Adobe adds slides to online docs tools

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Adobe is expanding its web-based software offering with the launch of new free presentation software.

Still in Adobe's labs, Presentations is basically a Flash-based variation Microsoft's PowerPoint. It features set layouts, effects and transitions so often used in slide show presentations, in addition to embedded video.

Like other web-based office suites, such as Google Docs, the lineup pushes the ability for collaboration between coworkers, even in different offices. Adobe noted that Presentations shows who is working on the document, which slide is being edited, and who is viewing it. The finished slideshows can be viewed online or exported to Adobe's PDF format to be used offline.

"By adding Presentations to our existing set of hosted services, our customers will be able to extend the experience of creating and collaborating on documents into the visual world of presentations," said Erik Larson, Adobe's director of business productivity management, in a statement.

Adobe also offers hosted meeting and document tools called ConnectNow and Buzzword, as well as an online version of PhotoShop, in its bid to compete with Google's Docs and Microsoft's in the next version of Office.'s Presentations can be trialled here; it's free, but you'll need the latest version of Flash and to register with the site.