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babyAre you working on a big PowerPoint presentation for work? Sometimes it’s nice to have it in a PDF format for sharing, printing, etc. If you’re looking to convert your presentation to PDF, we’ll get you there in a few short steps. Additionally, I’ll walk you through how to convert a PDF to a PowerPoint presentation and how to use a very handy tool on Adobe Reader. Want to learn all about PowerPoint? Get your study on with this PowerPoint 2013 introductory course. (Here’s one for PowerPoint 2010.)

How to copy a section of a PDF to PowerPoint

This may not come up that often, but it’s a great skill to know how to do. If you’re gathering information from a PDF and you would like to use say, an image, or a logo, or a section of text on your presentation, you can do so in a few clicks of the mouse.

Step 1

Open the PDF and PowerPoint presentation you would like to work with. If you don’t have a pre-existing presentation, go ahead and start one by opening the program and clicking on File—> New. You can adjust all of the settings later like, number of slides, slide transitions, slide template, etc.

Step 2

With your PDF file open, and a new or existing PowerPoint presentation open, zoom in on part of your PDF file that you would like to copy to PowerPoint. Now, if you have Adobe Reader 4, click and hold down the text selection tool. A toolbar will appear with three options for you, one of which is Graphic Select Text. Click it. If you have Adobe Reader 5, you can click on the Graphic Select Text button on the toolbar, or hit G for a shortcut.

Step 3

Drag a selection marquee around the text or image you would like to copy. Now press CTRL+C to copy this selection to your clipboard. You can also go to Edit–>Copy.

Step 4

Paste this image into a slide in our PowerPoint presentation by going to Edit–>Paste, or hitting CTRL+V on your keyboard as a shortcut.

Easy, right? Learn more about the tools available to you in this easy course on Adobe Acrobat X Professional (the new and improved Adobe Reader!)

How to convert a PowerPoint Presentation to a PDF

Step 1

Open up a pre-existing presentation in PowerPoint, or create a new one by going to File–>New.

Step 2

Go to File–>Save As. You will now how the option to determine where your saved file will go. Choose a location. Before you hit “Save” go to “Saves as type” where you can choose the file extension you are saving as. Here, you want to select the .PDF file extension instead of the .PPT file extension. This is the most important step.

Step 3

Now that you’re file has the .PDF file extension, click on the Open File After Publishing checkbox (if you have it). I don’t have it on PowerPoint 2013, and that’s okay. You can just go open your file after you save it.

Step 4

Click Save. Assuming that you have a PDF reader installed on your computer, you will now see the reader open with your new PDF document inside of it. This document should be an exact replica of your PowerPoint presentation.

You’re all done! But what about converting a PDF to a PowerPoint? Can it be done? Of course it can, but it’s not going to be as easy. Here’s a few ways to get it done.

How to convert a PDF to a PowerPoint

Conversion Software

This, honestly, is probably your best bet. All you’ll have to do is upload the PDF to the conversion website you’re using, or upload it into the conversion software you’ve downloaded and it will do all the work for you. A couple options for this are:

Copy and Paste

Remember that graphic select tool I told you about above? Well, we can use it here to copy and paste your PDF into PowerPoint. Yeah, it sounds a little cumbersome but you can ensure that you’re formatting stays the way you want and it won’t take too much time. One thing to note though is, depending on the graphic source on your PDF… the images may come out a little cloudy on PowerPoint. If you have the original images on your computer, I suggest just uploading them directly into your PowerPoint presentation and leave the copy and pasting for the text.

Remember, open your PDF and a new, or existing PowerPoint presentation. Use your graphic select text tool to drag a box around the selection you wish to copy. Press CTRL+C to copy it. Press CTRL+V to paste it in a slide on PowerPoint.

Print Screen

I use print screen for everything. I think it’s one of the handiest tools on a computer. You can use that function here to copy your PDF to a PowerPoint presentation.

Step 1

Open your PDF. Press PrntScr which is probably located on the top of your keyboard slightly to the right. This will save an image of everything on your screen (task bar included) which you can then paste into an image editing program to scale down what you want to keep, or not. Another tip is to hold down ALT while pressing PrntScr as it will copy just the active window. Which in this case, is probably going to be your PDF.

Step 2

Lucky for you, PowerPoint can act as a simple image editor. Go ahead and press CTRL+V to paste your print screen into a slide. Now go to Image–>Crop. The crop tool will allow you to trim off any excess parts of the image. To crop, change the crop box size to what you want to remain visible. When you click off of the crop box, the cropping will occur.

By using the Print Screen option you can preserve your formatting, but you might lose a little image quality as it’s essentially a copy and paste function.

Adobe Acrobat Pro

If you’re lucky enough to have Adobe Acrobat Pro, there is actually the option to “export file to PowerPoint” which will essentially do everything you’ve been trying to do with one simple step.

You can find this by going to Tools–>Content Editing–>Export File To..–> Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Again, for the best PDF to PowerPoint results, use a converter. The developer has already done all the work and all you need to do is upload. Typically the conversions will be emailed to you so you’ll have it on record forever. There are some really cool things you can do with PDF’s besides convert them to PowerPoint Presentations. Check out how to make an interactive PDF using InDesign.

Page Last Updated: January 2014

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