Getting Vectors From Illustrator into PowerPoint as Shapes

So Simple it's Silly

Steve Sheets, Technical Director

Steve Sheets

Dec 21, 2017

After struggling with a number of methods to get vector graphics from Illustrator into PowerPoint, the best way struck us like a bolt of lightning. I should go ahead and mention now that this method works in Windows only but there is a lot of pressure to get it running for Mac users as well. We can show our method for Macs in a different post.

Starting in Illustrator, once the graphic is looking good, there are a few steps that help prepare it for PPT. First, I like to expand all strokes into fills since PPT does not always handle strokes well. I also recommend making sure there aren't any stray points or shapes with no fills and suggest merging shapes when possible. Simplifying the contents of the graphic like this will make it easier to work with in PPT. Once you feel your graphic is in a good place just copy it to your clipboard (ctrl+c).

Now in your PowerPoint project on the home ribbon the top left button should say paste and have a drop down available underneath. Click the drop down and choose paste special (ctrl+alt+v). Then choose paste as Enhanced Meta File (.emf). Once pasted, "ungroup" the graphic (ctrl+shift+g) and select yes to break it apart. In your selection pane, the object will now appear as a group. The bottom most item of that group will be an empty container which I recommend deleting to avoid later confusion should anyone try to change the color of your graphic. Once that is done your vector graphic is ready to be treated like any other group of PowerPoint shapes.

*2018 Update for Office 365: You may now paste directly from illustrator into PPT on a Mac or PC without using paste special! The artwork comes in as a high res PNG, not an editable shape, when done this way but the art tends to look good and it is by far the easiest method on a Mac!

*2019 Update for Office 365: Our standard practice on PC in now to paste directly from Illustrator and the shape comes in as a VECTOR! On a mac, we export as an SVG and bring the SVG into PPT.

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About The Author

Steve Sheets, Technical Director

Steve is a designer with high expectations for a final product but he tends to obsess over process too. He likes to know the many ways to get things done, the advantages of each and their oh so scary pitfalls. Perhaps that's why he has a Mac and a PC?

"Workflows are one of the few times in life where the best way tends to be the easy way, the trick is figuring out what's 'easy' for your specific situation."

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