Why would you convert a PowerPoint file to PDF?
The most common reason is for security. (See the end of this tip for other ways to protect your presentation.) For example, you may want to send your slides to a colleague or potential customer for review, but not allow changes.
Note that people with Adobe Acrobat can make changes to PDF files. They can delete pages and add hyperlinks, for example. Moreover, there are PDF to PowerPoint conversion programs available, so PDF format is not entirely safe.
Another reason is to let people who don’t have PowerPoint view the presentation. True, there’s a PowerPoint viewer, but people may not have it or want to install it. Almost everyone has the Adobe Reader to view PDF files.
When you convert a PowerPoint file to PDF format, you lose all animation. Basically, you’re turning your slides into pictures.
How to convert a PowerPoint file to PDF format
There are a number of options that you can use. Here are a few:
- PowerPoint 2010 and later let you create a PDF from within PowerPoint. Just choose File>Save & Send or Publish or Export>Create PDF/XPS Document. Then click the Create PDF/XPS button.
- Adobe Distiller. Adobe’s Distiller program works like a printer driver and it comes with Adobe Acrobat. You choose File> Print and choose Adobe PDF as the printer. Distiller uses its current settings. You can open Distiller directly to change those settings. Watch the video below.
- A free PDF creator (such as PDF995 or PrimoPDF). These PDF creators are printer drivers and work like Adobe Distiller, although you won’t have as many settings.
- Prep4PDF: Steve Rindberg’s Prep4PDF software works with your PDF creation software, but keeps hyperlinks, action buttons, and more.