How can keep text from apprearing/disappearing when converting PPT to PDF?
December 2, 2008 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I saved a PowerPoint presentation as PDF, but the PDF version has some extra exclamation points (!) all over the place and two entire text boxes missing. Can anyone help me fix that?

I am on a MacBook using PowerPoint 2008. I tried both "save as..." a pdf and clicking on "print" and then saving as pdf, but somehow every paragraph in the text ends with an exclamation point and all the body text in two of the slides are missing. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
posted by carofowler to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
it sounds to me like there's an issue with the font you used in powerpoint not being recognized by the PDF converter.

can you try it with a standard font and see if it causes the same issues?
posted by micawber at 10:37 AM on December 2, 2008

Yeah, try switching the font. As for the missing text boxes, in the PPT doc try right-clicking on the boxes and then under "order" select "bring to front."
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:39 AM on December 2, 2008

Try converting it using
posted by acro at 10:43 AM on December 2, 2008

/warning mute your speakers - worst talking ads ever.
posted by acro at 10:44 AM on December 2, 2008

Maybe the disappearing boxes have some kind of animation attached to them and that is why they aren't showing up in the pdf. I agree on the font thing causing the other problem.
posted by dripdripdrop at 10:45 AM on December 2, 2008

Short term workaround:

1. Save as a series of images (PNG) (File - Save As - PNG - Yes, save every slide)
2. Create a new "photo album" slideshow in PowerPoint (Insert - Picture - New Photo Album) and import all the images from step 1
3. Print the new PowerPoint you just created to PDF (or save it)
4. Profit!
posted by ostranenie at 11:27 AM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you have the option to install OpenOffice, I've found that the Print to PDF works amazingly well, vs the horrendous results from MS PPT 2003 (running on Windows XP Pro). In XP, there is no background, and the formatting gets wonky. I have no idea why.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:37 AM on December 2, 2008

How are you saving it as a PDF?

You might want to try printing it to the Acrobat Distiller pseudo printer device. Select that as the printer, then select Properties -> Adobe PDF Settings. There's a checkbox on that page labelled "Do not send fonts to Distiller". Uncheck that. Click on Edit Conversion Settings -> Fonts. Make sure the settings are correct. The "Embed all fonts" checkbox should probably be selected. You may want to find out which fonts you're having a problem with, and make sure they're specified in the "Always Embed" list.

You can get the same options if you "Print to file" to generate a .ps/.prn file, then manually distill it in Acrobat Distiller.

Good luck.
posted by paulg at 11:47 AM on December 2, 2008

Thanks everyone for your advice!! i'm still not sure what is wrong, since I have converted this way before and not had any issues. ill try the converting to images then to pdf, or putting everything in keynote and converting to pdf from there. Thanks again for your help!
posted by carofowler at 1:09 PM on December 8, 2008

Also, i just opened some old pdfs that i had converted a while back from ppt without problems, and they also had exclamation points everywhere. so weird.
posted by carofowler at 1:11 PM on December 8, 2008

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