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Jan 28, 2016
Jan 28, 2016

pdf2pptx

Convert your (Beamer) PDF slides to (Powerpoint) PPTX

So you don't like using Powerpoint and would rather use Latex/Beamer to make your slides, however, you have a fancy Surface and you want to use the pen during the presentation? Here is my solution.

This script gets a PDF file as input and generates a Powerpoint PPTX file while preserving the format of the original PDF. Theoretically all PDF files, regardless of the original generator, can be converted to PPTX slides with this (not tested though).

Simply explained, I convert all the slides to high-quality image files first, and then push them into a Powerpoint project as a slide.

How to run

  • Execute ./pdf2pptx.sh test.pdf to generate a test.pdf.pptx file (replace test.pdf with your filename).
  • By default the output powerpoint project is in the widescreen mode. If your slides are not for widescreen you can alternatively run ./pdf2pptx.sh test.pdf notwide to generate a 4:3 standard PPTX project.

Dependencies

  • You need convert from ImageMagick
  • zip and sed
  • (Optional) perl, python, or ruby if you use a symlink to pdf2pptx.sh

If you're using Linux you probably already have all the above.

If you're using OSX you need to install ImageMagick and make sure convert is accessible from your Terminal.

If you're using Windows you can use Cygwin, but if you don't have it already, it is not recommended! If you're using Windows 10, you can easily set up Ubuntu bash (More Info), install ImageMagick and then use the script natively. Another solution for Windows users is to access a linux box (such as your university servers) to take care of the task.

New issues with ImageMagick

ImageMagick no longer allows PDF to image conversion. If you get the following error on the test example:

Doing test.pdf
convert: not authorized `test.pdf' @ error/constitute.c/ReadImage/412.
convert: no images defined `./test.pdf.temp/slide.png' @ error/convert.c/ConvertImageCommand/3210.
Error with extraction

in /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml or /etc/ImageMagick/policy.xml, change:

<policy domain="coder" rights="none" pattern="PDF" />

to

<policy domain="coder" rights="read" pattern="PDF" />

Now it should work. Note that modifying the policy file would require root privileges. If you do not have root access on your machine, you can alternatively compile and use an older version of ImageMagick.

Acknowledgement

Thanks to Melissa O'Neill for providing a Pdf2Keynote tool for mac which has motivated this small project!

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Convert your (Beamer) PDF slides to (Powerpoint) PPTX

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