How to Convert Publisher to PowerPoint or Vice Versa

Microsoft Publisher and PowerPoint are both useful programs for creating visual content. However, you may sometimes need to convert files between the two formats. Here are some methods for converting Publisher files (.pub) to PowerPoint (.pptx) and vice versa.

Converting Publisher Files to PowerPoint

There are a few options for converting .pub files to PowerPoint:

  • Use a conversion app or add-in
  • Manually copy and paste content
    • Open the Publisher file in Publisher and copy/paste all text, images, etc. into a new PowerPoint presentation. This preserves formatting and layout to some extent.
  • Save Publisher file as PDF, then insert into PowerPoint
    • Publisher files can be saved as PDFs, which can then be inserted as images into PowerPoint slides. This converts the layout but formatting options will be limited.
  • Export Publisher pages as images
    • Publisher allows you to export publications as image files (JPEG, PNG, etc.). These images can then be inserted into PowerPoint. Again, edits would be limited.

Converting PowerPoint Files to Publisher

To go the other way and convert PowerPoint to Publisher:

  • Use Send to Publisher add-in
    • The Send to Publisher add-in mentioned above allows you to export PowerPoint slides directly into new Publisher documents. This provides the most flexibility for editing.
  • Copy/paste slides into Publisher
    • Manually copy slides from PowerPoint and paste them into a Publisher file. This lets you preserve some formatting.
  • Save PowerPoint as PDF
    • PowerPoint files can be saved as PDF documents, which can then be opened and inserted into Publisher publications.
  • Export slides as images
    • Slides can also be exported from PowerPoint as image files and added into Publisher docs.

When converting between Publisher and PowerPoint:

  • Converting PowerPoint to Publisher tends to provide more flexible editing options in the resulting Publisher file.
  • Publisher to PowerPoint conversions are easier to do but tend to be less editable with more formatting limitations.
  • Manual copy/paste provides the most layout control, but can be time consuming.
  • Using conversion apps or add-ins provides the quickest and easiest process in most cases.

Advantages of Publisher Over PowerPoint

Why choose Publisher instead of PowerPoint for a print or digital project?

  • More design and layout options
    • Publisher has templates and tools focused specifically on print and digital publications.
  • Better text flow/formatting
    • Text boxes in Publisher allow for more custom wrapping, callouts, and text control.
  • Advanced image handling
    • Placing, editing, and formatting images is much easier in Publisher.
  • Built for printing
    • Print presets make it easier to set up documents for professional printing.
  • Digital publishing capabilities
    • Publications can be easily shared as PDFs or even interactive online content.

Advantages of PowerPoint Over Publisher

In some cases, PowerPoint may still be a better choice over Publisher:

  • Presentation focus
    • Animations, transitions, and tools for live presenting make PowerPoint the better presentation software.
  • Ease of use
    • PowerPoint tends to have a more intuitive, easier to learn interface than Publisher.
  • Collaboration
    • Co-authoring, comments, and PowerPoint’s ubiquity in business settings make collaboration easier.
  • Platform flexibility
    • PowerPoint allows for presenting from a variety of devices and works across platforms.
  • Cloud integration
    • Saving and sharing presentations via OneDrive and other cloud platforms is simple.

So in summary, Publisher is better for print and digital publications while PowerPoint excels as presentation software. Converting between the two formats is possible using the methods outlined above.