Printing high spec from PowerPoint

Hi all,

I need to send a PowerPoint presentation to a professional printers, InD isn’t an option here I’m afraid.

I wanted to ask if anybody had tips for this process/workflow in terms of areas I need to look out for that may cause issues in printing or general tips to reach the best possible end quality result.

I also had a question on printing to spreads and applying bleed, as far as I’m aware these aren’t features of PowerPoint, am I right in saying that? If I’m wrong, could somebody perhaps provide a resource on how to do this?

Thank you all in advance :slight_smile:

What is the end purpose of the prints? A booklet?

If you don’t have the tools to make it work (InD not an option, what about Illustrator though it’s not ideal?) then maybe you pay the printer to do the layout set up. Especially where it sounds like you want spreads.

Getting it out of Powerpoint as a PDF is fairly easy, but not necessarily “print quality” Applying bleed depends on how the backgrounds are built and what bleeds off the edge. The stuff I’ve played with, at least in Illustrator is workable for bleeds as long as any images you use that bleed off the edge actually includes bleed off the edge. But it could be pretty time consuming. Plus your image resolution from the slides isn’t always gonna be the best.

GIGO applies.

Good luck!

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I wouldn’t even consider doing that. I’m not saying the printer would turn it down, but if it were me, I’d turn it down.

You said InDesign wasn’t an option, but on the off chance that it might be… Rather than send off a collection of PowerPoint slides or a PDF made from them, I’d be more inclined to grab large screen captures of the slides, save them to files, then import them into InDesign or Illustrator or Affinity Publisher or pretty much anything other than PowerPoint.

The resolution might not be sufficient, but I’m doubting the resolution of the images in the slides is all that high either.

Here’s a link to someone else’s thoughts on the matter, which I’m not necessarily saying is correct — just another take on it.

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It’s been a while, so whether this applies to the latest version(s) is uncertain, but historically, images set on Powerpoint slides would result in 2 image files; one copy at the original size and resolution, and a second purpose-written copy that Powerpoint displays on the slide (at the scaled-in-Powerpoint size, if applicable, at ‘screen’ resolution). The secret for getting at the closeted-away original was to save the PPT as HTML+images. The resulting images folder would contain the 2 copies of each image. It’s worth noting that the above only applies to images imported to Powerpoint using the Insert > Picture command. Images pasted to slides could still result in 2 files, but they’d be essentially the same size and weight.

It probably also bears mention that this info is not applicable unless you intend to rebuild the slide compositions for commercial printing, and of no consequence if you’re just handing off a PPT file anyway.

Why is that?

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What is the ultimate purpose of the final printed product? All the PowerPoint literatures I got handed to from conferences were off of colour/digital printers, and no-one seemed to mind too much.

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Quite right. PowerPoint is not meant to produce artwork for professional printing. It is not even a postscript program, although it can produce acceptable PDFs if you use the right settings (basically all quality and size options on max).

Usually in these cases I reduce the size of the PowerPoint PDF within generous margins on the page. The margins are either left white or filled with a compatible flat colour to bleed off.

If you really need bleed here is how I would do it. Produce your slides with the chosen background, then produce another copy without the background. Make a PDF of both sets, as well as one with just the background.

Send these files to someone with InDesign who will be able to enlarge the background on its own to bleed off. The PDF of the slides without a background can be placed on top, overprinting if necessary. This may produce unacceptable results where coloured text or graphics in the slide is affected by the background. A rectangle or other simple shape can be masked from the background with a white box on a layer in between. If you have any white out text this method will fail.

The results from all this work will be different from the original slides, and the quality will inevitably be below the normal standards for professional printing.

That is the quick and dirty way to do it. The proper way to do it is to supply someone who uses InDesign with all the text, graphics and pictures used in the PowerPoint slides and ask them to reproduce it in InDesign.

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Thank you all for your comments, some in depth answers there, really appreciate it.

To answer in one go to your questions, PPT is needed as the main content contributors are adding to the the project as it is progressed. Due to time constraints and other priorities, it doesn’t make sense to translate the content to InDesign on this occasion. InDesign would certainly be the preferred option, however to ensure the project is printed in time for delivery PPT is the only option. The end purpose of this document is to be a high quality (as much as possible) booklet.

Your workarounds for the bleed/crop marks are quite interesting and certainly something to bare in mind for future reference. Luckily, the printers we’re using are familiar with working with PPT files. With this in mind, I will use the best quality settings available in PPT including the settings seen in the screenshot below and apply some of the workaround mentioned if absolutely necessary.

Screenshot 2021-12-20 103200

Thank you all for your input and advice on this.

The way of the world these days.

There’s good.
Then there’s good enough.

Ah well.
(two more years.)

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you going to retire, PD? no fair.

Not quite sure what the point of this message is.

Time constraints have always been thing.

I’m a firm believer that time constraints are self-imposed.

Of course, but there’s a meme somewhere:

“It takes just as long to do it wrong”

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As someone who works inhouse, that gets multiple projects randomly dumped on him, I can assure you that not all time constraints are self imposed. In fact, I have to say that is a pretty odd blanket statement IMO.

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I didn’t necessarily say they were self-imposed by the designer.
The ones that brought you all that random stuff unannounced brought it on themselves.

I print. I get it. I’m the guy that gets 3 days to print a job that’s been in development 6 months. That part is not my fault either. But there are physical limits, ie how fast the machines can work and how many hours there are in a day that maybe shoulda been taken into consideration way up at the front end of whatever the current project is.

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