Ben Summers’ blog

How to convert Keynote to PowerPoint without the ugliness

All Keynote users dread the words “can I have a copy of your PowerPoint so I can load it on the presentation laptop?”

You just know the export is going to put all the text in the wrong place and make your carefully constructed graphics look crude. And then you find all the text is in Arial.

Fortunately, there’s a quick way you can preserve the Keynote look and still get a .ppt file. There is a slight limitation in that you lose all your builds and fancy effects, but hopefully your presentation doesn’t depend on them. I prefer a very simple style, so this works well for me.

First, export the presentation as a set of PNG files. From the menus, choose File then Export…. Click the Images tab. If you’re using builds, check the “Create an image for each stage of builds” checkbox.

Keynote Export as Images

Click Next… then New Folder to create a new empty folder for the image export. Click the Export button, and you’ll get a folder full of PNG files.

Now, create a new presentation in Keynote, choosing the Black theme for simplicity.

In the Finder, go to your folder of PNGs, and use the Cmd-A keyboard shortcut to select them all.

Drag them into the Slides list on the left of the window. Then delete the unused first slide.

Importing images back into Keynote

Now repeat the export process, but choose to export it as PPT. You’ll get a surprisingly large file, but at least it’ll look right.



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Hello, I’m Ben.

I’m the Technical Director of Haplo Services, an open source platform for information management.


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