How to Create Image of Paper Form to Include in Presentation

I need to include images of several paper forms in a presentation. I did not create these particular forms, they were sent to me in PDF format. I've been using the snapshot tool in Acrobat to copy an image of the form to the clipboard and then pasting into PPT, but the image is rather fuzzy. Does anyone have a better way to create these images? Do I need to ask for the original Word version of the form? The final size of my form image on the slide is about 6"x4.65".

18 Replies
Alecia Teel

Well that's interesting, I didn't know you could drag in a PDF. Do they diplay properly when the file is opened on another computer?

I tried the "dragging" method, but the image doesn't look much better. Plus I can't rotate and add a shadow since it is an object and not a picture (trying to spruce up the look of putting a boring form on a slide!) Although that rotating seems to be contributing to my text fuzziness.

I'd like to be able to create an image from the document without having to make a snapshot, which seems to be dependent on the size/resolution of your monitor. To get the whole page to display on this 15" monitor on my office computer, the screenshot ends up being 96dpi at 5x6.5. Which I suppose should be large enough, but the text isn't sharp. (Luckily I have a much larger monitor on my home office PC, which is where I do most of my work.)

I happen to have the Microsoft Document Image Writer on my office PC. It exports as a tif file and the only options are 100, 200 or 300 dpi. Are tif files a good option for Presenter? The resulting images are much clearer than the screen shots.

Just wondered if anyone else had experience in using existing documents as illustrations in a presentation. I would like to come up with a solution that isn't too complicated and will result in a clean and crisp image on the PPT slide!  Thanks!

Susan Wilson

If you have PowerPoint 2010, it has a screen grab tool that gives much better results than SnagIt. You simply need to have the .pdf open and not minimized to grab the screen shot.  You can always download the trial version and check it out.  And definitely check the Word of Mouth blog called " How to Get Perfect Screenshots in Presenter '09.  Date is Jan. 2009 by Dave Mozealous.

Natalia Mueller

I didn't know you could drag in a PDF either. I can't seem to get it to work, though. 

If that's working for you, once the pdf is in ppt as an object, can you save it as an img (or paste special and bring it right back in as a png)? I would think you could if it's being treated as an object.

I had to do this recently to display report examples. I took a screen shot using snag it (snag it party!), saved it as an image and then I was able to manipulate it in ppt. Any type of screen capture should work. As long as it's clear when you capture it and you can save it as a jpg, png, etc the monitor resolution shouldn't matter to the end product. If you're using a standard print screen tool, you can crop it in ppt.

Alecia Teel

I ended up opening the PDFs up in PhotoShop Elements at 150 dpi and exporting them as PNGs. I made them slightly larger since I needed to let part of the portrait oriented form fall off the slide so I could zoom in on the section I wanted to highlight. This seemed to give me a much cleaner image than the screen grabs and I was able to use the picure effects tool to add a border and shadow to give the effect of a piece of paper.

I used the screen grab tool in PPT 2010, but I since I wanted the look of a paper form, i didn't need all the Acrobat menus and toolbars to show.

I'm not sure if my solution was the best one, but I ended up with a pretty decent looking form image.

Thanks for all the suggestions! 

Lori Heithoff

I didn't realize Adobe had a snapshot tool!  That could come in handy in the future.

Unfortunately, our internet security protocol severely limits our use of freeware.

Instead, I've been using Adobe Acrobat Pro's export function.

With the PDF open, go to File -- Export -- Image and select the type of image you want exported (JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, or TIFF).

Then save.