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.