I have PowerPoint slides with visual effects on them, so each line appears after clicking on the screen in the presentation. When I convert them to PDF the slides are mostly empty and only some titles are in them and the lines that had the visual effect don't appear.

They come out looking like this:

powerpoint slide with animations

How can I convert them to PDF properly, without having to go through all of the slides (there are like 200 of them) and removing each effect?

  • Do you see all of the slide info if you try to print one? – daalbert May 31 '13 at 16:28
  • Have you tried it yet? What happens when you convert it? – CharlieRB May 31 '13 at 17:21
  • As I said -> "When I convert them to pdf the slides are mostly empty and only some titles are in them and the lines that had the visual effect don't appear on them." the numbers, titles, lines without animations appear. my most important lines are not there – Peggy May 31 '13 at 19:08
  • I had the same problem and got use to make presentations with Latex beamer. – user278428 Dec 2 '13 at 3:14

You may want to have a look at the answer to this question instead of following the accepted one above:

Converting a PPT to a PDF while maintaining the animation steps is something I too have been looking into for a long while, without finding a satisfactory solution.

That is why I have decided to write an add-in on my own which does exactly this:

splits the slides at each animation step (being it mouse-triggered or not depends on the user's choice) while modifying (adding, deleting, altering) the shapes in the "fragmented slide" according to the animation effects. If you are interested, I have packaged the add-in in an easy-to-use installer, which adds a toolbar (or tab, if you are using Office 2007) to your PowerPoint. In case you are not satisfied, you can easily remove the add-in using the standard Control Panel "Add/Remove Applications" tool.

You can get PPspliT here. Examples of usage are also provided.

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    PPspliT modifies the file, so if you only want a PDF remember to undo the splitting after exporting the PDF or work on a copy. – kap Aug 12 '20 at 10:19

PPspliT, mentioned above, appears to be only for Windows.

If you're on OS X, a (not always perfect) option I've used is to open the PPT/PPTX file in Keynote. From the menu bar, select "File > Export to > PDF..." . Then check the checkbox "Print each stage of builds", and click "Next...". Caveat: As it's not its native format, Keynote does not always read PowerPoint files exactly right. Check that any complex slides (not just animations, but also ones containing things like math formulae requiring precise formatting) have been reproduced faithfully. If not, adjust accordingly in Keynote to correct any aberration.

I haven't personally tested the following, but for a cross-OS solution: For LibreOffice (which also has PPT/PPTX import), there is this extension and this one . Note, however, that the latter rasterizes everything to bitmaps, which may be very undesirable, depending on your purpose.

  • Did the trick for me on OS-X – tdc Apr 6 '16 at 22:31
  • New version (1.21) of PPspliT also supports Mac OS, worth mention that it is experimental ,however. – eng.mrgh Jun 5 '20 at 15:15

PDF files don't handle any kind of animation, and you can show only one representation of a PowerPoint slide per PDF page. Keep in mind that PDFs are portable data format, which means they don't follow the rules of any particular software. In essence, a PDF is a screen representation of a paper print-out. You would not expect animation on a paper print-out, so don't expect them in a PDF either.

If you want your audience to see the animations, you will need to provide them with the PowerPoint deck or save the PPT as a video.

If you need a PDF version of a highly animated PowerPoint deck, you will need to create a copy of the PPT and let each slide display only (and all) the elements that you want to show on the PDF. Then save as PDF (or print to your PDF printer).

  • thanks :). your last paragraph helped, but the solution was to save them as jpeg and then merge all of those images as a pdf. this way the animations won't ruin jpegs and all of the slides contents will be displayed in the image. – Peggy Jun 2 '13 at 7:46
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    @peggy - that's a horrible solution. The resulting file will either be pixelated or giant, and probably both. – John Berryman Oct 21 '13 at 18:46
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    PDF actually handles animations just fine. Most non-Adobe viewers just don’t support this, and the PowerPoint PDF export doesn’t support it either. But the PDF format does support it. – Konrad Rudolph Jun 22 '15 at 14:30
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    PDF can handle animations, even interactive ones, in many different ways, with Javascript, with Flash and with many plugins.. – skan Aug 28 '15 at 18:21
  • There are several commercial solutions to translate Powerpoint files to PDF, including the animations, for example VeryPDF – skan Aug 28 '15 at 18:22

As an alternative, the action described by teylyn in the last paragraph:

create a copy of the PPT and let each slide display only (and all) the elements that you want to show on the PDF

can be automated by using the PPspliT PowerPoint add-in available at http://www.dia.uniroma3.it/~rimondin/downloads.php. If I have understood correctly, the add-in should do exactly what you want to achieve: render animation effects in separate slides, that can then be converted in PDF.

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