Making PowerPoint Slides in Illustrator
By Laurel Storm
As presentation software goes, PowerPoint is quite powerful -- but because its focus is on creating presentations, it will never be as flexible as full-fledged graphics software such as Illustrator when it comes to creating complex images. Once you've created your artwork in Illustrator, you can save it in an image format PowerPoint can import and add it to your slide. Using this method, you can even create slides entirely in Illustrator.
Launch Adobe Illustrator and create your document. Set your document's color mode to RGB and increase the number of artboards in it to match the number of slides you want to have.
Set the artboard size for your document to the same size as your slides. To find this size information, select the "Design" tab in PowerPoint, click "Slide Size" and then select "Customize Slide Size."
Use Illustrator's various tools to design and arrange the contents of your first slide on the first artboard. In addition to artwork, you can also add slide text directly in Illustrator at this stage. This is not necessarily a good idea, however, since it means that you'll need to edit the Illustrator file and export the image again every time you want to change the text.
Select any parts of the first slide you want to reuse, copy them, switch to the next artboard and paste them. Continue setting up your slides in Illustrator, one slide per artboard, until you've done them all.
Save your file in Illustrator's native format so you don't have to start from scratch if you ever want to make any changes to the slides you've designed.
Click "File" and select "Export." Browse to the location where you want to save the images, select the JPG image format and type a name for the images. Enable the "Use Artboards" option so that Illustrator saves one image per artboard rather than a single large image.
Click "Save," which brings up a dialog window with various options for JPG images. Set the "Quality" slider to the maximum, leave all other options untouched and click "OK."
Switch to PowerPoint. Insert the images into your presentation as you normally would, one image per slide.
Laurel Storm has been writing since 2001, and helping people with technology for far longer than that. Some of her articles have been published in "Messaggero dei Ragazzi", an Italian magazine for teenagers. She holds a Master of Arts in writing for television and new media from the University of Turin.