I’m a fan of Deckset for creating presentation decks using Markdown. Being able to write out an entire presentation in plain text is slick, and doing so cuts out time spent on transitions, animations, and other frivolities that come with building a deck in Keynote or PowerPoint. One thing that I’ve always missed, though, is progressive builds for lists, where each bullet item is revealed only when you advance.

The only way to replicate this in Deckset is to slowly build over multiple slides, adding one new list item with each. Which is a pain. A friend of mine had the same issue and asked me to automate it. So I present the “Spread Build Service.”

This Service just takes text containing multiple lines and expands it to a series of slides, starting with just the first line and progressively adding one line at a time until the full set is displayed. It can be used with bullet lists, numeric lists, or any text that has line breaks in it. Example input:

---

A list to build:

- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3

---

Selecting this text and running the Service on it generates:

---

A list to build:

---

A list to build:

- Item 1

---

A list to build:

- Item 1
- Item 2

---

A list to build:

- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3

---

A single blank line between elements will be preserved, but multiple newlines will be compressed to one empty line. You can select text with or without the slide dividers (---), they’ll be added to the output if they don’t exist in the input selection.

Hope you find it useful! Download, unzip, and double click the .workflow file to install the Service. It will show up as “Spread Build” when you have text selected and right click on it in any text editor.

Spread Build Service v1.0.1

A Service to convert a series of lines to a progressive build in Deckset (and other Markdown presentation apps)

Published 10/27/20.

Updated 10/27/20. Changelog

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