Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Get Illustrator Vectors Into PowerPoint



I always run into this problem. Someone wants a map or design in Microsoft PowerPoint®. But it has to be editable. No problem if I build it in PowerPoint. But, I don't work that way. It's way harder than it needs to be. I prefer to work in a program that's built for vector-based image building.

I discovered two ways of getting Illustrator files into PowerPoint for clients to use. One requires access to a PC, while the other can be done strictly on the Mac.

The PC access method

  1. You can build your file in Illustrator® on the Mac or the PC. Doesn't matter at this point.
  2. Export your art as an EMF (enhanced metafile).
  3. If you are on the PC, no problem. Just open PowerPoint and import the art and ungroup it. However, if you are on the Mac, like me, you have an extra in-between step.
    1. Find a friend with a PC, or get one, and put the art on the PC computer desktop first.
    2. Import the artwork into PowerPoint on the PC.
    3. Now, ungroup the artwork (break apart), and you have an editable vector in PowerPoint.(Whew!)

Fully on the Mac method

  1. Go ahead and build your file in Illustrator.
  2. Export your art as an EMF (enhanced metafile).
  3. If you don't have OpenOffice, download it. It's free. (It's a great program, by-the-way, even if you already have Microsoft Office.) The reason you need to do this is that PowerPoint for the Mac will convert vectors into non-editable raster images. (Hmmm. I wonder why that is.) However, OpenOffice will.
  4. Import your EMF artwork into OpenOffice (in Presentation mode).
  5. Right-click the art and select Break.
  6. BAM! You can save this file in a PowerPoint format. And you are done.
Cool, eh?

Photo courtesy Jusben of Morguefile.com


82 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:51 AM

    Thank you so much! I have been working in PowerPoint for years and didn't think this was possible. But it works! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are most welcome.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I thought there was no solution to this on a Mac. You have made me very happy!! Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ben, you are quite welcome. Hope it saves you some heartache.

      Delete
  4. Thank you so much ! This really helped me out since we are working in a team where we constantly have to switch between Illustrator and Powerpoint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad this was helpful.

      Delete
  5. Hi Kerry, You've given a great solution, this solution working for simple diagrams for complex shapes they're appearing as images, what do you think about that?

    I think powerpoint isn't robust to detect full vector details. Anyway good presentation software.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your welcome, Muhammad.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you have really complex shapes you need to move from Illustrator to Powerpoint without too much loss in quality there is a trick...

    1. Scale the artwork in illustrator to 1200% and save as EMF.

    2. Place the EMF in Powerpoint

    3. In Powerpoint scale to 8,25% as this wil return the artwork to it's original size.

    4. ungroup/break aprt as described in the original post here :-)

    This little trick will keep your vectors almost as good as the original!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for that little trick. But if the image remains a vector (no matter the complexity), from Illustrator to PowerPoint, the quality should remain the same. I haven't had a problem with complex images.

      But thanks for that trick. That should work well for times with complex images just don't work.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the tip, but I'm having a problem once I'm in OpenOffice. Everytime I 'break' most of my vectors disappear. Am I doing something wrong in Illustrator before I import the file into OpenOffice? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure. Are you exporting your file as an EMF (Enhanced Metafile) while in Illustrator? And is all the artwork vector format rather than a mix of vector and bitmap artwork?

      Delete
  9. Anonymous6:04 PM

    BОNUS TIP: If you want to kkeep the same layout throughout the presentation, make a titrle slide and a content slіde, and just dupliсate the contebt slide until уou caan fiit all your information.
    instead, you can expect to only decide on a template you choose as well aѕs take yοur
    time working on the materijal of one's project rather of thе ѵisual appeal.
    You can search over for Poωer - Point templates according to the catеgory of
    the topic.

    Feеl free to surf to my page :: online marketing ppt

    ReplyDelete
  10. hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :) inspire..!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad this was helpful

      Delete
  11. Anonymous4:30 AM

    it works
    great thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad this was helpful.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous4:31 AM

    it works
    great thanks

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am not sure how do i get the graphic from Open Office to powerpoint. I am trying to copy and paste it but it is not working.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Diana,

    Just save the Open Office presentation as a PowerPoint format.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Kerry, Thank you for your reply.

    hmm, is the Apache version different, I do not get an option to save as the powerpoint. Only these are available... (.odg, .otg, .sxd, .std)

    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Diana, perhaps this info might be of help here.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Diana, just copy this URL to get more info about PowerPoint filter: wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/PowerPoint_filter

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous1:33 PM

    This is nice, any way tips on keeping text from breaking up mid word?

    ReplyDelete
  19. It works perfect!! thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous11:38 PM

    I've been looking for this for ages, don't know why my google search tonight yielded the correct results. I was getting ready to install windows on my mac to use with parallels so I could install a windows version of office, because I was that desperate! This saved my hard drive space. Thanks!! lol

    ReplyDelete
  21. Glad this was useful

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Hi Kerry, wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/PowerPoint_filter link is no longer maintained.. still trying to figure how to save / export a ppt file... any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tried it out, and it still works. Make sure you copy the URL correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Love this... one question the Vector objects now in ppt are not smooth as they are in Illustrator. Example the logo which is round is more like a bumpy and misshapen lump of clay. Is there a way to control that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you like this.

      I'm not sure why this is happening. But, make sure your original is using only four points to create a Bézier curved circle. Otherwise, the shape will be dependent on exact positioning of many points, and this will cause problems.

      Delete
  25. John Marshall6:28 PM

    I can't thank you enough for this. I wanted to share how this helped me in hopes that maybe my story can help someone else with the same problem.

    I'm a graphic designer who uses Parallels 10 to run a virtual Windows PC on his Mac, pretty much only for clients who need PowerPoint design (The Mac version just doesn't cut it). Parallels is fantastic, but you cannot copy a graphic from Illustrator on the Mac side and "Paste Special" on the PC – Parallels doesn't support vector interchange.

    My way around this for years was to create graphics in a current copy of Illustrator on the Mac side and retro-save them so I could open them on a very old copy of Illustrator CS3 on my PC side, then copy and "Paste Special" from there. When I upgraded to Windows 8 today, I lost my old copy of Illustrator CS3. Both of my usable Adobe CC licenses were already tied up on my Mac desktop and laptop, so I thought I was going to have to buy an extra standalone.

    Your export to enhanced metafile trick saved me $250 a year. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, John. So glad this helped.

      Delete
  26. I am having varied levels of sucess with this. I am on Windows 7 using Illustrator CS6 and PowerPoint 2010. I have found that I need to
    In Illustrator
    A) Save down my Illustrator CS6 to Illustrator 10
    B) Close the document
    C) Reopen it (update the text)
    D) Then export it to a .EMP. (This process strips away a bunch of Illustrator features that Powerpoint can not deal with).
    Functionality in Powerpoint
    When I ungroup it in PPT, several of features of the artwork translate incorrectly.
    A) Almost all of my text blocks are broken into two text objects
    B) Non horizontal text turned horizontal into and multiple text blocks.
    C) Also the clipping paths got lost. (Workaround
    D) Surprisingly, compounds paths stay intact.
    E) Font seem to stay the same, but some of them changed size

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear about this. It's a shame that Microsoft doesn't consider that many people need a way to do this. One idea is to try opening it in a PC version of OpenOffice. I don't know if this will help, but it's worth a shot.

      Delete
  27. Trying to open in PPT after saving in illustrator as EMF, importing into OO, saving as PPT. ..

    Error reads: "ppt found a problem with content in the file."

    Ever had this issue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm. No. Can't say that I have.

      Delete
  28. Trying to open in PPT. After saving as EMF from Illustrator, importing into OO, saving as PPT. When trying to open in ppt, i receive following error:
    "PPT found a problem with content in the file."

    Ever had this issue?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I clicked on open file in powerpoint 2010 and a error comes up stating

    ((("""The selected file does not appear to be a valid Microsoft PowerPoint file. It might be a file created by a different program."")))) HELP :(

    ReplyDelete
  30. It works! Still playing around with it, but it seems to get weird when I have transparency and gradients. But even if I have to remove that and redo in PowerPoint, this is a MASSIVE time saver. Incredible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad it was helpful, Zack.

      Delete
  31. Anonymous12:56 PM

    I found this article 3 years after it was written (7/24/15) and it saved my day today! Thanks for writing this and keeping it around!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. This is by-far one of the most popular issues. I'll have to do more of this. Word and PowerPoint are the most used business applications that designers have to consider designing for. Painful, but true.

      Delete
  32. Anonymous9:38 PM

    Thank you so much. Life saver! I tried using OpenOffice to no avail. This method worked perfectly! I have Parallels and I can go back and forth, sharing files between the mac an pc. Easy Peasy! It took me hours of futsing and to finally find this posting and minutes to complete the task with this method. Thank you again! (8/1315) Cheri H.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I copy-paste from Illustrator (an old version) into Powerpoint 2013 and I get a vector image I can resize. When I click Ungroup, I get a message asking whether it's OK to convert it to a Microsoft Office drawing object (sure, whatever!), after which it behaves as if it had been drawn in Powerpoint - you can edit points, change fill color, etc.
    This method is convenient also for taking bitmaps such as icons and pasting them as vectors in Powerpoint: paste bitmap into illustrator, vectorize, simplify if necessary, copy into Powerpoint.
    I tried with Inkscape but it does not work

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm having a similar problem as some others with not finding (or knowing) a suitable powerpoint file type. I can export or save as a whole bunch of things but not a .ppt

    Options:
    .html
    .pdf
    .swf
    .bmp
    .emf
    .eps
    .gif
    .met
    .pbm
    .pct
    .pgm
    .ppm
    .ras
    .svg
    .svm
    .tif
    .wmf
    .ong
    .jpg

    Any help would be appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi, I need your help. How can I import de .emf file into Powerpoint? I only know the way of doing it inserting it as a image file, but so I can't edit it. Thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete
  36. Get OpenOffice and try importing it there. Then ungroup. Try to save it as a PPT format. If that doesn't work try importing in a PC version of PPT and "ungroup" it. Other than that, I don't know what else you can do. It's just a pain these days.

    ReplyDelete
  37. VERY helpful tip—thanks Kerry!

    Working w/ PowerPoint Mac 2011, I had trouble—Powerpoint kept insisting that the .ppt I saved from OpenOffice needed repairing. Once repaired, the graphic was gone, so I was stumped for a bit.

    Finally I thought of saving the file as an .odp (OpenOffice presentation) and converting THAT to a .pptx, which my version of PPT uses. This I had to do at CloudConvert.com — https://cloudconvert.com/odp-to-pptx

    Then I could open the file, and my vectors were there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent. Good to know.

      Delete
    2. Mireille2:52 PM

      Jeremy, thanks for this fabulous solution. I was tearing my hair out getting the same repair message in PowerPoint. You totally made my day.

      Delete
  38. How would you do this with Word? I have been trying for hours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. Don't know. Never tried it.

      Delete
  39. I've tried both methods to inserting a vector icon into PPT by using an EMF export AND OpenOffice but when inserted into PPT, the icon lines become a bit jagged (or garbled) unlike the original. Is there a way to solve this? Thanks Kerry!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try scaling your art 1200% before saving as an EMF, as suggested by Klaus in the above comment. Here's his steps from above.

      1. Scale the artwork in illustrator to 1200% and save as EMF.

      2. Place the EMF in Powerpoint

      3. In Powerpoint scale down to 8.25% -- this will return the artwork to it's original size.

      4. ungroup/break apart as described in the original post here

      This little trick will keep your vectors almost as good as the original!

      Hope this works for you.

      Delete
    2. Hi, I have the same problem, I tried enlarging the vector object and scale down in Powerpoint. However it has come an image? It is not editable in Powerpoint?

      Delete
    3. Hi, I have the same problem, I tried enlarging the vector object and scale down in Powerpoint. This has come an image? It is not editable in Powerpoint?

      Delete
  40. That worked! Thanks, Kerry!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. Glad it worked!

      Delete
  41. Dude! my man! you rock, thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hey - you are a wizard. Made it easy for me and I was looking for the long way round. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Kerry! you are a star.
    I'm a novice at this as well and on a mac it does not give me an option to save or export as a PPT file. Am i looking in the wrong place?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make sure you have the necessary export filter (https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/PowerPoint_filter)

      Delete
  44. great help thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Great tip, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  46. I was frustrated, pulling what little hair I have left out... but this article saved me. THANK YOU

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am using this method to create an ungrouped file for a wipe animation (the kind that kinda duplicates the look of videoscribe where each vector line animates on in sequence - cool) My problem is that once the animation is completed the image disappears. I have been careful to check the "after animation - don't dim - option. What could Microsoft be doing NOW!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel your pain! Ha ha.

      Delete
  48. I almost gave up! Thank youuu so much!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thank you so much for the steps you have so well outlined! This was extremely helpful and I really hope for a bit more of an expert advice related to importing vectors into Word.

    I have an svg file with a collection of round vector icons, which I export from Illustrator or from Inkscape (tried both) as .emf and import into Word or Publisher. Once imported into Publisher (same in Word), I follow the steps and ungroup these, so the icons can work as separate shapes and can be individually recolored. The problem is that I need the circle to change color, but I also need the icon to behave as a single shape and not as multiple elements, so it can be easily copied and pasted on other documents. The problem is that once ungrouped, all the elements in some of the round icons become ungrouped as well and the icon can no longer be edited as a single shape. I have a few icons (which I have not created) that behave as I would expect. These stay as a single shape once ungrouped in Publisher. I am struggling to figure this out. Do you have any advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know much about Publisher. But I know that in Word, even when you regroup items, they can still be selected separately just by clicking on them more than once.

      Other than that, I don't think I can help with the specific problems you are having.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for taking the time to look at my question. Really appreciate it. I will figure out a way for sure.

      Delete
  51. Oh my word!! you're a bit of a genius. thank you!

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to comment. But comments with links will be deleted (unless truly helpful).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...