Office Challenge: How do you export text from a PowerPoint presentation?

Here's the answer to last week's challenge on printing Excel comments, along with a new question to test your PowerPoint skills.

There are many reasons you might want to export the text in a PowerPoint presentation. For instance, you might need to repurpose the text in other documents and reports. Or you might want to publish the text in note form for your audience. So this week's Office Challenge asks: How do you export PowerPoint text?

Last week we asked…

"How do you print Excel comments?" This question really has more than one answer because you can print comments in place with the worksheet data or at the end of the worksheet:

  • To print a worksheet with the data in place, choose Page Setup from the File menu, click the Sheet tab, and click the As Displayed On Sheet options from the Comments control.
  • To print comments together, following the data, choose the At End Of Sheet option from the Comments box.

Excel further complicates things because it will print only those comments you show in the worksheet. Excel will not print any comments you hide. To print a comment that's hidden, display it first by right-clicking the commented cell and choosing  Show Comment from the resulting shortcut menu. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to unhide multiple comments.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the challenge. Many of you know the basics on printing Excel comments. Thanks to michael.cutler@ for his additional tip for printing some, but not all of your sheets; that was a great tip! And pgurney@ went a bit further with the tip by mentioning the hidden comment limitation I mentioned above.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.


In PowerPoint 2007, in 'Normal' view, you can select to have 'Outline' rather than 'Slides' displayed down the left side of the screen. The text from the outline view can then be copied and pasted the same way any text can be. This method won't recognize any text one has put in text boxes, just the titles and bullets from the standard layout boxes. If you create custom Master Slides to position all of your text, all of it WILL appear in the outline, but this takes a considerable amount of time.


You can show all comments at once from the Review tab: Select "show all comments". Do this step first, and then you can print as desired. You might find you need to drag them around so they don't obsure values or text on your spreadsheet.


Thank you for that great tip! I'm sure there's a similar one in 2003, but I certainly never thought to look on the Review toolbar for it!

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