What is The Best Way to Convert PDF to PowerPoint in 2017?

Last updated: Apr. 21, 2017

I received a PDF document from a co-worker, and the content in the file is basically in presentation-ready style. Now I want to convert the PDF into a PowerPoint directly without creating a new PPT from scratch. What is the best way to do this?

It depends on how complex your PDF file is. If the content isn't that lengthy, try to copy the text from the PDF file, create a new PowerPoint file and paste the content you just copied. Also, don't forget to add some visuals and colors.

If you don't want to spend time doing that, there are a few other ways to get it done. That's what we're going to talk about today.

Please note: some methods require you to download third-party programs. If you choose those methods, make sure the user account on your computer has permission to install software.

Also, if your PDF file contains sensitive information, using a desktop PDF converter software is safer yet more efficient. See method #3 (for PC) and #4 (for Mac).

Method #1: Screenshot PDF content as images and paste on PowerPoint

If the PDF contains a lot of elements such as text, images, graphs, data, custom design, etc; The most efficient way to turn the PDF into PPT is by taking a few screenshots of the document, then open Office PowerPoint, create a new project and insert the images (i.e. screenshots) as slides. To take screenshots, just press Command + Shift + 4 combination keys if you are on a Mac; Or if you use a Windows PC, download a third-party program like GreenShot — a free open source screenshot tool. This method can also save you lots of headaches if the PDF is a scanned image.

Pros:

  • Quick, time-saving.
  • Efficient in handling scanned PDFs.

Cons:

  • Less flexibility. You can't make changes.
  • The PowerPoint presentation may not look that professional.

Method #2: Choose an online PDF to PPT conversion service

A quick Google search will return a long list of such services. Be aware of those don't have any disclosure or privacy policies regarding protecting your uploaded PDF file. Because such conversion services require you to upload your PDF document to their server. Therefore, we'd encourage you bypass this method if your PDF file contains sensitive data or business credentials that only authorized persons can access.

If your document is not so important and you are not paranoid about security or privacy, here are a few good PDF to PowerPoint converting services you can try (note: some have restrictions or limitations):

Pros:

  • Fast and easy to use.
  • No need to download or install any apps.

Cons:

  • Security is an issue because you have to upload the PDF to the developer's server.
  • Do not support batch or partial conversion.
  • Do not support OCR technology, can't handle scanned PDFs.
  • The quality of output presentation file can be low.

Method #3: Use Soda PDF to convert PDF to PowerPoint (on Windows PCs)

We recommend Soda PDF -- a professional PDF converter that not only allows you to export a PDF file into PowerPoint and other types of files, but it's also a PDF editor that enables you to directly modify the content on the file. By the way, the OCR version can turn a scanned PDF into searchable and editable text (efficiency, people).

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Simply get the program and install it on your Windows computer, be sure you have permission to install a third-party application. Launch the software and you'll notice the interface is quite similar to the Microsoft Office style. Select the Convert option, upload your PDF file and specify the output format to be PowerPoint. Then wait until the conversion process is complete. That's it.

Pros:

  • Stand-alone app (run offline), secure.
  • The quality of exported PPT file is high.
  • Advanced features such as OCR, batch conversion, PDF editing, etc.

Cons:

  • It's not free. You'll need to pay to activate full features.

Method #4: Use PDFelement to convert PDF to PPT (on Mac)

PDFelement is one of our go-to apps to deal with PDFs. It's powerful and incredibly easy to use, a great alternative for Acrobat as it's way cheaper. Besides converting PDFs to many other types of file formats (including Office PowerPoint), it also allows you to edit, create and combine files. The app is compatible with all MacOS versions including latest Sierra.

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To convert PDF to PPT on your Mac, first install the PDFelement software on your Mac. Launch it and click the "Convert PDF" mode to continue, in the new pop-up window, drag the PDF file you'd like to convert and specify output format to be "Microsoft Office PowerPoint (.pptx)", then click "Convert" to proceed. Done.

Pros:

  • Secure, user-friendly.
  • Powerful and comprehensive features.
  • Support OCR, batch/particle conversion.
  • Conversion quality is high.

Cons:

  • It's not freeware.

These are the four quick ways we wanted to share for converting a PDF document to an Office PPT presentation. Do you find the article helpful? Which method(s) have you tried? Or are there any other good techniques to get this done? Anyway, leave a comment and let us know.

Chris is a computer geek for a decade. He loved talking to computers via codes, and now he finds it more interesting communicating with the real people. He now writes everything related to computer issues and loves helping people solve problems.

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