Have you ever wanted to export all of the text in a presentation? There are several reasons for doing this:
* To repurpose the text to a report or other document
* To give a presentation a makeover, starting with just the text
* To use as notes during delivery
If all of your text is in text placeholders
If, and only if, all of the text is in text placeholders, this is an easy task. In PowerPoint 2003, choose File>Send To>Microsoft Office Word. In PowerPoint 2007, choose Application button> Publish> Create Handouts in Microsoft Office Word. In PowerPoint 2010, choose File> Save & Send> Create Handouts> Create Handouts. In PowerPoint 2010, choose File> Export, Create Handouts, then click the Create Handouts button.
In the dialog box that opens, choose the Outline Only option and click OK. Word opens with your text. You can now reformat it in any way you want.
If you have text in text boxes and shapes
But what if you have text in text boxes and shapes? You may need this text as well. In fact, this may be just the text that you’re trying to reformat.
First, look at my dummy presentation, which I created with labels to help me troubleshoot any problems.
The solution involves converting the presentation to a PDF file and then extracting the text from the PDF. Here are the steps:
1. Download PDF995, a free PDF creator, supported by ads. (You can remove the ads for $9.95. Paying for the software also entitles you to technical support, which I’ve used more than once.) Another option is PrimoPDF. I used PDF995 to test these steps.
2. In your presentation, choose File> Print. Choose PDF 995 from the list of printers. (This is how you use the program to create PDF files.) Save the file. Adobe Reader opens with your new PDF file.
3. Do one of the following:
* Choose File> Save as Text to create a text file from the PDF. This will extract all of the text in the document. However, you may have some unusual characters that you need to delete. (Look at the 2 small boxes in the text below.)
*Choose View> Page Layout> Continuous (or choose the Continuous button at the lower-left corner of the application window). Click before the first character. If you don’t see the Select tool (look for an I-beam), choose Tools> Basic> Select. Drag downward, waiting until the document scrolls, until you reach the end of the document. (For some reason, this process is slow and clunky.) With the entire document selected, copy to the Clipboard. Open Notepad, and paste. You can see the result below. It’s very clean.
I’d be interested to hear in your results. Leave a comment!