How to Open a PDF File in Powerpoint

By Ian Macshane

Portable Document Format (PDF) files allow the user to display any text, graphic or visual representation in its original format. The ability to display a PDF file within Powerpoint is therefore a very useful advantage, as Powerpoint is all about presenting to an audience to showcase, document and capture ideas and information. Learn how to import an existing PDF file into any Powerpoint presentation and run your slide show.

Step 1

Locate the PDF file and note its location on the hard drive. You will be using an existing PDF file. Note the amount of pages the PDF file totals. You will be importing one page at a time, as there is currently no method to import the whole PDF at once into Powerpoint. (Third-party applications do exist that promise to do this by splitting the pages into separate files; however, these are often fee-based, and might not support all versions of Powerpoint. )

Step 2

Open Powerpoint, then open the Powerpoint file or presentation you want the PDF to be imported into. All PDFs are created in a "Top to Bottom" view and not a "Landscape" view, so we will set Powerpoint to a Portrait orientation.From the "File" menu in Powerpoint, choose "Page Setup." From the "Orientation of Slides" option, select "Portrait" and click "OK" to close. If you have a blank slide, you can import straight into the first slide. If you want the PDF file to appear on a specific slide, go to the previous slide so the PDF, once imported, will be displayed before the current slide.

Step 3

Return to your PDF file and locate the first page you want imported. In Adobe Reader, go to the "Edit" menu and choose "Copy File to Clipboard." This will take an exact snapshot of the current PDF page you are on.

Step 4

Return to Powerpoint and make sure you are viewing the slide that you want your PDF data to appear on. From the Powerpoint menu, go the "Edit" menu and click on "Paste." The PDF image should appear on the slide. Use the sizing handles on the corners to get the image sized to your Powerpoint slide.

Step 5

If you require another page, from Powerpoint, insert a new blank slide and simply repeat Steps 3 and 4, this time selecting the next page in your PDF file you want imported.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can quickly insert multiple pages by first splitting a PDF file into separate files, then inserting the pages one by one using the methods above.
  • Dragging the mouse with the "Select" tool in your PDF file to select text and or images will not copy the entire page correctly, and you will lose formatting and images. You will be pasting text boxes inside Powerpoint if you select partial text areas. Only the methods in the steps above will ensure correct importing of the whole page.