This could be enormously useful.
I teach, and because of that, I give well over 100 presentations a year--to my classes, and also to all sorts of other audiences. Based on that, here are some suggestions. In short, I like the first example at the top of the page best.
--One person said that it is not important to show the current slide, or more than a thumbnail of it, because it is up anyway. I disagree. The presentation screen is usually behind you. One of the most annoying habits some presenters have is turning their back on their audience to remind themselves of the current slide. I think the current slide has to be visible and legible.
--The single most important thing that is lacking now, IMHO, are the ability to see notes. I use them to add detail, to remind myself of transitions, etc. I would devote half the screen to that. I disagree with Yorick about limiting these to short bullets. That is very good advice for the slide itself, but not for notes, which should be written in whatever form helps the presenter stay on track. I'd rather have a roughly square window for them.
--having a small view (maybe bigger than the a thumbnail) of the next slide would be very valuable. A view of the previous one is a waste of space, IMHO. I can usually remember what I just talked about, but I sometimes forget what I have put next.
--I would not devote space to fancy things like rulers showing where one is. The screen is likely to be small, and therefore, I would devote as much space as possible to the few things that matter most. A small clock may be useful, but it is not essential.
As it stands it's already extremely useful! Thanks for the work. However, being able to control the font color on the notes panel would make the tool even more useful. Currently, it displays the notes as blue on blue on my box... not very useful... :)
Getting the view to work
I'm trying to test the new extension, but am having difficulty getting it running. I've installed the extension into my OOo 3.0Beta on an Ubuntu Linux system. The extension manager shows it as enabled. However, the presenter view does not show on my laptop when connected to an LCD projector. A note on the main wiki page refers to the possibility that the projector and laptop are "set to show the same view." Any idea how to unset it and reveal the presenter view?
I know that maybe most people don't need live edit, but some people really do. Like if presenters/teachers/etc. find mistakes in presentational they can fix them, rather then ignoring them or exiting the presentation to edit it (making it look unprofessional, showing them the computer desktop etc.) Also there is sometimes some dynamic content that could be added using live edit (like total amounts of money raised at fund-raising events) or updating changed details to announcements as they are announced etc.
Lack of Live Edit is the only thing I don't like about Open Office / Ubuntu.
I wish you could install office in Ubuntu...
I as well could really use live edit, even though it might be dangerous for most. If it could be enabled via a preference setting, or right-click menu with confirmation dialog, that would be great.
The application is a small worship group (lay people group singing led by a small band and typically PowerPoint.)
Often times there are typos or whole lyrics or slides missing from the presentation, which could most easily be corrected during the presentation itself.
Making this feature available would be a great way to show benefits of free software.
Live Edit (once more)
I wish that this discussion counted for Impress developers as polling the user community. Live edit is vital in many circumstances (teaching for one!). If one searches on the web one finds only a number of suggestions followed by harsh replies from moderators who think this is a useless powerpoint feature. It is not. Of course teaching is perhaps a marginal use of Impress, but schools adopting OpenOffice provide a key strategy towards pupils using it as well.
I am aware that free software is somehow a gift, and users cannot 'demand', but I also assume that the first, very useful modification, is not very demanding. That is changing the color and thickness of the 'pen ad mouse' otpion to slightly thicker and, say, plain black, This would make already a lot of difference!