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I'm using Microsoft PowerPoint 2011 to create a presentation, and want to save the document in PDF form. However, when I save the file using Mac's print dialog, hyperlink information is lost in the resulting PDF file. How can I save the presentation as a PDF while still enabling hyperlinks?

4 Answers 4

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I know this is a few years late, but I finally found the workaround since Microsoft is too lazy to fix this for Mac. If you open the PowerPoint in Apple's Keynote, then export from Keynote as a PDF, all hyperlinks (both in-document and URLs) will remain intact!

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  • This did work but I lost a bunch of formatting that KeyNote wasn't smart enough to figure out :(
    – kgibm
    Apr 14, 2020 at 22:10
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I've found what I believe is an ideal solution to this problem. Smallpdf.com provides a free online PPT to PDF conversion service, and it works great for preserving both formatting and hyperlinks.

It can sometimes mess with formatting of embedded charts, but there is an easy workaround. Just "Save Picture As ..." to create a PNG from the chart, then delete the chart and insert the PNG. Smallpdf works for PPT and PPTX, but not PPTM. If you have a PPTM, save it as a PPTX before converting. Note that the free service is limited to two conversions per hour.

The Keynote workflow works too, but as others have noted, it tends to change how slides are formatted.

I hope others find this as useful as I do!

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  • This works great except for a couple of small image artifacts I found. It seems smallPDF compresses the PDF whilst converting it as well so PNGs with detailed shadows might look a bit edgy afterwards...
    – Robin
    Aug 17, 2018 at 19:04
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You can still save it as a PDF with working links, but there's a slightly different way to do it.

Go to File => Save As...

Next, select "PDF" for the Format dropdown. PDF will be listed under "Common Formats" in the dropdown.

The reason the PDF export from the print dialog doesn't export the links is because the links aren't part of the usual data that would matter when printing, and so such things are stripped out when sent to the PDF "printer".

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  • Is there also a way to have the notes saved in the PDF?
    – summatix
    Jul 5, 2011 at 15:04
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    Even when I use this method, hyperlinks aren't being saved in the resulting PDF
    – summatix
    Jul 5, 2011 at 15:08
  • And you're using Office 2011 for Mac? I personally tried this right before recommending by making a hyperlink in a Powerpoint and then doing a Save As... I then opened the saved PDF in Preview and was able to click the link.
    – UtopiaLtd
    Jul 5, 2011 at 18:20
  • I went back and tested some more. It only carries over if the link itself has the URL in the text.
    – UtopiaLtd
    Jul 5, 2011 at 18:29
  • It seems if you remove the http from the text the hyperlink doesn't carry over
    – summatix
    Jul 5, 2011 at 19:12
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You won't believe it, but I had to look for an alternative solution as exporting via Keynote screws up pptx formatting:

  1. Create a text field that covers the image and fill it out with dummy text
  2. Select the text in the text box > Command + K > enter the url
  3. Right click on the text field and select "Format text effects"
  4. Make sure "Text Options" tab on the top of the pop-up is selected
  5. Under "Text Fill" set transparency to 100%

I know it is a rediculous workaround, but it's the only way possible to create hyperlink of an image without using 3rd party software if exporting frequently and keeping the original formatting.

Anyways, hope that helps. :)

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