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Creating an instructor guide from a PowerPoint deck.



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# Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010 10:58:54 PM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00) ( Powerpoint | Presentations | VBA )

I recently came across the situation where I had several PowerPoint decks that were VERY well documented.  Essentially, each slide had reams of notes in the Notes panel of the deck.  This is both good and bad.  It was good because for preparation purposes, it was very easy to review the notes as you reviewed the slides.  It was bad because on many machines where I presented from, you could not split the monitors so the slides were on one machine and the notes were on another.

This presented a conundrum because it’s nice to be able to have the notes handy as I present the material.  That way, I can refer back to the main bullets to make sure I covered everything before moving on.  For other workshops I teach, we have an instructor guide on paper that you can have up next to your presenter machine on the podium and all is good to go.

Unfortunately, there was nothing like that setup already for this workshop.  Fortunately, PowerPoint 2007 provides a feature to export your presentation to Word 2007.  Full steps are located here but essentially you are looking for this screen:

Creating handouts in Word

This is a nice solution but the main problem that I had is that it embeds PowerPoint objects into the slide deck.  This *sounds* like a good idea but it grows the file size of the document to a huge degree.  For example, one deck had 36 slides and the file size of the resulting Word document was >50MB! 

Fortunately, with some nice VBA code, you can do the following:

  1. Iterate through every shape in the document.
  2. Copy the PowerPoint object.
  3. Paste that object as a JPEG.
  4. Delete the PowerPoint object.

That brings the file size back down to where it should be, from my perspective.  For example, in that file I mentioned previously, it brought the size down from 55MB to 642KB.  Talk about a tremendous improvement! 

The VBA code to use is as follows:

   1: Sub ConvertPowerPointToImage()
   3:     Dim j As InlineShape
   4:     For Each j In Word.ActiveDocument.InlineShapes
   5:         j.Select
   6:         Selection.Copy
   7:         Selection.PasteSpecial Link:=False, _
   8:                   DataType:=15, 
   9:                   Placement:=wdInLine, 
  10:                   DisplayAsIcon:=False
  11:         j.Delete        
  12:     Next j
  13: End Sub

Just copy/paste the above code into a new module.  Then execute the “ConvertPowerPointToImage” macro.  That will clean everything up and make the file a lot more manageable.