Insert editable vectors into powerpoint

As mac users it is really frustrating that features and compatibility with PowerPoint seems to get worse over time rather than better especially since (as far as I’m aware) we pay the same as PC users for what is a reduced package. That being said it is the way it is unfortunately but I have some good news. After a lot of time searching for an answer I finally stumbled across a work-around which means we can once again we can insert editable vectors into PowerPoint for Mac or PowerPoint 365. Editable vectors in PowerPoint allows us to update the colour of the image without having to re-colour them and import new images.

This can be a little lengthy the first time you do it but once you know how it can save you a lot of time. If I am doing a presentations that contains a lot of icons it is extremely useful to be able to insert vectors into PowerPoint for Mac, I tend to do them all at once using this process and then separate and group them as required once they are in PowerPoint.

I will take your through this process step-by-step. I have also included a video for those who prefer a visual guide.

For this tutorial you will need to download Open Office, you can do this here. You also need Illustrator to follow this guide however if you are trying to insert svgs that you have downloaded you can use the same process I just think Enhanced MetaFile (emf) give a more foolproof result in my experience.

Insert editable vectors into PowerPoint – Video guide

Insert editable vectors into PowerPoint – Written guide

With your vector open in Illustrator go to ‘File’ in the top nav bar and select ‘export as’.

Export as - Illustrator CC

Give your file a name and from the ‘Format’ dropdown select Enhanced MetaFile (emf). Then click the export button. Your file is now saved as a Enhanced MetaFile (emf).

Export as emf

Open ‘Open Office’ and select ‘Presentation’. Click create to open a new presentation file.

Open Office Interface

In the top nav bar go to ‘Insert’, ‘Picture’ and select ‘From file’.

Insert Picture

Navigate to your saved Enhanced MetaFile (emf) and click ‘Open’.

Open File

Right click on the image and select ‘Break’. You usually need to do this twice. On the second selection of ‘Break’ your image will usually appear to disappear, this is normal, when this happens you will want to undo one step – do this by clicking ‘command+z’ on your keyboard.

Ungroup in Open Office

You will notice that the image is now separated and the colour can be changed.

Change colour in Open Office

From the ‘File’ tab in the top nav bar click ‘Save as’.

Save as Open Office

Next your need to name your file and in the ‘File Type’ dropdown select ‘Microsoft PowerPoint’ click ‘Save’.

Save as PowerPoint

A pop-up will appear click the option to ‘Keep Current Format’. Your icon is now saved as a PowerPoint.

Keep Current Format

Open your newly saved presentation in PowerPoint. The result is a separated vector that you can change the colour of in PowerPoint. And that is how you can still insert editable vectors into PowerPoint for Mac

Change image colour in PowerPoint mac

Written by Donna Hocking, graphic designer and creative artworker. If you are a designer / agency in need of support or a business looking for someone to create your print & web materials get in touch I’d love to hear from you. You can also read more about what services I provide here.