Importing Microsoft PowerPoint Content Into Lectora
Many features in Microsoft PowerPoint are supported in Lectora, but not all. Importing PowerPoint content is not an exact one-to-one conversion. This means that text and other objects might look slightly different after importing them. However, with the “Size for Lectora” option, as well as enhancements to shape recognition and callouts, Lectora has greatly improved the import process for PowerPoint presentations. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the enhancements, conversion rules, and considerations for importing PowerPoint into Lectora 16.2 and newer.
You can import PowerPoint presentations two ways: importing the entire Microsoft PowerPoint presentation to create a new title or selecting to import individual pages from the presentation as new pages in an existing title. For details about importing PowerPoint presentations, visit the Lectora Information Center.
Supported PowerPoint Versions
To import PowerPoint content into Lectora, you must have PowerPoint 2007 or newer installed on the same computer as Lectora. (2010 or newer is recommended for the best results.) The PowerPoint presentation needs to be saved as a .pptx file. If you have older .ppt files, open them in PowerPoint and save them using the .pptx extension.
Selecting the Title Size
Most PowerPoint presentations are sized for TV-like display in 4:3 format. Lectora’s default title size is designed for widescreen monitors and tablets in ~16:9 format. Additionally, many older PowerPoint presentations were very small, designed for 800x600 displays. When you import the presentation, consider the following when determining the title size in Lectora:
- You can use the Size for Lectora import option. This adjusts your presentation to a page width matching Lectora’s default width (1009 px). The height is set to 756 pixels to retain the original aspect ratio of your presentation. This selection works best with Lectora’s extensive selection of themes, should you choose to apply one.
- Import your presentation using PowerPoint’s default page size (720x540).
- Select Specify Custom Size and enter the desired page width. Lectora will automatically set the page height to maintain the aspect ratio. This selection is useful when the original content is exceptionally small or exceptionally large.
If you are importing a portion of a PowerPoint presentation using the import “From PowerPoint” option on the Tools ribbon, we suggest you set the import size to match the page width of the active, receiving title.
PowerPoint Slide Master
PowerPoint includes “master slides” and “layout” slides. This is similar to Lectora’s Themes and other title-level objects, typically inherited throughout the title. When PowerPoint content is imported, Lectora will convert these global elements to shapes, images, and text blocks as appropriate, and place them into groups at the title level.
Off-Slide/Paste Board Objects
With Lectora 16.2, PowerPoint objects that are completely off of the slide (i.e., on the paste board) will be imported to Lectora and remain off the working area of the page. Items which are placed partially on the page in PowerPoint, will be similarly placed in Lectora, and cropped upon publishing.
Text Blocks and Fonts
Lectora will import text blocks as closely as possible to the original. You may see some slight variations in font size, line spacing, alignment, colors, or bullets. Lectora doesn't support embedded fonts from PowerPoint. If a font used in the PowerPoint presentation isn't installed on your computer, Lectora will notify you with a message, and apply the default font (Arial) to the imported text. This is true for all objects with text, including buttons and shapes.
PowerPoint tables are imported as images in Lectora in order to preserve the visual design. If desired, you can recreate the content and apply one of the many predefined Lectora table styles.
Object and Slide Transitions
When you import PowerPoint content into Lectora, you have the choice of how to handle slide transitions and object-level animations (both of which are referred to as “transitions” in Lectora). You can choose any of the following:
- No Transitions: Select this to disregard all slide transitions and object animations included in the PowerPoint presentation.
- Import Only Supported Transitions: Select this to only import slide transitions and object animations that are supported by Lectora. Any PowerPoint transition or animation that does not have a Lectora equivalent is ignored.
- Remap To Supported Transitions: Select this to import all slide transitions and object animations. If the PowerPoint presentation contains transitions/animations that are not supported by Lectora, a close alternate transition is applied.
PowerPoint’s Emphasis Animations and Motion Paths are not currently supported and will not be imported into Lectora.
Shapes, Lines, and Callouts
With Lectora 16.2, PowerPoint shapes (including lines and callouts) are converted to Lectora’s shapes where an equivalent exists. This includes border styles and line widths, as well as Lectora’s adjustment handles () for changing the angle of points and roundness of corners. Where a comparable Lectora shape does not exist for a PowerPoint shape, the import process will convert the shape to an image or text block, using the following rules:
- PowerPoint shapes which have a corresponding Lectora shape are imported as shapes. This includes any text contained within the shape, a solid, dashed, or dotted border style, as well as the fill color and/or gradient.
- PowerPoint shapes which do not contain text and do not have a corresponding Lectora shape are imported as images. This preserves the desired look of the item within the Lectora title.
- PowerPoint shapes which contain text but do not have a corresponding Lectora shape are imported as text blocks. This allows you to copy/paste the text into a Lectora shape, or choose another display method (for example, layering the text block over an image).
PowerPoint SmartArt is imported as an image to preserve the desired look of the item within the Lectora title.
Effects (Shadow, Rotation, Flip)
Effects on text blocks, shapes, and images are imported and adjustable in Lectora. You may see some slight differences in the distance, depth, angle, etc.
Audio and Video
With Lectora 16.2, audio and video are imported as media objects, available to target with play, pause, stop, and other actions, as well as adding synced events and closed captioning.
Charts and Equations
PowerPoint charts and equations are imported as images. (Note that Lectora-created charts and equations are also generated as images.)
Lectora imports PowerPoint slide numbers as a text block with an attached Change Contents action. On display of each page, the contents of the text block are updated to the PageInTitle variable.
PowerPoint slide notes are imported as Lectora Note objects ( ) on each page.
Animated GIF images
Animated GIFs are imported as static images.