Categories
Cloud Apps Software

Solved! Explain Everything Powerpoint Issues

I’ve noticed with the Explain Everything app that Powerpoint doesn’t seem to work too well with it.

Upon importing a PPTX file from Dropbox into the Explain Everything app the font and settings of the Powerpoint slides weren’t looking good. Here’s a sample of how the imported Powerpoint file can look:

Powerpoint Slide
Cover slide of a Powerpoint presentation within Powerpoint

And here is how the same Powerpoint slide looks in Explain Everything app:

Powerpoint Slide in Explain Everything
Same cover slide in Explain Everything app

Can you spot the differences between the two slides?

Another problem is also the rendering of Math equations, here is a shot of the original equation in Powerpoint:

Powerpoint Equations
Original powerpoint containing a couple of basic math equations

Here is the corresponding math equation slide in Explain Everything app:

Powerpoint Equation in Explain Everything
Equation slide rendered in Explain Everything

Solution

If you would like to import your Powerpoint slides into the famous Explain Everything iPad app for screen-casting you should look at these alternative ways if you’ve found, as I have, that there isn’t a seamless transition from your Powerpoint presentation to the way it’s displayed within Explain Everything.

These ideas only work if the slides are static – i.e. there are no animations or movies/videos in them

The two solutions I have used are:

1. Export your PPTX file as PDF

This can be done from any Office Mac application and is a simple matter of printing the slides with the option of selecting to PDF.

However, if your backgrounds aren’t white you will notice a rim around your slides as seen here:

White Rim Slides
When exporting non-white background slides you will have a white rim

A couple of solutions around this issue are:

  1. Make your slides only have a white background, therefore, it will look as though the whole page is a slide.

  2. Export your PPTX to JPEG’s

Within Powerpoint you have the option of exporting your slides as JPEG’s. Simply click File > Save As Pictures…. Before you select the destination click the “Options” button in the lower left part of the window and make sure the dimensions of the slides are set to width 1024 and height 768, as show here:

Export Slides JPEG
Export your slides as JPEG with dimensions 1024 x 768

The benefits of this approach is that you will have full bleed slides to edit and write over and will not suffer from the same white stripe problems as PDF exporters will.

Categories
Cloud Apps

How To Test MX Record Configuration

Recently I helped a friend with some basic DNS issues with a website he was setting up for his wife’s home based internet business.

I gladly helped out and set him up with a free CloudFlare account and asked him what he wanted to do in setting up an email server – as Google Mail had ceased as being a free offering for businesses since early December 2012.

The only two alternatives I know of and provide are:

My friend opted to sign up for Zoho Mail, and I went through the process of setting up a free account in a matter of minutes. It was relatively straight forward, and I confirmed the domain my friend was using in Zoho using the CNAME method thanks to CloudFlare’s easy set up (even though I stuffed pointing the CNAME to Zoho’s server! Oops.).

Then to top it all off when entering the MX records of my friend’s domain I entered Zoho’s MX domain in the first text field containing the “www”, and the root domain “@” in the domain field. Ugh!

Zoho Domain MX Records
Make sure you enter your domain first @ and Zoho’s Domain with Priority in the next text field

My friend then asked why their emails weren’t working, and I used the “it’s propagating” excuse which takes time. Ah, glorious time.

Unfortunately it took a “Failure to send” test email from Gmail as well as a quick test using MX Lookup Tool to realise that I had accidentally switched the wrong domains around.

Thankfully when I did the switch and re-tested using the MX Lookup Tool website the domain’s results were immediately available – no need for waiting!

Phew!

Hopefully this helps a few who have experienced similar problems with getting their MX records right.

Categories
Cloud Apps

How To Remove Cloudflare cf-protected Error

I love CloudFlare.

I really do.

It keeps me away from my slow domain provider and does the very thing I need quickly – propagation.

However, there was one instance today where I became a little stuck and couldn’t quite figure out the problem. A friend who asked for some DNS record help asked to route the www CNAME to their Shopify URL address. Easy!

Or so I thought.

So I set up a free CloudFlare account for them and did all the A and CNAME records for them to their Shopify account.

After informing my friend that it wouldn’t take any more than an hour or so for the DNS to propagate through he messaged me at the end of the day and said that there was something wrong with the www CNAME record. The URL of his website wasn’t pointing to anything!?

I checked CloudFlare and initially didn’t see any problem with the way I had pointed my friends www CNAME record to the Shopify URL. After running a few dig www.friends-domain.com on the terminal noticed that I was getting this strange output:

;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.friends-domain.com. 300 IN CNAME cf-protected-www.friends-domain.com.
cf-protected-www.friends-domain.com. 300 IN A 108.162.XXX.XXX
cf-protected-www.friends-domain.com. 300 IN A 108.162.XXX.XXX

Initially it didn’t twig that cf-protected stood for CloudFlare, but it didn’t take me long after running an IP trace on the IP address listed that it was CloudFlare.

Then, after going back to the DNS records of my friends’ domain I slapped my forehead at the www action setting and clicked on the icon to prevent CloudFlare from “protecting” it.

Anyway, after doing this within a matter of minutes his www domain was correctly pointing to his website.

phew