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Export PowerPoint slides as web pages

Export PowerPoint slides as web pages

by Sanket on May 14, 2011 · 2 comments

in Tutorials

Many a times, you need to export your PowerPoint presentations as web pages and put them out for the world to see. PowerPoint recognizes this need and provides you with fairly comprehensive export options, but they come with their own set of problems. In this post, we will take a look at how they work and the issues you will face. We will also take a look at a new approach to exporting slides – using oomfo. Yes, using oomfo you can export your slides to web pages, one at a time, whether they contain the oomfo charts or not.

Exporting slides to web pages using PowerPoint

We will take a look at the two options PowerPoint provides to export slides as web pages. I will be using PowerPoint 2007 to take you through the post. PowerPoint 2003 provides the same options as well but PowerPoint 2010 does not have the export options at all.

I have created a sample PPT using a readymade theme.

Sample presentation in PowerPoint 2003

I know the title of the presentation is not the most ideal way to get started but then we have a different agenda here, don’t we? :)

To export the presentation, we will head to the Save As option in the Office button. Go to Save As > Other Formats.

Save As menu in PowerPoint

Set Save As Type to Web Page from the drop-down and enter a name for the web page to be created. Click Save when you are done.

Entering file name of web page to export presentation to

This will create an HTML web page and a folder called _files with images, stylesheets and JavaScript files. Open the web page in Internet Explorer and you will see that the presentation comes up pretty neatly.

Slide exported from PowerPoint in IE

There is a navigation bar on the left to jump to slides. You will also see navigation on the bottom to go to the outline mode, slideshow or use the Next/Previous buttons to navigate through the slides. Pretty good for a start.

Now how about opening the web page in a different browser. Let’s try Mozilla Firefox, the world’s most popular browser.

Slide exported using PowerPoint displays a warning in Firefox

Oops, so Firefox says it cannot support the presentation you just exported. Just to reiterate, Firefox is the world’s most widely used browser. The warning is caused by the proprietary objects that are present in the HTML output and will cause an issue in every browser except Internet Explorer. Proceed anyway.

Slide exported using PowerPoint in Firefox

You will see that Firefox displayed the warning with good reason. The presentation is pretty messed up when it finally opens. The navigation on the bottom is gone, as are the options to hit the Slideshow or outline mode.

Luckily PowerPoint provides another option to export the slides which can rid us of the warning, and enable the navigation in browsers other than IE. When you select Save as Type > Web page under the Save As option, you will get an option to publish the presentation. Click the button.

Save As Type > Web Page

You will get a Publish as Web page dialog box with a number of options. Select publish the complete presentation and browser support for all browsers.

Publish Web Page dialog box in PowerPoint

You will also see a button called Web Options. The dialog box that it opens gives you control over the slide navigation, animation, browser support and fonts to be used.

Web Options dialog box

The most important tab in my opinion is the Pictures tab where you can set the screen size for the target monitor. Since the slides were occupying less than half the screen on my monitor in Firefox, I will choose a bigger screen size this time.

Setting the screen size under Web Options in PowerPoint

Going back to the Publish as Web Page dialog box, hit Publish. This will open the presentation in the browser. In Internet Explorer, it will look similar to what it looked with the Save As Web page option. Let’s head to Firefox where it was causing a lot of trouble and see how it looks there.

Presentation exported as a web page in Firefox

While the control over the resolution allows us to use a larger part of the screen and the navigation controls are present, the rest of it has gone for a toss. The background looks stretched and so does the text. And to top it all, a simple heading has been converted to an image.

Text in slide becomes an image when exported with PowerPoint

It means that the presentation cannot be accessed using a text-based browser, a screen reader or a text-to-speech program. Also, there is no alternative text to describe the images for those who cannot see the images due to disability or technology.

Now that we have taken a detailed look at the issues PowerPoint’s export option has and its non-availability in PowerPoint 2010, let’s take a look at how oomfo comes to the rescue.

Exporting slides to web pages using oomfo’s export capabilities

To export a slide in PowerPoint with oomfo, go to Insert tab > oomfo ribbon > Export > Export slide as Web page.

Export slide option in oomfo

As soon as you select the option, oomfo will export the slide and ask you whether you want to see it immediately in the browser. On clicking yes, here’s what the second slide will look like no matter what browser you are using:

Slide exported as a web page using oomfo

All the content on the slides is in text itself and can be picked up by a screen reader.

Selectable text on slides exported using oomfo

Quick and neat, isn’t it? To be fair to PowerPoint, oomfo has a limitation too. As of now, you can export only the current slide as a web page and not the entire presentation that PowerPoint’s export allows you to do.

While at it, we forgot that oomfo is actually a charting plug-in for PowerPoint. So let’s take a look at how the export works with a slide having an oomfo chart in it. In a new presentation, click the Insert chart button in the oomfo ribbon to bring up the oomfo chart builder.

oomfo Chart Builder

Create the chart and position it the way you want.

Positioning oomfo's chart in the slide

Export it using the Export Chart button – this will create an HTML web page and a _files folder having the chart swf file and some JavaScript files necessary to render the chart. Open the web page in any browser to see the animated chart live in action.

oomfo charts exported as a web page

The chart is interactive as well. You can hover over the columns to see details about them in the tooltips. You can also hide an entire data series by clicking on its icon in the legend.

Interactivity in oomfo's charts when exported as a web page

Like what you see? Download oomfo and give the export capabilites a spin.

And if you already have, do let us know if see yourself using it for exporting only charts or general PowerPoint slides, one at a time, as well? oomfo is still in beta and we are looking for all the feedback we can get.

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