Are PowerPoint slides tailored to presentations or are presentations tailored to slides? Normally, it’s the former and I would hate to sit for the presentation where the latter would be the case. The Zen of presentation also dictates that what we say during the presentation is the meat, what the audience sees on the slide should only reinforce our oral words.
In the age of information every document is a template for learning something new, whether by way of knowledge or through design. In the case of PowerPoint, looking at well designed slides is a crash course on how to design effective presentations. Also, searching out new presentations and learning how they are done can cure mental blocks when we have to design our own. Learning about color, backgrounds or animation is the easiest when it’s taken from examples of already prepared slides.
The web is the sink for every sort of document and publicly available PowerPoint files are also not beyond the reach of search spiders. So how do we search them out”¦using search engines of course. If data of any kind or value can have a dedicated search engine of its own, then why not PowerPoint presentations or in brief, PPT files?
Some estimates put the number of presentations on the web close to 30 to 50 million. But we have to search them out. Using a general search engine with PPT as a filetype query is one way. But if you are work-shy about typing all that out then we have a few PowerPoint search engines to do the digging.
This Powerpoint search engine searches for your query from nearly 7 million presentations. The site uses Google Custom Search to do the job. It also hosts presentations uploaded by users that’s arranged in categories like computers, science, entertainment, culture, education and many more. These presentations can be searched out or narrowed down by categories or tags. Presentations can be viewed in the browser or downloaded to the local machine (downloading requires a free sign-up). Presentations can also be shared in social media and embedded in blogs or websites.
Slideworld.org is the sister site of the last one and mostly geared towards medical presentations. Patients for example can search for presentations by ailments under Health Conditions. Medical practitioners can delve under various medical topics for a specific slide.
This is a site which indexes PowerPoint slides from across the web and also from universities which have made them publicly available. Presentations are also available in languages of the world, from English to Chinese and Icelandic. The site can also be added to your browser’s list of search engines.
This PowerPoint search engine is powered by Google and Yahoo at the backend. The slides can be downloaded as PPT files, viewed in the browser as HTML or in a Flash viewer.
This is another simple search engine that can filter Google Custom searches and retain the results for PPT files. If you want to include it in your browser, it comes with a search extension.
This one is not a dedicated PowerPoint search engine but one that also searches for PPT files among others. It simply uses PPT as a filetype operator, using Google’s Custom Search. Results are also gleaned from hosting sites like Scribd, SlideShare and DocStoc. These can be filtered in the final results.
The search engines that one finds for PowerPoint are mostly not standalone. Invariably their reliance is on Google Custom Search. Of all the five profiled here, SlideFinder is in my opinion the best, one reason being that it has an advanced search option which lets me narrow down the results.
PowerPoint search engines occupy a small part of the segment; the other is gradually being populated by document hosting and sharing sites. We have reviewed quite a few like the ones below ““
The organization and preview features on these sites let you search out a specific slide in a more efficient way. But as these web services don’t go beyond their hosted files, it becomes necessary to use the services of the PowerPoint search engines.
Do you have a PowerPoint search engine that’s not on this list? Let us know your way of hunting for PowerPoint files.