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How to copy complex Objects from PowerPoint 2016 to Illustrator?

New Here ,
Jan 09, 2017

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I have rather complex PowerPoint 2016 objects with up to 100-300 polygons, rectangles, etc. nothing Illustrator should have problems with. Yet, when I try to copy paste, I get the following message:

"The operation cannot complete because of an unknown error."

Then I see like like 10-20 objects copied. Sometimes, I also got the "shadow" of the non-copied objects, but I wasn't able to reproduce that lately.

Stuff I tried already:

1) Ungrouping the Objects in PowerPoint and copying all of them together, instead of one grouped object.

2) Copying only about about 10 objects at a time, the problem is: a) this takes ages and b) the position is lost, thus I would have to rearrange everything.

The only work-around I found was exporting a pdf and then importing it in Illustrator, but that adds quite some baggage and also the grouping from PowerPoint gets lost.

You should be able to copy shapes from PowerPoint and paste them into Illustrator, but it's possible that the amount of shapes you've mentioned may be more than this method can handle simply because they were setup in PowerPoint. I don't trust PowerPoint for this reason as I've seen far too many weird things occur for other people that shouldn't be occurring.

However, what you can try is to select all the shapes in PowerPoint, right-click, select Save As Picture, and then select .eps or .wmf as the file type. You should then be able to use File > Place in Illustrator to import the file into Illustrator. Just know shapes with strokes will be two separate objects in your layers pallet.

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How to copy complex Objects from PowerPoint 2016 to Illustrator?

New Here ,
Jan 09, 2017

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I have rather complex PowerPoint 2016 objects with up to 100-300 polygons, rectangles, etc. nothing Illustrator should have problems with. Yet, when I try to copy paste, I get the following message:

"The operation cannot complete because of an unknown error."

Then I see like like 10-20 objects copied. Sometimes, I also got the "shadow" of the non-copied objects, but I wasn't able to reproduce that lately.

Stuff I tried already:

1) Ungrouping the Objects in PowerPoint and copying all of them together, instead of one grouped object.

2) Copying only about about 10 objects at a time, the problem is: a) this takes ages and b) the position is lost, thus I would have to rearrange everything.

The only work-around I found was exporting a pdf and then importing it in Illustrator, but that adds quite some baggage and also the grouping from PowerPoint gets lost.

You should be able to copy shapes from PowerPoint and paste them into Illustrator, but it's possible that the amount of shapes you've mentioned may be more than this method can handle simply because they were setup in PowerPoint. I don't trust PowerPoint for this reason as I've seen far too many weird things occur for other people that shouldn't be occurring.

However, what you can try is to select all the shapes in PowerPoint, right-click, select Save As Picture, and then select .eps or .wmf as the file type. You should then be able to use File > Place in Illustrator to import the file into Illustrator. Just know shapes with strokes will be two separate objects in your layers pallet.

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Engaged ,
Jan 10, 2017

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You should be able to copy shapes from PowerPoint and paste them into Illustrator, but it's possible that the amount of shapes you've mentioned may be more than this method can handle simply because they were setup in PowerPoint. I don't trust PowerPoint for this reason as I've seen far too many weird things occur for other people that shouldn't be occurring.

However, what you can try is to select all the shapes in PowerPoint, right-click, select Save As Picture, and then select .eps or .wmf as the file type. You should then be able to use File > Place in Illustrator to import the file into Illustrator. Just know shapes with strokes will be two separate objects in your layers pallet.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 10, 2017

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There's nothing weird about PowerPoint, it just isn't a graphics program.

Mylenium

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2017

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thx, Save as Picture works like a charm, used it before but didn't realize it offers an export as wmf (no .eps) though. Looks perfect, because the .pdf export adds a lot of baggage (I removed around 20-50 "clipping groups"(or similar) yesterday) to my 2 models imported. At first look nothing is necessary for the .wmf import.

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2020

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I know this reply was a few years ago, but I came across it for an issue I was having just now and it helped. Thanks!

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