Need help moving annotations only from PowerPoint, notes view, into a PDF

New Here ,
Sep 21, 2022 Sep 21, 2022

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I work in a field that requires annotations be added to PDFs using the mark-up tools. Not embedded when saving a PPT deck as a PDF.
However, many of my colleagues were putting their annotations in the notes view of the PPT deck and then saving it as a PDF. Apparently, the FDA frowns heavily upon this practice.

Just for clarity, annotations are red text boxes in PPT, notes view, that contain an author, journal, year, page number, paragraph, etc. These text boxes then have an arrow connecting the annotation to an empty red box which encompasses a claim that needs a reference. I included an image.

So - is there a quick way to transfer the annotations only from a PPT to a PDF?

  • I have tried to select annotations in PPT, copy, and paste into PDF. PDF did not like this approach and brought it over in a 64 pt font
  • I have tried to export comments from PPT to word, notes, excel, and nothing happens
  • I have tried saving the annotated PPT deck, in notes view, as a PDF. And created an identical PPT deck but removed all annotations, saved as a PDF. Then tried to import comments - which can't be done because the annotations are embedded once I saved it as a PDF
  • I have even tried to print as PDF, open as PDF, save as PDF to see if that would help

 

These decks are, on average, 100 slides with annotations on 90% of the slides. Having to retype everything is not only cost prohibitive, but extremely time consuming. There has got to be a way!

Thanks for your help!

Danielle...Smart enough for pharma research, definitely not smart enough for this computer wizardry 😉

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Create PDFs , Edit and convert PDFs , General troubleshooting , How to

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2022 Sep 22, 2022

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Welcome Danielle,

 

I don't know of a way to do that, but perhaps @try67 can develop) a script. I present a possible scenario, using a powerpoint document that contains notes located within the "Notes" section, as shown below.

 

Screen Shot 2022-09-22 at 9.50.25 AM.png

 

So try this:

  1. Make a copy of your PPTX file.
  2. Then change the file extension to ZIP.
  3. Double click the zip file to open it. This converts your pwoerpoint to a bunch of XML files.
  4. Do a search for "Notes Placeholder" within the contents of that folder.
  5. You'll see that there are a bunch of instances of that phrase.
  6. If you view the contents of one of those XML files with a text editor (like BBEdit), you can see the contents of the note.

 

Screen Shot 2022-09-22 at 9.41.44 AM.png

Screen Shot 2022-09-22 at 9.40.48 AM.png

 

I would imagine that there is a way to extract the contents of those notes (adjusting for required elements of a note in Acrobat, such as date, author, page position, etc.) and make a new XML file out of them, which you can then simply change the extension to .FDF and import them as notes into your PDF document.

 

Not being a powerpoint expert, I am not familiar with the intricacies of powerpoint notes. It appears, based on your screen capture, that they are positioned on the page somehow in. precise location. Hopefully, the notes are not just red boxes with red text. 

 

Again, I'm not a scripter, so this idea of somewhat theoretical. An Acrobat scripter would be able to tell you for sure if this is possible.

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