overview, dependencies, and relationships

How to get content, used style, color, position information from PowerPoint via PDF well formed to InDesign with the help of plugIn technology that takes care of wanted InDesign object settings and saves adjustment time?

First … collect topics (1).

Second … arrangement topics

Third … rethink what is the goal, which is the «nasty» repeating steps you may not want do on every result page and content object.


… prepare your test drive …

I will go to report later, how the conversation of my PowerPoint via PDF to InDesign works with two different Plugins.

… in the meantime fell free to use my overview and fit it to your belongings via realtimeboard.com

(1) speed up this. Use a text editor. Paste your topics in a table tool like Excel, copy it to your clipboard and paste it in a clean realtimeboard.com board.

… some weeks later

To shorten up. MS Powerpoint conversation via PDF and usage of PlugIns* do not support InDesign Object and Table styles, Layers, Paragraph, Character styles, Color Swatches as named definition. Why? MS Powerpoint does not organize those settings as the central definition. So what happen after PDF conversation? What is transported? And what are the topics the InDesign operator have to work on?

▢ 1. Usability of value conversions.

▢ 1.1 A page is a page.

Correct width and height are done pretty fast with some clicks at the document settings.

▢ 1.2 Typo

▢ 1.2.1 Font sizes are not accurate converted

That is the one bad thing. The good thing is that all general settings are transported. Not as smooth values, but stored in a bunch of named Paragraph and Character styles. That is the second bad thing, which is not with a few clicks quickly corrected and prepared for further use in the InDesign universe.

▢ 1.2.2 Font style

One of the main differences between PowerPoint and InDesign now comes in sight. Microsoft Office products like Powerpoint and Word, allows the usage of bold and italic even if the font is not in the system. So basically this problem is invisible as long the creator of Powerpoint are stay at Arial. Or any other basic font of a standard Windows system installation. At the moment Arial is not the preferred corporate font for external communication, be aware that the InDesign operator has to use the font in regular, bold, italic, bold-italic. The rule „Only system fonts will translate across computers consistently“ is explained on WORD VS INDESIGN by Jade Jump.

Image opusdesign.us

▢ 1.3 Object position and size

More or less works fine. As before, the conversion of units of measurement has slight weaknesses in rounding. Some rework here is necessary.

▢ 1.4 Powerpoint Templates and InDesign Layers

PowerPoint Templates are not detected via the PDF conversation. So the Indesign operator do have to drop repeated content objects like company logo, page numbers to a InDesign master page. Also, the decision, working with layers for separate text, images, tables needs some rework on the interim result. Dropping conversation content on layers is a good help using the conversation plugins. Showing, rearranging, rework the converted content is like working on transparent paper.

Plugins do the magic stuff

For playing around with my presentation PDF a had have the chance to use a conversation tool from recosoft.com and one from markzware.com.

Later, we will dive into topics where the plugins help to save time for stupid reassemble design and content and raise time frames for more accuracy for further usage.

… next stop are in detail:

  • ⏲ time saver
  • ⚠ where to keep the eyes open and rework will be necessary

⚙ PDF2ID, recosoft


… reuse the contents of PDF or XPS files. XPS what? A Microsoft approach to have a similar solution like PDF for printing and storing documents with freezing their design and drop the capability of editing.

⚙ PDF2DTP*, markzware


* PDF to Desktop Publishing. Similar to PDF2ID, PDF2DTP is an affordable method to move PDF content to an editable format within Adobe InDesign.

Format conversation

… some weeks later. My personal test-production environment is already over. My other daily work, such as the design, development and configuration of autopilot for automated multi-channel content presentation, fills my daily schedule. Time for a short summary. Recosoft does a good job, but Markzware makes it better for my needs.

Screen PDF2ID, recosoft

Screen PDF2DTP, markzware

After the conversion you get talking formats which help the user quickly reduce optical duplicates into unique InDesign format definitions. The implementation of tables in InDesign table objects has been successful. In general, only the decimal places of the respective dimensions are to be simplified.

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