[thelist] Converting Powerpoint to web Page

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Thu Oct 20 20:17:08 CDT 2005

On Wed, 2005-10-19 at 11:39 -0500, Minh Lee Goon wrote:
  [j s wrote:]
> > I have a big powerpoint file that I need to convert to html.  When I
> > use the Save As HTML in powerpoint - the pages take forever to load. 
> > Is there a better way of converting them for quicker viewing?  They
> > have animation, sound and fade in/out text.

> You could save the PowerPoint file as a PowerPoint Show file. Your users 
> can view the file using the free PowerPoint Viewer, downloadable from 
> Microsoft's web site. That should preserve the presentation.

The caveat is, of course, that this leaves out non-Windows users. "World
Wide Web" does not necessarily imply "PC running Microsoft Windows".

> Otherwise, I think the best way to do it would be to convert it to a PDF 
> file and let your users download it. Obviously you'll lose the 
> animation, page transitions, sound, etc. But Adobe Reader is ubiquitous.

PDF is indeed more accessible than a Microsoft proprietary format, but
poses problems that stem from the fact that it's intended as an
"electronic paper" format if that makes any sense. I have a feeling the
original poster had a reason for wanting to export to HTML.

Getting back to the question as asked...

> By saving a PowerPoint file as HTML, you risk alienating non-IE users as 
> I'm sure the HTML output is choking on ActiveX and other 
> Microsoft-specific technology.

There are ways of getting rid of the non-HTML junk. HTML Tidy comes to
mind (look through the options, there is one specifically for getting
rid of surplus Microsoft-induced XML junk), a Perl script called
Demoroniser might also be helpful. I would imagine if it is truly the
huge presentation it seems, this would help the load time. As of the
last time I checked, Microsoft Office-exported they-only-call-it-HTML
didn't use ActiveX.

There's also the outside possibility of importing the presentation to
OpenOffice Impress and exporting it to HTML from there. I'd only try
this after other options yield unsatisfactory results, as from what I
remember, Impress's import filter came from reverse-engineering the
Powerpoint file format (this is, of course, Microsoft's fault for not
fully documenting their file formats and supporting interoperability the
way a responsible company would).

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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