How to Convert PowerPoint to Word

If you’ve created a text-rich PowerPoint presentation (all the teachers out there, we see you!), you’ll probably need to export your slides in a reader-friendly format, like Word. Many users find it more convenient to share or print their slides in Word format just to make sure that people with no access to PowerPoint will be able to view and edit them.

This is why we’re shedding some light on why and how to convert PowerPoint to Word. The simple answer to this is – to use Word’s more advanced text formatting options. Read on to learn more.

Why convert PowerPoint to Word?

Reason #1: Editing is easier. If your presentation has more text than images in it, it’s probably a better idea to convert it into a Word file, so that you can access Word’s amplified editing features

Reason #2: Word files are lighter. PowerPoint presentations are normally quite hefty , so if you need, for example, to print the information on your slides, you can convert them into Word to make them easier to print.

Reason #3: Sharing. Many people are still more accustomed to using Word for work, rather than PowerPoint, so exporting your slides into Word can give you the confidence that your message will reach your audience.

How to convert PowerPoint to Word?


Open your PowerPoint presentation. Select the File tab and then click Export. From the options there click Create handouts.

When you click the Create handouts button, a new drop-down menu will appear on your screen where you can choose the page layout to your liking.

Note that if you select the Paste link option, all the changes you make in the PPT file will be immediately reflected in the Word file. Oppositely, clicking on Paste will keep the Word doc unchanged, even if the PPT file is edited.

A screenshot of a PC showing how to create a handout with notes and links from a PowerPoint file


Unfortunately, things with MacOS can get quite different for the reasons we’ll describe further below.

First, have a look at the direct way of converting .pptx files to editable documents on Mac.

Open the PowerPoint presentation. Select the File tab on the top left corner of the ribbon. Select Export and name your new file in the Export as field.

A screenshot of a Mac showing how to export PPT files to Rich text documents

Choose a location for it on your local storage. Then select .rtf (rich text) as an export option and click Export. Open the file in Word.

A screenshot of a Mac showing how to export PPT files to RTF files

Note that this will work only if all the text on your slides was inserted in the default PowerPoint placeholders.

So, here’s a list of things to be aware of when exporting presentations to text files on Mac:

1. The RTF files will contain only text in Title, Subtitle and Content placeholders, which means that any text you might have in Shapes or Text box will not appear on your document.

2. Notes will be excluded. To include your notes, you have to click File > Print, select Notes as Layout and save the file as PDF.

🗎 Yes, PDF is the better option when you want to print out your PowerPoint content from your Mac, saves you so much more time!

3. Graphic content is also excluded from the .rtf file.

4. The .rtf export is suitable for text-rich files where the content is in placeholders. If you must have the presentation content in Word, you can export the PowerPoint to PDF and then use Adobe’s paid version to convert that PDF to Word.

So, this is how you can convert PowerPoint to Word on both PC and Mac. Of course, exporting your slides as .pdf is always an option, but it won’t hurt having one more trick up your sleeve.

You think you know PowerPoint? See if it’s true by downloading our free e-book PowerPoint Tips & Tricks that will help you create better presentations in less time. Remember to reach out to us to let us know your thoughts.