Distribute presentations as Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format)
Which is better for distributing your finished presentations, PowerPoint PPT/PPS files or Acrobat PDFs?
That depends on your presentation and audience. All of the information below assumes that you have PowerPoint 97 (or later) and/or Acrobat 4 (or later).
See Making Acrobat PDFs from PowerPoint to learn more about making PDFs.
|Feature||PowerPoint PPT||Acrobat PDF|
|Security||Not available except in 2002 or later. Password-protected presentations can't be opened in earlier versions of PowerPoint or in any Mac version.||PDFs can require a password to open, and/or can be protected against printing, editing, copying, etc. Any version of Reader or Acrobat can open protected PDFs if the user knows the password.|
|Ease of authoring||PowerPoint is simple to learn and use, relatively flexible||You must author your content in some other program. You may use Acrobat to create links, add security and other features. Acrobat includes PDFMaker macros to help convert some PowerPoint interactive features to PDFs. PPTools Prep4PDF converts nearly all PowerPoint links to PDF.|
|How to distribute||Save as PPT or PPS. Distribute the PPT/PPS directly or use PowerPoint's Pack and Go or Package for CD features to include a PowerPoint viewer & installer along with the presentation in a single EXE file||Save as PDF. Distribute. See Mark Anderson's Running Acrobat Reader from CD to learn how to make a self-running CD from your PDFs.|
|Self-Contained files||PowerPoint can include linked graphics but these are best avoided when a PowerPoint file is to be distributed. By default, it embeds graphics. It links to movies and sounds, generally (though you can specify that it embed WAV sound files if below a certain size). Without special care, links will be absolute, fully pathed and will break when you move the presentation to other computers. See Sounds/Movies don't play, images disappear or links break when I move or email a presentation
PowerPoint can embed some TrueType fonts into the PPT/PPS file so they're available when opened on a PC where the fonts aren't already installed. Mac PowerPoint can't embed fonts and can't use embedded fonts. See FONT embedding
|PDFs embed all but Movie files, where the same cautions re linking applies. Linking to relative paths is easier to do in PDFs but still requires care and testing.
Acrobat embeds most fonts with little difficulty. Fonts embedded in PDFs are compatible cross-platform.