Usually when I create slide decks these days I used markdown and slidy. However, I recently was asked to present using an existing Microsoft PowerPoint template.

Trouble is, I’ve been spoilt with the advantages of using a HTML-based presentation technology and I wanted to include some interactive web elements. In particular, I wanted to use a motion chart generated with the fantastic googleVis package. Of course, that presented an issue – how was I to include some interactive HTML elements in my PowerPoint deck?

The answer turned out to involve a PowerPoint plug-in called LiveWeb. These were the steps I took:

  • Download LiveWeb from http://skp.mvps.org/liveweb.htm and install it. This adds a couple of buttons onto the PowerPoint tool bar (for me, it appears in the “Insert” part of the ribbon)

  • Generate your web content. In my version, that meant using googleVis to generate a web page
  • Use the LiveWeb plugin to point your slide to the web page
  • Click play and wave hands like Hans Rosling which rapidly talking about your slide:

Btw – this also works for other HTML content, such as Shiny apps. Here’s one from the RStudio Shiny Example page …

So, if you have want to use MS PowerPoint, it is still possible to include R-generated interactive HTML content using the above steps.