Import PDF content into PowerPoint
If you're looking for a way of
converting an Acrobat PDF file into a look-alike/act-alike
PowerPoint version of the same file, you probably can't get there
Converting a PPT to a PDF is like turning meat, veggies, spices and water into stew. Pretty simple.
Converting a PDF to a PPT is like turning stew back into the original meat, veggies, spices and water. Darn near impossible.
It's not likely that anybody can do a very good job of it, but it's worth checking the current crop of PDF tools at places like Planet PDF and PDFZone
You can import PDF content into PowerPoint in several ways, depending on what software you have and the result you're after.
High resolution bitmaps from Acrobat Reader
With nothing more than the free Acrobat Reader, you can import high or low resolution bitmaps of PDF pages into your presentations.
You probably have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader software so you can view and print PDFs. If not,
you can download it here or if you know which version you want try this text-only page.
- Open your PDF in Reader.
- If you have Reader 5 or
- Choose the Graphics Select Tool from the toolbar (click and hold the toolbar button to the right of the zoom tool; when the flyout menu appears, click the rightmost button on it).
- Use the Graphics Select Tool to drag a rectangle surrounding the area of the page you'd like to use in your PowerPoint presentation.
- Choose Edit, Copy or press Ctrl+C, then switch to PowerPoint and choose Edit, Paste or press Ctrl+V to paste a copy of the selected area of the PDF file into your presentation.
- If the result is too low-rez, switch back to Reader and without changing anything else, type a higher zoom percentage into the zoom text box at the lower left of the Reader window, then re-do the copy and paste into PowerPoint.
- If you have Reader 6
- Use the snapshot tool (a camera icon with a dotted line around it on the Basic toolbar), drag the crosshairs to draw a box around area you want to copy. The snapshot tool automatically copies the selected area to the clipboard; you can then paste it into PowerPoint. If you want higher resolution, zoom in on the image while it's still selected, then rightclick it and choose "Copy Selected Graphic"
Don't get too frisky with the zoom
trick. If you zoom in too close, you can put so much data on the
clipboard that it brings your system to its knees. Start at a fairly
low zoom setting like 200% and work your way up to a value that
works well for you.
If you have PowerPoint X on your Mac
In PowerPoint X, you can simply click the Insert Picture From File button on the Drawing toolbar (or select Insert, Picture, From File from the main menu bar). Then choose your PDF and click OK. Couldn't be quicker and easier. Drawbacks: you can only insert the first page of a PDF this way, and the result is rather low-resolution. Try it, if it works, great. If not, back up and try the Reader trick above.
Export graphics files from Acrobat
If you have the full Acrobat package (not just the free Reader) you can open the PDF in Acrobat and export a page or pages to any of several graphics formats that PowerPoint can import. Choose File, Save as and pick the file type you want (PNG is probably best in most cases). Once you've exported graphics files, use PowerPoint's Insert, Picture, From File command to bring the pictures into your presentation.
Use Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDraw
And as our ever-vigilant Adam Crowley points out:
If you have Photoshop (not sure which version first had this feature - at least 6 and 7) you can batch convert PDF pages into PSDs at a chosen resolution etc. These can then be converted into JPEGs, PNGs etc (also as a batch) for insertion into PowerPoint using File, Automate, Multi-Page PDF to PSD
Similarly, Some PDFs can be opened
or imported into other applications as well, such as recent versions
of Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW.
Note that PDFs can be locked against opening and/or editing/printing; in such cases, many of these tricks won't work.
This is particularly useful if you need to edit the PDF content before moving it into PPT.
PDF as PDF within a Web
Page within PowerPoint
Suppose you want to display a PDF as a PDF rather than importing some or all of its content into PowerPoint?
In that case, you'll want to try Shyam Pillai's free LiveWeb add-in
- Load the add-in, select Insert | Web Pages.
- In the address field type the path to the PDF file and proceed to complete the wizard prompt.
During slide show, the pdf file will be displayed. Note that the add-in and Acrobat Reader must be installed on PCs where you'll play back the presentation.
PDF as PDF outside
You can create an action button that hyperlinks to the PDF. This will launch Reader or Acrobat (whichever "owns" PDF files on your system) with the PDF loaded. This gives you less control over position and size of the PDF window than Shyam's add-in, but allows you to launch the PDF full screen if you wish.
Since the PDF is linked rather than embedded, the links are liable to break when you move the PowerPoint file to another computer. To avoid this, you can embed the PDF instead:
PDF as PDF inside PowerPoint
- From the main menu bar, choose Insert, Object. The Insert Object dialog box appears.
- In the Insert Object dialog box, click "Create from file" .
- Click Browse.
- Choose the PDF you want to insert.
- PowerPoint embeds the PDF and displays an Adobe Acrobat icon.
- Rightclick the icon and choose Action Settings. The Action Settings dialog box appears.
- In the Action Settings dialog box, click "Object action" and choose "Edit".
- Click OK.
A copy of the PDF is now embedded in your PPT file, meaning that you won't have to worry about links breaking when you move the file to another computer or send it to someone else.
Acrobat Reader must be installed on the "playback" PC for this to work.