Do you have a Word document, or have you received a Word document from someone, and now you need to create a PowerPoint presentation based on the content from the Word document?
Of course, you can copy and paste content as needed, or you could create a new PowerPoint presentation while continuously referring to the Word document, but what if there was a feature that lets you achieve this task with just a few clicks? Would such a feature be of interest to you?
There is indeed such a feature that Microsoft has introduced in Word and PowerPoint versions for the Web. Yes, these are the browser-based versions that you can access via your OneDrive or SharePoint accounts. In this quick video walkthrough, we are using OneDrive.
You first open your document using Word for the Web. Try and format titles as Headings styles. We used one Heading 1 and one Heading 2 style. As you can see, we also have some paragraphs of text and a numbered list. We also have a picture in this Word document.
Now, choose the File | Export menu option, and choose the Export to PowerPoint presentation option. Note that this option is listed as a preview option, which means that continuous changes and improvements are being made to this feature as we speak.
We chose this option, and Word fetched some PowerPoint themes. We can choose any of these themes, and if none of them seems suitable for your slides, select something that’s closest to what you want. Note that there is also the default Office Theme option. Also, you are notified that nothing other than your text will be transferred to PowerPoint slides. This notification essentially means that the picture we already have within our Word document won’t be part of the PowerPoint slides. Charts, SmartArt, or tables in your Word document will not be available as well. That’s not a huge problem, and we will show you how to overcome this limitation soon.
So, now we choose one of these themes and click the Export button. Word starts working by preparing and summarizing the content. And since we had a reasonably small Word document, it did not take too long at all. Our presentation is ready, and we can view it by clicking the Open Presentation button.
So, here are the slides. The Heading 1 text is now the slide title in the first slide, and the Heading 2 text is the slide title of the second slide. Also, all content within our numbered list is the body text of the second slide.
What has not made it from the Word document to the PowerPoint slides? First of all, the picture has not made it. Additionally, text apart from the Heading styles and the numbered list has also not made it to the PowerPoint slides.
What’s Used? What’s Ignored?
We connected with Mohit Anand, Senior Product Manager for PowerPoint, to ask him a related question.
Geetesh: Mohit, why is some text ignored in the Word to PowerPoint feature available in Office for the Web? What determines the text content that’s used in the PowerPoint slides, and the text content that is ignored?
Mohit: We use AI to learn which parts of a document are salient and need to be represented in a slide deck as a starting point for building a presentation. We are still refining the models to make them more accurate and improve coverage.
We really appreciate the feedback we are getting from our customers which we will incorporate into our plans for improvements.
This omission is easy to remedy. However, let us first change the theme of the presentation. Then, you will have to do some housekeeping. Next, we copy the picture from the Word document and paste it into PowerPoint. You can similarly copy charts, SmartArt graphics, and tables and paste them onto your PowerPoint slides.
You can copy and paste the text onto existing slides or new slides as needed for the remaining text content.
So, how is this feature? Well, it’s a work in progress, and I’ve seen it evolve from something much more fundamental to what you see today.
It’s a great option to get started and saves you hours of work, especially if you have a long Word document. However, you must be prepared to do some housekeeping in Word and fine-tuning within PowerPoint, which really won’t take too long because your slides would have been created, and your slide titles would be in place.
Overall, do play with this feature and experience how artificial intelligence is working behind the scenes.