Tips for Running PowerPoint in CrossOver Office

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2014-04-22 17:16

I use Linux exclusively but run Microsoft PowerPoint for some presentations. I won't go into the details of why here, but I wanted to record and share a few tips I use for getting it to run well. Your mileage may vary, obviously.

Most importantly, as of this writing, you want no later than PowerPoint 2010.

The first problem I had is that when I drag a selection rectangle or move objects around, the entire drawing area went black. The workaround I use gives Wine a big rectangle to manage and draw on. Run cxsetup, go to "Wine Configuration", under the "Graphics" tab, enable "Emulate a virtual desktop". You'll want to set the resolution (size of the rectangle) based on your monitor (I use 1590x840). I still get a black rectangle covering the contents of my selection (not the whole drawing area as before), but it's fairly usable that way.

The second problem was that some bullets weren't displaying correctly; they were showing an empty rectangle instead. I resolved this by copying a random version of wingdings.ttf (with that exact spelling, I guess) into ~/.cxoffice/Microsoft_Office_2010/drive_c/windows/Fonts. Then I had to quit my bottle in cxsetup; no idea what that means.

I find that it's pretty stable and works pretty well after those changes (though I don't use most of the advanced features or animations). Still, I'd suggest saving frequently. And I always render to PDF and use a native PDF viewer for the actual talks. That's a good idea in general but also necessary due to the fixed size virtual desktop, which won't fit nicely on different projector sizes.