As computer-based presentations become more popular, presentation packages themselves are becoming more advanced and are now offering more ways of putting across information. Instead of simply standing in front of an audience scrolling through your slides, why not post the presentation on to the Internet or an intranet, and let people around the world go through the different slides, using hypertext links to call up the next screen? If the thought of coming to grips with HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) scares you, then the makers of several popular packages have taken that into consideration. Both PowerPoint from Microsoft and Freelance Graphics from Lotus will automatically convert your presentation document into HTML, and insert links to jump between slides. Adobe Systems has gone a step further. Web Presenter, a hybrid of their Persuasion package, allows users to insert hypertext links to different URLs into a slide. For instance, if a slide shows a picture of several different products, and the user wants only to look at the part of the presentation relating to a particular product, they can click on the picture of the product and jump to that URL. Adobe's Far East area manager Joel Phillips said this helped take some of the confusion out of programming in HTML. 'It is so that people like us do not have to sit down and program in HTML. It just makes it more convenient,' he said. If that is still too technical for you, why not simply save the presentation on to disk, and physically hand it to someone to view? If the other person does not have a copy of the same presentation package as you then both Persuasion and the latest version of PowerPoint allow you to save a viewer on to the disk, which will allow the recipient to view the presentation. To save precious floppy disk space, both Adobe and Microsoft's viewers only take up a few kilobytes of space, allowing plenty of room for a highly graphical presentation. Adobe's viewer is also platform independent, so even if the other person is using a Macintosh, while you designed the presentation on a PC, they should still be able to view the show. The viewers are also useful for laptop-carrying mobile executives who do not want to laden their hard drives with the full installation, which includes lots of unnecessary clip art. Lotus simply suggest a custom installation for laptop users. Marketing programs manager Hedy Ho said users could design the presentation on their desktop, then when they travelled, a custom installation of Freelance Graphics on their laptop was all that was needed to actually show the presentation. The custom installation requires a minimum of 18 megabytes, compared to a full installation which needs 42Mb. The packages will continue to make it easier to show presentations, and in turn also make it easier to design more complex presentations.