How to save a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF to lock in formatting and allow anyone to view it

  • You can save a PowerPoint presentation as a PDF to lock its content and formatting in place, so that other people can view the file but can't make changes.
  • Converting a PowerPoint deck into a PDF allows people who don't have PowerPoint to view the slides.
  • You can save a PowerPoint as a PDF whether you are using PowerPoint on a Mac or a PC, or if you want to download it as a PDF from the web.
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Microsoft PowerPoint presentations remain one of the best ways to share information in a manner that's visually clear and digestible. 

That is, so long as no one alters the formatting and content of that deck you worked on for hours, ruining the slides critical for helping you communicate your Q3 initiative or messing up that interactive family photo album.

When you save a PowerPoint as a PDF, you lock the document so no further changes can be made. This is ideal for ensuring the content remains as you wanted it. And as PDFs can be viewed almost universally regardless of what software or operating system someone has, a PowerPoint presentation saved as a PDF can be viewed even by someone who doesn't have PowerPoint.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Microsoft Office (From $149.99 at Microsoft)

Apple Macbook Pro (From $1,299.00 at Apple)

Windows 10 (From $139.99 at Best Buy)

How to save a PowerPoint as a PDF on Mac

1. Open the PowerPoint to be converted, then click "File."

2. Select "Export" from the dropdown menu.

3. Then choose the file name, destination, and change the file format to PDF. Then click "Export."

Make sure to change the "File Format" to PDF before you export.Steven John/Business Insider

On a Mac, you can also choose to "Save As…" and then set the File Format as a PDF to get the same result.

How to save a PowerPoint as a PDF on Windows

1. With the PowerPoint deck to be converted open, click "File" then "Export." You can also opt to save only select slides from a deck as PDFs.

2. Click "Create PDF/XPS" on the menu, then hit that again on the window that pops up.

3. Choose the destination for the PDF and change the name if you wish, then hit "Enter."

How to save a PowerPoint as a PDF from the web

Saving a PowerPoint as a PDF from the web is simple. Just click the "File" tab, then choose "Download As" from the dropdown and select "Download as PDF." The language of the "Save As" or "Download As" option differs slightly depending on your OS.

If downloading from your email, the button may be called "Download Linked File As…"Steven John/Business Insider

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to convert a JPG file to a PDF on a Windows 10 computer using the default Photos app

  • How to convert a PowerPoint to Google Slides in two different ways

  • How to convert Google Slides to a PowerPoint presentation in 4 easy steps 

  • How to copy or duplicate a PowerPoint slide and put it anywhere in your slideshow

  • How to convert a JPG image to a PDF document on your Mac computer using the Preview app

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