The impress.js Presentation JavaScript Library

January 20, 2012

I recently stumbled upon impress.js, a truly amazing Web-based presentation tool. You have got to check out the demo page (in a modern browser), you will be blown away. After running through the presentation (which will only take a minute), check out the HTML source code to be further amazed. I’m normally not this hyperbolic, but I was quite stunned by what was possible with impress.js. Besides being a useful tool for HTML-based presentations, this library is capable of changing how one thinks of presentations as a concept. Instead of presenting information in a linear, traditional format, with impress.js, you can do things like go from a bigger picture to a smaller picture, to be able to zoom in on content, as it were. If you pay attention to the URLs, you’ll note that impress.js also creates bookmark-able pages, which is an added bonus.

If you check out the corresponding README file on GitHub, you’ll find links to other presentations created with impress.js. A couple of presentations are quite useful in that they demonstrate, in my opinion, an overuse of impress.js. Those particular presentations use the rotation feature to such as extent that it makes one dizzy, which is normally not a good quality in a presentation (although one presentation is talking about 3D transformations, so there’s some justification there). One does worry that if impress.js catches on too much, we’ll all be sick of rotating transitions in no time.

For an example of another interesting use of impress.js, check out lioshi toiles, where impress.js creates a site that displays artwork in a truly interesting way. Taken a step further, Al Ingham’s site, uses impress.js for custom navigation and presentation, while still providing direct links to specific pages across the top of the page (because walking through all the “slides” to get where you needed to be is unreasonable).

If only I had any design skills whatsoever…