Explain Everything is an intuitive, flexible and effective presentation editor. Using the app, you can upload and annotate graphics or photographs, create slide presentations, record your voice and export your presentations as either graphics or movies. In the words of the developers, it allows you to “annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations.” Furthermore, Explain Everything is integrated with services like Dropbox, YouTube, Evernote, and WebDAV for easy sharing and increased access to your work.
Let’s begin with a quick introductory video from the company:
When you open up the app you will see a very simple workspace. Your presentation tools are located along the left side and bottom of the screen. For this screenshot, I have also added a picture of my daughter on her favorite motorcycle toy:
Since there are a lot of options available on the home page, I’ll add brief descriptions beginning at the top left and working counter-clockwise:
New Slide (white rectangle with a green plus sign): This will add a new blank slide to your presentation. Think of slides in Explain Everything like you would think of slides in a PowerPoint. Each slide can be filled with background images, annotations, graphics, drawings, etc.
Slide Sorter: This will open up a thumbnail list of all of your presentation slides. You can tap and drag the individual thumbnails to change the order of your slides. Tap and hold a thumbnail to bring up two options: the X will allow you to delete slides. The 2X will duplicate your slide; this is very useful if you would like to use the same images for the entire presentation.
Drawing Tool: Use your finger to annotate and draw on your slide. Tap and hold to change the color and shape of your pen. This tool can be used with the recording tool to highlight or important aspects of your presentation. Here is a demonstration:
Laser Pointer: Likewise, this is useful for recording presentations. You can highlight areas of your screen without marking it up. Press and hold this tool to change laser pointer type.
Shape and Text Tools: These both work the same way as the drawing tool. Use them to annotate your presentation or add text. Tap and hold to bring up color, font and shape options, like this:
Insert Image: Tapping this will actually bring up a menu of options. You can add images, documents and even live websites to your presentation. These can come from your iPad, but you also have the ability to import from Evernote, Dropbox, etc.
Note to teachers: the live web browser is very useful for demonstrating research methods, explaining websites, or showing how to look for reliable sources. When using the browser, double tapping on it will let you browse and annotate web pages. Tapping anywhere else will let you exit the browser and move it as a normal object. Here is a demonstration:
Delete: Tapping on the X will allow you to delete anything on the page. Tapped once, the object will wiggle, tapped twice, it will go away.
Arrange: Allows you to edit the layers of your project. For example, if you would like your text to appear on top of an image, do so here.
Undo: Reverses the last action made in the program.
Zoom: This tool allows you to zoom in on certain parts of a presentation. This tool works well for focusing on certain images or text that you would like to highlight. Pinch and reverse pinch to zoom in and out. Double tap to return to the full screen view.
Presentation Mode (bottom left): This is for use when you have your iPad connected to a screen or projector. It allows you to present without all the toolbox distractions on the page.
Recording: This allows to you to add verbal explanation, sound effects, or even a soundtrack to your slides. Tap to start. You can pause or stop the recording at any time. Also if you make a mistake, you can just rewind and re-record. Remember that you record audio for an individual slide, not for the entire presentation.
Moving to the bottom right of the screen, there are four icons to be aware of:
Export Image: Tapping this icon will allow you to share a single slide from your presentation. Again, you can choose to share to a variety of platforms:
Export Movie: The options are similar for a movie export. You can share a presentation in video format on your Photo Roll, Youtube, Email, Dropbox, Evernote, Box ,or on WebDAV. The only drawback to the movie sharing is that it takes a while to compress your movie. After starting the compression you may want to get a cup of coffee while you wait.
Save Project: Saves your project in an Explain Everything file format. You can also choose to save your project to a cloud account like Dropbox, etc.
Home: The last icon is your main menu of Explain Everything. It lists your current projects and recordings. Tap on an individual project to open it up in the workspace.
This is an app that seems to be up to any challenge.
iTunes Rating (out of 5 stars): 4 1/2