converting a PDF to a PowerPoint file on Mac

I was given a PDF of a presentation and asked to give a presentation on it. I’d like to use what is there and edit it a bit. I’d also like to not be presenting out of a PDF and use proper presentation software. I prefer PowerPoint to Keynote because someone else will give this presentation after me and I’d like them not to have the same problem of “here’s a file you can’t use”.

Didn’t work: Google Docs

Gmail offered to open the PDF in Google docs. The images got completely messed up. The ones that converted were in the wrong place compared to the words in the presentation and each other. Then after a number of pages, Google gave up on converting images.

Didn’t work: Drag from Mac preview to Keynote

Yes, I know I said I preferred PowerPoint for this task. However, it’s easy to export from Keynote to PowerPoint so it would have been fine as an intermediary. However, there were three problems

  1. You have to drag one slide at a time and there are 55 slides
  2. After dragging, it is just an image that isn’t even the same slze as the slide
  3. The slide is an image so I have to recreate any I want to edit.

What worked: Convert to KeyNote

CleverPDF has a PDF converter that lets you convert to a variety of formats. One is PowerPoint. (They also have Keynote). They make their money through a mix of ads and paid products. I didn’t look how secure your data is as this is essentially a public presentation (and not for my job)

I’m impressed with Clever PDF. The transformed file looks the same and is editable. And free.

migrating from powerpoint to keynote

Chandra Guntur and I co-presented for the first time this year at Oracle Code One. We gave a presentation on Java Versions and Strategy. Presenting with Chandra was great. I particularly liked the opportunity to exchange practices.

I learned:

  • Using XMind for mind mapping – I didn’t really like it. I’m still a paper brainstormer.
  • Using KeyNote for slides – this like

And Chandra got to experience:

  • Using GitHub Projects for tracking tasks
  • Using bigger fonts/less words on a slide/more visuals for information

I’m preparing my first solo public presentation since then and switching to KeyNote. The rest of this blog post is how it went.

Migrating my “template”

Getting my existing slides into Keynote was trivial:

  • File > Open
  • Open the PowerPoint
  • Save as
  • That’s it! Now I have a Keynote file that looks just like all the presentations I’ve ever given.

I also had to edit the slide matter to copy/paste my twitter handle. (The presentation I’m basing this one off of is 3 years old so I needed a more recent deck to get that part.) Still. All this was done in the space of five minutes. This approach didn’t import all the master slides. But recreating those with the background isn’t a big deal for my use cases. I mainly copy existing decks as a base anyway.

how to make a jigsaw puzzle in powerpoint

I wanted to have an image of Duke (the Java mascot) as a jigsaw puzzle image for a presentation. First I googled and couldn’t find an existing one.  I found one on a blog, but it doesn’t look good from the distance. Also, it isn’t labeled for reuse.

So rather than work on content for my presentation, I decided to learn how to make a jigsaw puzzle image. It wasn’t hard.

Step 1 – get an image

I decided to use this image of Duke as a stuffed animal that I found online. I was thinking about using a picture of me and Duke but the lighting was too dark to come out well on a slide.

Step 2 – get a jigsaw puzzle template

I found this template online.

Step 3 – combine

  1. Open the template in PowerPoint.
  2. Import/paste the image on the slide you want to use. for me, this was slide 5 – the blank template for a photo.
  3. Resize the photo/image to be the same size as the puzzle and overlay it.
  4. Right click your photo/image and choose “Arrange -> Send to Back”
  5. Select all 12 puzzle pieces (I had to do this manually rather than with command A)
  6. Right click -> format object
  7. Choose fill and select 100% for the transparency
  8. Choose line and select black
  9. Select all and choose arrange > group

Now you have a single image that you can use in your own deck.

The result

duke jigsaw