Making PowerPoint Slides in Illustrator

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Set up your PowerPoint slides in Adobe Illustrator to take advantage of familiar tools.
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If you know Adobe Illustrator better than Microsoft PowerPoint, and want to take advantage of your expertise to create artwork for PowerPoint slides, you can build your graphics in your favorite program and export them in bitmapped format. Because Adobe Illustrator supports multiple artboards -- individual page-like work areas within a single Illustrator document -- you can create an entire business presentation's worth of artwork in one Illustrator file and export it in one step.


Step 1

Open your Microsoft PowerPoint document. Switch to the Design tab in the PowerPoint ribbon and click on the "Page Setup" button to open the Page Setup dialog box. Create an RGB-mode Adobe Illustrator document using the page orientation listed in the Page Setup dialog box and the measurements you see in its width and height fields. Set the number of artboards in Illustrator's New Document dialog box to the number of slides in your presentation.

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Step 2

Open the Adobe Illustrator "Window" menu and choose "Artboards" to reveal the Artboards panel. Click once on the name of Artboard 1 to switch to it.

Step 3

Use Illustrator's tools to create the type and graphics for your first slide. Switch to the Selection tool, and click on or marquee around any items you want to add to the rest of your artboards. Press "Ctrl-C" to copy your selection to the clipboard. Open the "Edit" menu and choose "Paste on All Artboards" to populate all your artboards with the items you copied. The pasted copies appear in the same location on all your other artboards as they do on the artboard on which you created them.


Step 4

Click once on the name of your second artboard in the Artboards panel to switch to a view of it. Edit the material you pasted on it from your first slide, and add text or graphics to complete its content. Continue navigating to and customizing the content of your remaining artboards.

Step 5

Open the "File" menu and choose "Save" to save your Illustrator file in AI format. Reopen the "File" menu and choose "Export" to begin the process of creating images to use in PowerPoint.



Step 6

Activate the "Use Artboards" check box in the Export dialog box so Illustrator will make an individual file from the content of each of your artboards. Click on the "Save as Type" drop-down menu, called "Format" in the Macintosh version of Adobe Illustrator, and select a file format for your export. Choose JPEG, PNG or TIFF for compatibility with PowerPoint. Click on the "Save" button -- "Export" on the Mac -- to continue.


Step 7

Choose export options for your graphics. If you're exporting JPEG files, set a quality level from zero to 10, with the low end of the scale using the most -- and most obvious -- compression to produce smaller file sizes. Set the color model to RGB, the method to "Baseline Optimized" for good color fidelity and the depth to your desired file resolution. Turn on anti-aliasing for smooth rendition of curves and type.


Step 8

Set PNG options if you chose PNG export. Set your file resolution to 72 ppi to assure that PowerPoint correctly interprets the size of your graphic. Choose the White color setting to treat the transparent areas of your artboard as solid white, Transparent to leave them as is, Black to make them solid black or Other to select another option. Turn on anti-aliasing to avoid jagged edges on what should be smooth curves.



Step 9

Set TIFF options if you selected TIFF export. Choose RGB as the color model, set your desired file resolution and turn on anti-aliasing.

Step 10

Click on the "OK" button to save your slide content in Adobe Illustrator. Switch back to Microsoft PowerPoint and choose the "Insert" tab. In the Images group, click on the "Picture" button. Choose the "Link to Picture" option, find your Artboard 1 image and double-click on it. Position the image on your slide.


Step 11

Continue inserting the images you made in Illustrator onto the rest of the slides in your PowerPoint file. Save your file when you finish adding images.



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