How to Convert PowerPoint to EPS files

I really want to make a long story short on this one. If you’re reading this, then you have been troubled with this for long enough, so read on:

I’ve been trying to figure this out for a very long time and I finally have a perfectly free and efficient way of converting Powerpoint Presentations (.ppt) of figures, annotated graphs, etc to Encapsulated Postscript (.eps) files for use in LateX documents:

(I suspect that this works with the OpenOffice version of Powerpoint also, for those that dont wanna feed the Microsoft beast any more than they have to.)

1. First you will need a postscript printer. Luckily a virtual printer will do just fine, so go over to PDF995 and download the free PDF printer software. Get the Pdf995 Printer Driver and Free Converter and install them both.

ppt2eps-pdf995-icons.jpg

This will also give you the ability to save any document as a PDF file for free (niiiiice!) (borat rules):). The software is add supported (unobtrusive) and very reliable.

2. Fire up Powerpoint and adjust the page properties to reflect the size/scale that you want your eps image to have. This method will make an .eps file out of a whole slide, so make sure the scale fits your needs: File > Page Setup

ppt2eps-page-setup.png

Note: This is the only place where you may have some problems. The bounding box for your eps image is likely to get messed up if you dont use a square page size that is very similar to the printing size of a normal page. Through trial and error I have found that 7×7 inches works perfectly, so from now on all of my images are perfect squares — something I have found very easy to live with.

3. Design your figure/image. If you have previously designed your figures and have now resized the page, you will find that your images have been squashed. Its best to start a new powerpoint presentation with the page dimensions you want and then just copy and paste your figures from the old presentation. That way the scale of the figure will stay the same.

4. Now we are ready to “print” our PPT figure into an EPS file. Go to: File > Print, select the PDF995 printer and put a tick on Print to File, as shown in the image:

ppt2eps-print-to-file.png

5. Click on the printer Properties > Advanced and change Paper/Output > Paper Size to PostScript Custom Page Size. Here enter the same page dimensions as you entered earlier in Step 2.

ppt2eps-ps-page-size.png

6. Click on Document Options > PostScript Options and set PostScript Output Option to Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and PostScript Language Level to 1, as shown:

ppt2eps-ps-options.png

7. Click OK, OK, OK. You will be prompted to save your .eps file (I suggest choosing “All files” from the file type menu, to save you having to rename your file. Let the PDF995 advertisement banners time out, close them and you are done! Now your PPT figure has been saved in the EPS full vector graphic format!

ppt2eps-quality-comparison.jpg

Here’s a comparison of the results from using a JPG and a EPS in a LaTeX document, mostly for my viewing pleasure ) I hope this helps you guys.

For a compilation of other really useful LaTeX tips and trips visit Tao Xie’s LaTeX page.

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5 Responses

  1. Hi there,

    I’d just like to say thank you for posting this method – it’s really handy to know how to do this in a (relatively) easy way.

    I’m familiar with drawing things in PowerPoint, and thought it’s not a proper drawing package, it has some good, simple drawing tools, so to me, it’s much easier to use than learning a new application and does what I need.

    Outputting these images as proper EPS vector graphics is a great thing to be able to do, and the only way I’d found to do it previously was playing around with saving to WMF in PowerPoint then converting to EPS with the WMF2EPS app, which is an old-style, fussy and fiddly application, and doesn’t seem to be able to cope with long file/path names, so has to be used in a certain directory, needs short file names, etc., etc. …

    I also tried printing to file with another PDF writing print driver (CutePDF), but that didn’t seem to work, and when I tried to edit the EPS files in GSView to get the bounding box to be in the right place (or to be thereat all) it messed up completely and I got no output.

    This is much easier, once set up – it’s a once step process after that. The EPS files look rotated by 90 degrees when viewed directly, for some reason, but they end up fine in the DVIs and PDFs that are output from LaTeX.

    Thanks again for informing me about this method!

  2. thanks a lot! that works well. I had been having problems with Latex reading in extra white space, outside the bb, and your solution removes the source of the problem (by eliminating the space outside the bb). perhaps I shouldn’t be using ppt for generating such figures for Latex, but for one who already uses ppt for presentations, being able to convert in a simple, reliable way for insertion in an article is useful.

  3. Hi,
    thanks a lot, I think this is an easy way to convert .ppt in .eps files. However, I have some problems as I have a lot of text in my figure in .ppt. When converting to an .eps-File and reading in with Latex, the text is fragmented and fuzzy. Can you recommend an appropriate font to use?
    B.

    • I don have problems with fuzzy text at all, even when I embed size 4 fonts. Try using Arial or Times new roman. Also do a full miktex update, including the fonts.

      You can also find more tips and tricks on my instructables page on this topic
      that is more frequently maintained.

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