How to Convert PowerPoint to PDF

Creating files that are easily approachable, influential, and universally accessible is a necessity in the ever-evolving Digital Age.

Whether for your organization, enterprise business, or school project, these factors are non-negotiable in having successful material.

Microsoft® PowerPoint is used to create presentations and projects. Its simple and user-friendly options with many fixed layouts and interactive opportunities, make it the most common presentation software. 

PDF is another popular standard format used to share files primarily in business, health, and government sectors.

While each platform presents their own individual benefits, there are particular situations in which converting a PowerPoint to a PDF is vital to contributing to a more successful document. 

In this article, we'll cover the basics of these two powerful formats and explain how converting PowerPoint to PDF can make an impact as an essential tool in created material or visual aid. 

What is a PowerPoint File?

PowerPoint (PPT) is a Microsoft program that is primarily used to create slideshow presentations. PowerPoint presentations use a series of slides to visually assist in captivating the audience, whether colleagues, professors, employees, or investors.

The visual aspect helps the speaker get their point across to audiences small or large. The presentation can open on a computer that is attached to a projector to display it in a room, or it can remain a virtual file. 

PowerPoints may contain only text, but it is simple to customize presentations including selecting a design template, adding music, narration, images, logos, charts, or data. Text features are formatted similarly to Microsoft Word. It is important to remember that when using PPT slides, you do not always need a slide for every aspect of your presentation. Using visuals to embed reference points and images that go along with vital statistics will make a lasting impression on your audience.

The most common uses of PowerPoint presentations include:

• Education & Training

• Sales Meetings

• Digital Portfolios

• Market Strategies

• Alternative to Physical Print Outs

• Project Launches

• Business Plans

PowerPoint is the most common presentation software used, so most people will also have this software or one with similar viewing capabilities. In the case that a recipient does not have compatible software, learning how to change a PPT file to PDF will solve this dilemma. Which leads us to our next topic...


What is a PDF File?

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a document file format that contains data, images, text, and also independent from an operating-system, application software, and hardware.  

PDFs are a universal and standardized file type that can be easily reached from many different devices through a PDF reader (as opposed to a document created in a word processing program, which requires the reader to have the same software it was created in to open it). With mobile access, readers can access the file anywhere they want. Additionally, most PDF viewers are free to use.

PDF files have various security implementations that make them a trusted platform for sensitive material. In PDF software you can lock a file and only permit access to particular people. You can also censor parts of the content and only allow certain users to view it. These precautionary measures protect the document from damage due to virus infections.

Security features also protect the material from being sent to or seen by an unintended audience. Equipping your file with a password protection option assures all parties know their information is secure. Recipients can see who has access to the document. These measures allow the secure sharing of data, ideas, records, and much more, only alterable with the trace of an electronic footprint.

Using PDF software, you can insert images, hyperlinks, and multimedia files into your documents, such as videos and audio, creating interactive material. PDF preserves visual aspects created in original formats before a PDF conversion. Another useful tool is the option to create a fillable form, from which you can collect information electronically that traditionally need to be filled out by the recipient, scanned, and sent back.  PDF files provide the option for digital signatures and encryption.

A PDF can translate a multi-page document into a single file.  The file size is decreased allowing for a quick loading time without sacrificing quality.  If the desire is for even smaller file size, there are PDF compressors available to assist in this endeavor.

 Start converting your PDF now with a free trial of DocConverter by ActivePDF!

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Why Convert PowerPoint to PDF?

In certain instances, you may find yourself needing to convert a PowerPoint to a PDF. We will cover a few potential circumstances this may occur and highlight the differences between the two formats.

For collaborative projects, sharing a PowerPoint file will allow others to easily access and edit different slides and content within the file. Perhaps you and your team are working on a marketing proposal – Working in PPT will keep the content organized and easily viewable. When your material is finalized, you might want to change the PPT to PDF resulting in one single file that has limited editing options for a more formal document presentation.

For material such as digital portfolios or content that contains high-quality images, knowing how to convert a PowerPoint to PDF is crucial.  A PowerPoint is a stress-free method of preparing multiple slides and material into a smooth flow, yet the images and overall file size is enormous. When the time comes to show your portfolio to potential decision makers or investors, a PDF file is compressed and quicker to load without compromising quality.

In business endeavors, such as financial meetings, the information in your PowerPoint may include data that is intended for a specific or targeted audience. To protect this valuable data from virtual interception, changing the PPT to PDF will provide much more advanced security features, including limited viewing capabilities, password protection, and disabled print options.

However, it is important to remember that PDF files are a more static format. Converting to PDF will freeze the formatting and the layout. Certain aspects of your original material will not transfer from PowerPoint to PDF, such as slide transitions. Another benefit to converting PowerPoint to PDF, is that the conversion will enable viewers to see the slides without having the PowerPoint software on their device.



How to Convert PowerPoint to PDF

Here we cover three different options to convert PPT to PDF. The first method uses the PowerPoint program with a straight-forward procedure that includes slight variances whether using a Windows or Mac operating system.

The second method introduces you to DocSpace Online by ActivePDF, the free PDF conversion software that you can use anytime and anywhere.

The third method uses the award-winning DocConverter, a developer SDK that can convert thousands of PDF files in a server-based environment and offers many other features, such as adding watermarks, logos, security features, and compression.


Method 1 – PowerPoint

One of the great things about PowerPoint (and the Microsoft Windows programs in general) is the ability to perform PDF conversion direct from the program itself. Here's how in a few easy steps:

  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation
  2. Select file from the menu bar
  3. Click on Export from the drop-down option
  4. For Windows: Click Create as PDF or XPS Document and select the Create PDF/XPS button. For MacOS: Click on the File Format drop-down toward the bottom in the dialogue box and click on PDF
  5. Type a file name to save as in the File Name box, and select location where you want this file saved
  6. For Windows: Click Publish
  7.  For MacOS: Click Export

 Start converting PowerPoint to PDF now with a free trial of DocConverter!

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Method 2 – DocConverter

If you're a developer and in a situation where you need to convert a batch of PowerPoint files to PDF at a very large volume within a server-based environment, DocConverter is the best option. To learn more about this enterprise PDF solution, visit the DocConverter GitHub page for examples. For the specific link to a C# sample that converts PowerPoint to PDF, click here.

The below screenshot demonstrates Toolkit C# example of converting PowerPoint to PDF with DocConverter:


DocConverter works with C#, VB.Net, VBS, ASP, PHP, CF, and Ruby. To see how to convert files to PDF in those languages, take a look at the many examples on the ActivePDF website

There's more to DocConverter! Check out the blog "6 Unknown DocConverter Features":
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Why DocConverter?

DocConverter is our recommendation for the security, the amount of control you'll get over the conversion, the automatic formatting, and the time savings you'll see from the speed of conversions.

There you have a quick and easy course on how, why, and when to convert PowerPoint (PPTx) to PDF. Now that you know the simple steps to converting PowerPoint to PDF, you are on your way to creating a memorable and successful presentation.

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In Conclusion

Now that we have gone over in complete detail on each format type, this leads us to a better understanding of how to advantageously discern when converting a PowerPoint to a PDF and if it's is a wise choice for our material.  

Whether you need to work collaboratively on a project with others, or provide sales projections and financial data, utilizing a PowerPoint to start your project may work well, but transferring it over to a PDF will leave a more secure and compressed document easy to share with others.

Following the step-by-step procedures listed above provides you with professional, concise PDF documents that will optimize the overall impact of your material.

In this article, we covered:

  1. Definition, differences, and similarities of PowerPoint and PDF files.
  2. The circumstances of when and why to convert a PowerPoint (PPTx) to a PDF file. 
  3. The benefits of converting a a PowerPoint (PPTx) file to PDF.
  4. How to convert a PPTx to PDF using PowerPoint and DocConverter.
  5. Why DocConverter by ActivePDF offers an alternative method to converting PowerPoint to PDF.

Have more questions about converting PowerPoint to PDF or other digital transformation questions? Contact the knowledgeable technical advisors at ActivePDF today!

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DocConverter is the high-volume, server-side PDF conversion SDK that converts a variety of file types to and from PDF. Optional output to, and validation of PDF/A, ensures that your documents meet demanding standards-compliance requirements. DocConverter makes it easy to integrate document conversion into your existing applications. 

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