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 2013 and later, 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:
- In your presentation, choose File> Print. Choose Microsoft Print to PDF or another PDR driver. (Other options are Adobe Acrobat, PDF 995, PrimoPDF and others.) Save the file. Adobe Reader opens with your new PDF file.
2. Do one of the following:
- Choose File> Save as Text or Save as Other> Text to create a text file (.txt) 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.)
- Press Ctrl + A to select everything. If that doesn’t work, choose View> Page Display> Enable Scrolling, double-click at the top, and drag downward until everything is selected. (For some reason, this is slow.) 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!
“101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know” is for everyone who never took a course or read a book about PowerPoint! These tips will fill in the gaps, speed up your work, make presentations easier, and help you get better results. Now updated through PowerPoint 2016 and Office 365. Learn more at http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/101-tips/
[…] Would you like to export even text in text boxes? See my tip, “Export all presentation text.” […]
Hi Ellen, thank you SO much for this tip on on how to extract the text from a powerpoint presentation.
The continuous trick will save me hundreds of hours. THANKS.
Wow, that’s a lot of hours! I’m glad to help. If you haven’t signed up for my PowerPoint Tips Newsletter, I recommend it so you don’t miss new tips as they come out. There’s a sign-up button on every page.
Do you know a way of exporting all the text from PowerPoint 2007 – but including the slide notes?
Hi Simon. I have just worked out that you can, from Powerpoint, ‘Send to’ the document to Word choosing ‘Notes below slides’. This creates a word document with each powerpoint slide on one page, with the notes typed out below. Then use Ellen’s technique of printing or saving the word document to a pdf. Set the pdf to ‘continuous’ view, ‘Select All’, copy and then paste into Notepad, then ‘Edit’ ‘Select All’ and paste into Word. Phew. This method includes the text ‘slide 1’, ‘slide 2’ e.t.c. which can be useful.
So, I just wanted to leave the method that I just discovered. None of the options I read online worked for me since all the text in my presentation was white on black and it was ALL textbox text. And when I tried the above methods the best I got was a giant block of text that had no spaces and was improperly interpreted and was basically just a mess. So here’s what I did: Dragged the pptx file to my Google Drive. I made sure that the convert to Google Docs checkbox WAS SELECTED. Once the presentation had been… Read more »
That’s a great tip. Thanks for sharing it! I often see presentations that were created solely with text boxes and they are almost always a mess.
Wonderful tip! Ir’s amazing what you can hack with Google docs!
thanks so much for this tip…you have saved me sooo much time!
To expand on your method for selecting the ‘clean’ text in the PDF by scrolling down, you can start selecting and then use the shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+END to select to the end without having to slowly scroll through the whole lot.
Thanks Ellen and Jonesy. The Google Docs tip is wonderful and exactly what I needed! Isn’t it peculiar that select all, copy, paste of these textboxes isn’t natively functional in Office? Boggles the mind 😀 Should be a Paste Special option.
Thanks again! I’ll be telling all my friends 🙂
Great, simple tip 🙂 I used the original export to pdf then save to word version which worked find and saved me days of work. I’ve not tried the google drive version – I’m on a client site with restricted internet access.
I hope to keep the outline formating in Word. My text is not in “text boxes” but “save as” and “publish to” both corrupt the formatting a little bit and in different ways. Copy and paste of the outline also corrupts the formatting (maybe a 3rd version, not sure).
Why not keep in ppt and print the outline from there?: I wanted to get access to move the margins and insert some spaces (and possibly insert some new notes that don’t necessarily need to go into the ppt doc). Thank you for any suggestions.
thanks for the hint… had saved me a lot of time.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!
Thanks for this tip, is very useful! But I have a problem because I have a Mac, not a PC with Windows, so I can’t download PDF995. Is there any option to do this with Mac?
Tank you so much!!
Amy, there are definitely programs for the Mac that can create PDF files. And you can probably save the presentation to a PDF format from within PowerPoint.
Thank you very much for your help !
You’re a great person , you’ve saved me a lot of time .
Hi thanks for this, looking at PDF995 is a windows based application, I use a MAC and have Adobe Acrobat installed can I use this instead? Also I have included different quiz’s in my presentation and this is working fine. My next step is to make the boxes mandatory, in other words they will not be able to progress to the next slide until they select the correct answer, and then link them to a final report based on how many attempts they took to get it right and then print a summary of quiz and score. How do I… Read more »
Sorry, it does not work for Arabic/Persian language texts.
Wooow thank you. It helped me so much
Thank you – I’ve tried (& failed) a few times to find a way to do this, since they introduced this type of text box. This is a simple and effective work around.
Thank you soooo much, it really helped me out.
I have more notes under my slide than will fit in the note box, even when enlarged. Is there any way I can still submit the presentation to my on-line college and include all the text? I also have to submit it to Turnitin prior to submission to the college.
Can you submit in any format? You can export it to a Word handout and put as much text in as you want. I have instructions at http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/making-great-handouts/.
Unfortunately I have to turn it in as a power point presentation on line to the university. Is there a way I can do that with all of the text included..
I would then just split the slides up so there’s less text in the Notes pane for each slide.
Hello. Thanks for all the handy information here. I have a PowerPoint presentation (lots of text boxes) that I need to turn into a Word manual. Very daunting. But I followed the instructions from Jonesy (2013) to upload it as a Google Doc (didn’t even know about that before) and download it as a simple text doc for Note Pad. It came out as very raw text with very basic formatting (periods mostly). Good enough to get me started without having to retype everything. But the nice surprise was when I copied the raw Note Pad text to Word: it… Read more »
I have a somewhat related question: I can print a PPTX to PDF as a notes page. The problem is that the content of the slide itself is becomes an image and is therefore not searchable. I can also save as PDF (presumably through an acrobat plugin or something) – then I get only the slides, not the notes, but the slides are searchable. I cannot find a way to make the whole thing in one: slides with notes in PDF format where the entire thing is searchable. Any hints?
You can print notes pages to a PDF using a PDF driver. You might need an Acrobat plugin but my Windows system includes one. And it’s searchable. File, Print. Choose Notes Pages in place of the default Full Page Slides. Then choose the PDF driver from the list of printers.
Another option is to save to Word. You can choose a layout that includes the notes. See http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com/pptblog/making-great-handouts/.
Thank you for this. Whenever I do the first of these options, I get only the notes to be searchable, not the slide section. I am doing this on a Win10 system with office 2016 and acrobat pro. For the second option, I have not explored that a whole lot yet. One thing I immediately notice is that the slide seems a bit small compared to other ways to produce something similar. Can the size of the slide portions be adjusted using a setting in some type of master? I would like the slide to take up more of the… Read more »
Bravo. I just ready 4 articles that claimed (but ultimately failed) to do what you have done here. Thanks. — Mark Kamoski
Mark, Glad it worked for you! It took me quite a while to figure it out.
Ellen, thank you so much for this hack. I have about 3,000 text boxes that would otherwise have to be extracted one by one. Whew! I now am faced with the issue of importing these texts into an excel document. Is this doable?
big thank you ! everything worked well as described by you
Hi, This blog is good. Thank you for sharing a piece of great information.
Thanks for share.
Hi Ellen, many thanks for sharing this! I followed the steps you outlined, and I managed to export all the text from a PowerPoint presentation. I had to try a couple of times, but I managed to do that in 15-20 minutes, by converting my PowerPoint presentation to a PDF, then clicking Ctrl+ A, selecting everything, copying the text t the Clipboard, and pasting it into a text document. That way, I saved hours of work! 🙂
So glad this helped you!
[…] Choose File> Save as Text or Save as Other> Text to create a text file (. txt) from the PDF. This will extract all of the text in the document. via […]
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