Our ramblings about website design and other things

Posts tagged: microsoft

Extracting a Flash File from Powerpoint

We had a client who wanted a Flash Movie File putting onto their website, no problem except it was supplied to us as part of a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation. Of course we assumed this would be easy to extract but as it proved it was not.

We found various suggested solutions including saving the file as a HTML version or changing the extension from .pptx to .zip and opening with Winzip, however this extracted the graphics files but did not extract the .swf movie file.

We then tried to simply copy the movie and past to another location but all this did was save a Scrap.shs file, .shs files are used by Microsoft to transfer objects between their Office Applications so we were stuck with this file.

After lots of searching we found a utility called extractaflash.exe and this solved our problem, this pulled the .swf movie file out of the .shs file.

You can download the file from here as a zip file.

To use do the following:

1, Open Powerpoint, Copy the flash file and paste to your required directory location – Windows will save as Scrap.shs

2, Copy the extractaflash.exe to the same windows location as point 1

3, Open Windows Command Prompt and change to the directory you used above, look for your scrap file ending in .shs

4, At the Command promt type extractaflash.exe Scrap.shs flashfilename.swf

5, You will end up with a Flash Movie file in this case called flashfilename.swf (do not use spaces in any of the filenames or it will fail)

We are not sure who produced this great utility, if you know we would be happy to acknowledge them and link to their site.

Which Browser ?

Clients often ask us about which browser should they be using and which browser we optimise our sites for.

In terms of market share Microsoft still dominate with Internet Explorer having a market share of around 60%, second is Mozilla FireFox with a market share of around 23%, third is Google Chrome with around 8% (and growing) and fourth is Safari with 5% and behind that is Opera with around 2% and various other browsers with minor market share.

So generally we test all our sites with Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera but the real growth area is in mobile access. Most mobiles can happily view websites designed for PC access but it is possible to have browser detection for web pages optimised for mobile devices and this is becoming a regular request for us.

Many Website developers take the view that testing with Explorer and Firefox is more than enough and I guess covering around 83% of the market is the majority but in our view one of your customers may have a less popular browser and if your site looks ‘wrong’ then they will not put their hands in their pocket to buy from you.