It is been a long time weakness of Gnome Office that there was no presentation application. There have been a few attempts over the years to make one but they've all died. I have thought for a long time that the AbiWord code base has what is needed for the hard part of developing a presentation program and after telling all and sundry how a presentation program should be done with Abiword as base I decided I'd do it myself.
To this end I have written a couple of new plugins. "loadbindings" which allows programmers to define key and mouse bindings from an easy to edit ascii string and "presentations" which puts AbiWord into Presentation mode.
Loading the plugin installs the "Presentation" option in the AbiWord View menu. Clicking on this puts AbiWord into presentation mode which shows one full page of your document on the screen with no borders. Clicking the mouse, or pressing the right arrow or down arrow key moves you a page forward, left arrow or up moves you back. Escape leaves presentation mode and put you back in editting mode.
With this feature you can make simple, one slide at a time, presentations. AbiWord allows you to set images as backgrounds to your pages so you can have interesting backgrounds for presentations right now.
Other immediate plans include a slide navigator. Further off we can do fancy animations of slide transitions. It will be fun to see what we can do with libclutter and other new graphics libraries. Still further down the track we can do in-slide animations to display different parts of the slide with mouse clicks or key presses.
In any case what we have now is already useful. You can turn any document AbiWord can import into a presentation by setting the page to "landscape". It really easy to whip up simple presentations with a UI designed for document creation. You can drag and drop images from Nautilus into your document and text flows around them. Maths is easy to enter via latex commands.
I think this application fills a gap between OO.o Impress and PowerPoint and generating presentations via latex or magic point. It has the potential to be much further developed by building on the new opengl and cairo graphics based graphics libraries. I think it will be fun to see what can be done for animations wit these powerful libraries. Whether any of this extra power is useful is another matter :-)
In any case, I think this shows the way forward for a light weight but powerful Gnome Office presentation application.