There are two reasons for converting a PDF to an editable PowerPoint file:
- You or someone else created a PDF from the PowerPoint file, and then, lost the original PowerPoint file due to data loss, or just inadvertently deleted the file. Yes, these things happen more often than we believe.
- You received a PDF with a hundred photos from a client who wants you to put them within a PowerPoint presentation. If not photos, you need slides that look exactly like the PDF pages!
To work conventionally in any of the two situations mentioned above is a long process. You will have to manually copy and paste, and even then, the results will be far from satisfactory. You clearly need a better option to resolve this problem. Fortunately, the subject of our review today is CleverPDF, a product that can achieve surprisingly great results with good fidelity in the converted PowerPoint file. Even better, there’s nothing to install because CleverPDF can work in your web browser. And we haven’t told you the best part: this entire program is free.
For this review, my contact at CleverPDF was Terry Kam. Thank you, Terry, for patiently responding with answers to my many questions.
So, here’s a small walkthrough about our experience with CleverPDF’s PDF to PowerPoint conversion:
- We visited the CleverPDF PDF to PowerPoint conversion page, as shown in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: CleverPDF’s PDF to PowerPoint conversion page
- Next, we clicked the orange-colored Choose file button, highlighted in blue in Figure 1, above.
- Doing so brings up a window that allows you to choose a PDF on your system. We selected a sample PDF, as can be seen in Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: Select a sample PDF
- Once the PDF is uploaded, you click the Start conversion button, highlighted in red within Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Start conversion
- CleverPDF converted the file in almost an instant. You are now presented with options, shown and marked in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: CleverPDF options
- These options are explained below:
- Download: This option lets you download the converted file to your local system.
- Download to Google Drive: Allows you to save the converted file to your Google Drive. A similar option is also available to upload a PDF from Google Drive (see Figure 1, shown previously on this page).
- Download to Dropbox: Allows you to save the converted file to your Dropbox. A similar option is also available to upload a PDF from Dropbox (see Figure 1, shown previously on this page).
- Delete: Delete the converted file.
- Convert another file: Lets you convert another file. You are taken back to the screen shown in Figure 1.
- Convert this file again: Converts the same uploaded file again.
- Figure 5, below shows the PDF converted into a PowerPoint presentation.
Figure 5: PDF converted into a PowerPoint presentation
CleverPDF did a great job of converting the title, text boxes, pictures, and even text boxes placed atop pictures. However, the fonts did not translate as well. And that’s something you will have to bear in mind, and change some fonts in the converted PowerPoint presentation. To be fair to CleverPDF, they cannot license all fonts for an online service, including many proprietary ones.
We asked Terry about this issue and the response received makes a lot of sense: Yes, when you convert PDF to PowerPoint, the output quality sometimes is related to the original file. PDF and PowerPoint are different document formats, after all. Our program analyzes PDF data and then rebuilds the PowerPoint file as accurately as possible. But if there are some elements not supported by PowerPoint, or the font is not available or calculable, the result may not be exactly the same as the original PDF. However, we are confident that the conversion quality is better than what you find in the marketplace. Our team has been working on PDF conversion for more than 8 years.
What we need to understand here is that CleverPDF is a free product with no cost at all. There are no advertisements too. So, how is it possible for them to function? What is their business model? CleverPDF does provide something they call 24-in-1 CleverPDF for Windows, which is a paid product you can install on a Microsoft Windows system. This tool provides many more options, such as creating PDFs and converting them to and from formats other than PowerPoint. This tool also overcomes the 20MB file limit for online conversions on their site.
Of course, the free online version may be all most users need, and it does a great job. The next time you are asked to use content from a PDF in PowerPoint, you can get started with CleverPDF’s PDF to PowerPoint conversion.