most programs either won't display PS/EPS files, or will display them poorly. GSview (Windows version) provides the best results, however the preferences must be changed.

Note that GSview requires Aladdin Ghostscript. Both may be obtained here

[Ed.Note: GSView is actually a user-friendly "front-end" program for GhostScript. GhostScript by itself is difficult for new users to learn.]

The defaults for "text alpha" and "graphics alpha" were both 1 bit. This disabled all anti-aliasing. They can be changed from the Defaults window under the Media menu. By changing both settings to the maximum 4 bits, the anti-aliasing greatly improved on-screen quality (some of the text decreased in quality; this depends upon font and size; "text alpha" and "graphics alpha" are independent of each other).

To save the rendered image, select Copy under the Edit menu in GSview. Then select "Paste to..." under the Edit menu and save it as a bitmap, BMP.

Open the bitmap in Photoshop. Crop the image to remove white space. In the File menu, select the Export submenu, and then select GIF89a. Click on the white background to enable transparency. Enable interlacing. Then save. This results in small files that PowerPoint or any Web browser can display.

[EdNote: Interlacing is fine for GIFs you plan to use on a web site, but it's not recommended for use in PowerPoint as it'll result in *very* long print times in some cases. GIFs in PPT look the same, interlaced of not, so they're best avoided.]

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Convert SGI graphics for use in PowerPoint
Last update 07 June, 2011