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I have a Powerpoint Presentation (.pptx) file with 100 slides. I want to take all of the text from it and save it as a plain text file.

How can I do this? PowerPoint doesn't seem to let you save it as a .txt file directly, and I don't want to go through each slide to copy the text.

  • 1
    In short: rename .pptx to .zip, look inside zip - there are xml files. Find xml file with string text that are the same as on your slides and then parse the xml file with your favourite xml parser. – mnmnc Sep 27 '16 at 21:14
  • 2
    @mnmnc - If you don't mind, please post that as an answer with rough instructions on how to do that – Pikamander2 Sep 27 '16 at 21:25
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Export as PDF, Copy & Paste (CTRL+A, CTRL+C) from your PDF reader.

If you want a bit formatting, export the PDF via pdftotext with parameter -layout

  • This is going to get you some really, really crude formatting but given the question there isn't much you can do about it. Having the OP clarify would be a good idea. – Seth Oct 11 '16 at 10:18
  • For most slides this should be somewhat OK, at latest after exporting with -layout – Jaleks Oct 11 '16 at 14:44
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This solution depends on your slidedeck being compatible with Google Slides, but you could use the "Download as Plain Text" option in Google Slides:

enter image description here

Granted you will lose any fancy formatting or layout stuff you've done, but you will get the text of the document.

  • That worked very well, and slick. When I copied the .txt to .docx, the line breaks and paragraph breaks appeared as well. Very helpful. – wayfarer Nov 16 '18 at 17:48
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If all of the text in the presentation is visible in the Outline view, you should be able to do File | Save As | Choose Outline (RTF).

Otherwise, you'll need a bit of VBA. There are a couple of examples on my PowerPoint FAQ site:

Export Text to a text file, extract text from PowerPoint (Mac or PC):

See: http://www.pptfaq.com/FAQ00274_Export_Text_to_a_text_file-_extract_text_from_PowerPoint_-Mac_or_PC-.htm


It saves the text from every shape on your notes pages to a file called NotesText.TXT in the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation itself.

Sub SaveNotesText()

Dim oPres As Presentation
Dim oSlides As Slides
Dim oSlide As Slide
Dim oShapes As Shapes
Dim oSh As Shape
Dim NotesText As String
Dim FileNum As Integer
Dim PathSep As String

#If Mac Then
    PathSep = ":"
#Else
    PathSep = "\"
#End If

Set oPres = ActivePresentation
Set oSlides = oPres.Slides

For Each oSlide In oSlides
    NotesText = NotesText & "Slide " & oSlide.SlideIndex & vbCrLf
    Set oShapes = oSlide.NotesPage.Shapes
    For Each oSh In oShapes
        If oSh.HasTextFrame Then
            If oSh.TextFrame.HasText Then
                NotesText = NotesText & oSh.TextFrame.TextRange.Text
            End If
        End If
    Next oSh
    NotesText = NotesText & vbCrLf
Next oSlide

FileNum = FreeFile
Open oPres.Path & PathSep & "NotesText.TXT" For Output As FileNum
Print #FileNum, NotesText
Close FileNum

End Sub

Here's a macro from Kris Lander that will export all the text on each slide in a presentation. Modified it a bit to make it work on Macs and to distinguish between title, subtitle, body and other text.

Sub ExportText()

  Dim oPres As Presentation
  Dim oSlides As Slides
  Dim oSld As Slide         'Slide Object
  Dim oShp As Shape         'Shape Object
  Dim iFile As Integer      'File handle for output
  iFile = FreeFile          'Get a free file number
  Dim PathSep As String
  Dim FileNum As Integer

  #If Mac Then
    PathSep = ":"
  #Else
    PathSep = "\"
  #End If

  Set oPres = ActivePresentation
  Set oSlides = oPres.Slides

  FileNum = FreeFile

  'Open output file
  ' NOTE:  errors here if file hasn't been saved
  Open oPres.Path & PathSep & "AllText.TXT" For Output As FileNum

  For Each oSld In oSlides    'Loop thru each slide
    For Each oShp In oSld.Shapes                'Loop thru each shape on slide

      'Check to see if shape has a text frame and text
      If oShp.HasTextFrame And oShp.TextFrame.HasText Then
        If oShp.Type = msoPlaceholder Then
            Select Case oShp.PlaceholderFormat.Type
                Case Is = ppPlaceholderTitle, ppPlaceholderCenterTitle
                    Print #iFile, "Title:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
                Case Is = ppPlaceholderBody
                    Print #iFile, "Body:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
                Case Is = ppPlaceholderSubtitle
                    Print #iFile, "SubTitle:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
                Case Else
                    Print #iFile, "Other Placeholder:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
            End Select
        Else
            Print #iFile, vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
        End If  ' msoPlaceholder
      End If    ' Has text frame/Has text

    Next oShp
  Next oSld

  'Close output file
  Close #iFile

End Sub

And here we get a bit trickier and go after the text that's in groups. And in groups within groups. Look at this too closely and your head may start to hurt.

Sub ExportText()

  Dim oPres As Presentation
  Dim oSlides As Slides
  Dim oSld As Slide         'Slide Object
  Dim oShp As Shape         'Shape Object
  Dim iFile As Integer      'File handle for output
  iFile = FreeFile          'Get a free file number
  Dim PathSep As String
  Dim FileNum As Integer
  Dim sTempString As String

  #If Mac Then
    PathSep = ":"
  #Else
    PathSep = "\"
  #End If

  Set oPres = ActivePresentation
  Set oSlides = oPres.Slides

  FileNum = FreeFile

  'Open output file
  ' NOTE:  errors here if file hasn't been saved
  Open oPres.Path & PathSep & "AllText.TXT" For Output As FileNum

  For Each oSld In oSlides    'Loop thru each slide
    ' Include the slide number (the number that will appear in slide's
    ' page number placeholder; you could also use SlideIndex
    ' for the ordinal number of the slide in the file
    Print #iFile, "Slide:" & vbTab & cstr(oSld.SlideNumber)

    For Each oShp In oSld.Shapes                'Loop thru each shape on slide
      'Check to see if shape has a text frame and text
      If oShp.HasTextFrame And oShp.TextFrame.HasText Then
        If oShp.Type = msoPlaceholder Then
            Select Case oShp.PlaceholderFormat.Type
                Case Is = ppPlaceholderTitle, ppPlaceholderCenterTitle
                    Print #iFile, "Title:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
                Case Is = ppPlaceholderBody
                    Print #iFile, "Body:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
                Case Is = ppPlaceholderSubtitle
                    Print #iFile, "SubTitle:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
                Case Else
                    Print #iFile, "Other Placeholder:" & vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
            End Select
        Else
            Print #iFile, vbTab & oShp.TextFrame.TextRange
        End If  ' msoPlaceholder
      Else  ' it doesn't have a textframe - it might be a group that contains text so:
        If oShp.Type = msoGroup Then
            sTempString = TextFromGroupShape(oShp)
            If Len(sTempString) > 0 Then
                Print #iFile, sTempString
            End If
        End If
      End If    ' Has text frame/Has text

    Next oShp
  Next oSld

  'Close output file
  Close #iFile

End Sub

Function TextFromGroupShape(oSh As Shape) As String
' Returns the text from the shapes in a group
' and recursively, text within shapes within groups within groups etc.

    Dim oGpSh As Shape
    Dim sTempText As String

    If oSh.Type = msoGroup Then
        For Each oGpSh In oSh.GroupItems
            With oGpSh
                If .Type = msoGroup Then
                    sTempText = sTempText & TextFromGroupShape(oGpSh)
                Else
                    If .HasTextFrame Then
                        If .TextFrame.HasText Then
                            sTempText = sTempText & "(Gp:) " & .TextFrame.TextRange.Text & vbCrLf
                        End If
                    End If
                End If
            End With
        Next
    End If

    TextFromGroupShape = sTempText

NormalExit:
    Exit Function

Errorhandler:
    Resume Next

End Function

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