Thursday, August 08, 2013

Getting Working Vectors Out of PowerPoint® and Into Illustrator

Sometimes someone will give me art created in a PowerPoint® file. I can't just click and drag it out, because I won't get what I really need. True, it's quick , but the clipping image will be too low-res to be any good.

Here's a way to get around this issue:
  1. Save the PowerPoint as a PDF first.
  2. Then open the PDF in Illustrator. Now you have a nice vector art to work with. And if they are using a standard font like Arial, you should have no problems with the fonts coming out okay as well. The only thing you need to be concerned about is font formatting, and a bunch of redundant clipping masks.
  3. To get rid of these redundant clipping masks, first highlight everything and release the clipping paths (Object > Clipping Path > Release). Then eliminate redundant boxes one-by-one. But beware! You could be getting rid of drop shadows and other niceties PowerPoint includes. But, I get rid of that stuff anyway because the effects are better if made in Illustrator (if you have to have them).
  4. For the text objects, it's a good idea to reset blocks of text as area text boxes. It will give you more control. So, here's how to convert bits of text into a single box of Area Text
    1. Well, the easiest method I found is to select all the separate text points using the selection tool and cut them (or copy them). 
    2. Then create a text area (click and drag the type tool to create a text box). 
    3. And with the area and type tool still selected, paste inside the text box. And it all comes in as Area Text and ready for easier formatting and editing.

Hope this helps!


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