Do you have multiple PowerPoint presentations that you need to merge or merge into one presentation? I’ve had to do this myself a couple of times, and one of the most important aspects when combining presentations is whether you want to keep the format and theme of the inserted presentation, or align it with the theme of the main presentation. The second most important factor is whether you need to support any animations and transitions that can be included in the inserted presentation.
Depending on how you want the inserted slides to appear in the main presentation, you will need to choose one of two different ways to join the presentations. In this article, I will cover both methods and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
The first method uses the Reuse Slides option in PowerPoint, and the second method uses the Insert Object option.
Reuse of the slides method
If you want the inserted slides to match the theme of your main presentation, you need to use the Reuse Slides option. The inserted slides will simply take the slides exactly as they are in the external presentation and add them to the main presentation.
There is one big caveat, though: None of the animations or transitions will carry over. Anything you see on the slide in normal view will be imported into the main presentation.
If you need to preserve all animation or transitions, go to the Insert Object method.
To get started with this method, open your main presentation and then click between the two slides you want to import the slides into. It doesn’t cost anything that this method also lets you choose which slides you want to insert from the external presentation, whereas the Insert Object method will insert the entire presentation.
Now click on the “Insert” menu, then click on the words “New Slide” and you will see a menu appear. At the very bottom of this menu is the Reuse Slides option.
When you click on that, a tab will appear on the right. Click the Browse button and select Browse File. Select the Keep original formatting check box if you want to preserve the theme and text formatting of the external presentation.
If you clear this check box, the original formatting will not be preserved when you insert slides into the main presentation. Instead, the slides will use the theme and formatting of the main presentation.
Select the PowerPoint presentation you want to insert and click OK. Immediately, you should see a small thumbnail and title of each slide displayed.
As you can see above, the theme of the second presentation is different from the theme of my first one. There are several things you can do at this point. First, if you just want to insert one or more slides from an external presentation, just click on the slide and it will be inserted!
The formatting will depend on whether you checked the Keep original formatting box as I explained above. As shown below, I only inserted one slide from the external presentation and kept the original formatting.
It will be inserted where you previously clicked the red line. If you want to insert all slides, simply select the Insert All Slides option that appears when you right-click on any of the slides.
Finally, you can apply the theme used in the external presentation to your main presentation by right-clicking and choosing Apply Theme To All Slides. This will apply the theme of the external presentation to the main presentation.
As mentioned earlier, when you use this method, you lose all animations, effects, transitions, etc. Now let’s talk about another way to combine two presentations.
Enter the object method
The second method will insert the entire external presentation into one slide as an object. Then you need to adjust some settings so that when the slideshow starts, it also runs through all the slides in the external presentation.
Before we move on to using this method, there are a few things to mention:
1. When you insert a presentation as an object, it is not a link to the presentation, but an actual full copy in the main presentation. This means that if you open the external presentation later after you insert it into the main presentation and make changes to it, those changes will not be reflected in the imported version inside the main presentation.
2. If you really want to make changes to an already inserted presentation, you can edit it inside the main presentation. Again, these changes are only made to the version inside the main presentation.
In my opinion, this method is better than the slide reuse method because it allows you to preserve all of your animations and transitions, and also allows you to change or save the theme of the inserted presentation.
To get started, open the main presentation and then insert a new slide. Make sure to remove any default text boxes or whatever on the new slide so that it is completely blank.
Now go to the Insert tab and then click Object.
Select the Generate from File radio button and click the Browse button. Select the external presentation that you want to insert into the main presentation.
You will now see the first slide in your presentation inserted as a selectable. All the other slides are there, but you just don’t see them.
The next step is to move the cursor to the upper left corner of the pasted object until it becomes a double-headed arrow. Click and drag a corner to the upper left corner of the main slide. Now do the same with the bottom right corner of the object and drag it to the bottom right corner on the main slide.
The pasted object should now be the same size as the slide it was pasted on. This must be done so that the size of the slides does not change when the presentation is played.
Once this is set up, we need to set up the second presentation to play when we click on the slide where we inserted the presentation. To do this, select the object, click the Animation ribbon, click Add Animation, and then scroll down to the bottom where it says OLE Action Verbs.
Another dialog box will appear where you want to select Show. If you were playing the presentation at this point, you would notice that when you get to the slide with the inserted presentation, it will show all the slides in the inserted presentation, but it will also include a stationary slide of the first slide in the front and behind the inserted presentation.
It annoyed me a little, and luckily it is almost possible to get rid of it. First, click Animation again, and then click the Animation Panel that appears on the right.
In the animation panel, you will see an inserted object labeled “Object 1” or “Object 2”, etc., and when you select it, a little black arrow appears that you can click on. Several options will appear and first you will want to select â€œStart from previousâ€.
Now, when you play your presentation, it will not show you the still image of the first slide, but will actually play the first slide from the external presentation. To get rid of the still image at the end of your presentation, you need to select Effect Options from the menu above and then select Hide After Animation from the After Animation drop-down list.
This is not ideal because it still shows you a blank slide that the inserted presentation was placed once before it ended. Luckily, I found an easy way to do this that works very well. Just add something to the slide that has an external presentation object, such as a text box or whatever, and then right-click the object and choose Send to Back.
This will effectively hide the object behind the presentation object. Now when you play your presentation, it will hide the presentation object after the last slide, because that is what we chose in the After animation option. When the presentation object is hidden, you will see all the content that was hidden under it. This is a great way to avoid showing blank slides during your presentation.
And the last thing I wanted to mention is editing the inserted presentation. You can right-click anywhere in the object and select Presentation Object – Edit to edit any slide in the inserted presentation directly in the main presentation.
Hopefully this was a fairly detailed tutorial for anyone looking to merge, merge, or paste one PowerPoint presentation into another. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!