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Those of you who are familiar with PowerPoint know that it can support and allow for the creation of some amazing graphical content. The only draw back is that you don’t have complete control over every aspect of the graphic as compared to software programs such as Adobe Illustrator. Another thing that can be drastically different from PowerPoint to Illustrator is the creation process. Illustrator is very robust and dynamic at the same time, and PowerPoint has a very simplistic, easy-to-use creation process. So moving between the two can be very difficult. Luckily, you don’t have to! Illustrator files can be exported out and then imported into PowerPoint, giving you the ability to create enhanced custom graphics. Which means these objects and graphics can be changed (ex: the outline, fill color, object color, shape, size and etc). The process on a PC is a little different to the process on a Mac, so I will take you through both.


The steps on PC are quite straightforward and simple. Once you have created your Illustrator file, you need to export it as an Enhanced Metafile or .emf. This will allow the object(s) to retain the attributes that it was given in Illustrator. This means that you can break up pieces and edit and change colors of all object parts in PowerPoint. Once the file is in PowerPoint, make sure before doing any edits that you right click on the object and ungroup it. Depending on the number of objects and shapes, you may have to ungroup a couple of times. This will make sure you have complete control over every single shape within the imported object. When using this process, there will often be an invisible box covering parts of your file. Go ahead and delete it.


For Macs, the process is a little more complex than PC. The first step however is still the same. Once you have created your object in Illustrator, export it as a .emf. But instead of dropping it right into PowerPoint, you need to open it in a OpenOffice Presentation. OpenOffice is basically a free version of office productivity suite, so it will come as no cost to you. Sadly, this is the only way that I have found in my research that this will work on Mac. But it does work.

Once you have opened up the file in OpenOffice, you now have to right click on the image and click Break. This part is very important. Once you have completed that step, save it out as an Open Document Presentation (or .odp). Even in this state, everything will be editable, but the goal is to get it to get it to work in PowerPoint. Which leads us to our next step.

The last step is very easy. All you need to do is double click on the .odp file! On almost all Mac computers it will open in PowerPoint if it is installed. If it doesn’t automatically open up in PowerPoint, just drag and drop it into PowerPoint or right-click on the file and select Open With PowerPoint. And now all the objects and shapes are ready for you to edit and customize to your brand and needs.

This process can be a huge benefit to teams who develop PowerPoint presentations, as the images that can be created in Illustrator much more quickly than when compared to PowerPoint. Let me know in the comment section below what you think!

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