Converting PowerPoint Presentations to Word Documents

Although printing a presentation to PDF is a tried-and-true way of getting a print copy of a PowerPoint deck to friends or colleagues, using PowerPoint's Export-to-Word procedure offers additional options that make the outputting Word document easier to use—and easier to edit!—than the stock print methods offered by PowerPoint.

01
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Start the Conversion Process to Create Word Handouts From PowerPoint

Start the conversion process to convert a PowerPoint presentation to a Word document
© Wendy Russell
  • Open your PowerPoint presentation.
  • Select File | Export | Create Handouts | Create Handouts.
02
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5 Options for Converting PowerPoint to Word Documents

Options for Word handouts when converting from a PowerPoint presentation
© Wendy Russell

Converting PowerPoint presentations to Word documents can be done in five different ways. These options are listed below and are explained in greater detail on the pages that follow.

  1. Speaker notes next to slides
  2. Blank lines next to slides
  3. Speaker notes below slides
  4. Blank lines below slides
  5. Outline only

One really great feature that PowerPoint offers when it converts your presentation to a Word document is the choice of Paste or Paste Link:

  • Paste
    Choosing Paste will simply create the handout in the style you have chosen.
  • Paste Link
    Choosing Paste Link will create a handout in the style you choose. However, if the PowerPoint presentation is later edited, the changes will also be reflected in the Word document the next time it is opened. This is not the case when you choose the Paste command.
03
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Print Speaker Notes Next to Slide on Handout

Speaker notes on Word handout shown beside PowerPoint 2010 slide
© Wendy Russell

The first option when converting PowerPoint presentations to Word is the most commonly used printout option. A miniature version of the slide is printed on the left and any speaker notes written to accompany the slide are shown on the right.

Three thumbnail versions of your slides will print on the page.

04
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Print Blank Lines Next to Slide on Handouts

Word handout showing blank lines for notes next to PowerPoint slide
© Wendy Russell

The second option when converting PowerPoint presentations to Word is to print blank lines beside the slide on the handout for the audience to make notes during your presentation.

Three thumbnail slides will print per page.

05
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Print Speaker Notes Below Slides on Handouts

Speaker notes on Word handout are printed below PowerPoint 2010 slide
© Wendy Russell

The third option when converting PowerPoint presentations to Word is to print speaker notes below the slide for easy reference during the presentation.

One slide will print per page.

06
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Print Blank Lines Below Slides on Handouts

Word handout showing blank lines below PowerPoint 2010 slide
© Wendy Russell

The fourth option when converting PowerPoint presentations to Word ​is to print blank lines below the slide on the handout for the audience to make notes during your presentation.

One thumbnail version of the slide will print per page.

07
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Print an Outline View of Your PowerPoint Presentation

Outline of PowerPoint 2010 slide contents
© Wendy Russell

When converting PowerPoint presentations to Word, the ​fifth option is to print an outline of all the text in the PowerPoint presentation. No graphics are shown in the outline, but this view is the quickest to use when editing is needed.

PowerPoint versions

PowerPoint has offered this functionality for its last few versions. The steps reference PowerPoint 2016; the images reference PowerPoint 2010. Regardless of which version of the software you use, the options are identical.