As Pow­er­Point evolves, so do the meth­ods of bring­ing in editable vec­tor files. If you’re lucky enough to have the most recent ver­sion of Pow­er­Point, you have the option of going to the Insert tab and choos­ing Icons.

For those of you who are stuck in, say, Pow­er­Point 2010, or if you want to bring in your own cus­tom icons, there is one method you can always count on. Enter the Mighty Enhanced Meta File.

Trivia: Did you know that the .emf file was intro­duced in 1993 and still works reli­ably even today, 25 years later?

When you Insert > Pic­ture and choose a .emf, all you need to do is ungroup it twice to have a com­pletely editable object. You can change the fill, the stroke, and even edit the points (in most cases).

So when you’ve cre­ated that per­fect cus­tom icon, snip­pet of out­lined text, or what­ever else you’ve worked on in Illus­tra­tor and need to put it in a pre­sen­ta­tion, export it as a dot EMF file.

There are, of course, a few things to keep in mind when work­ing with EMFs:

  • Before export­ing out of Illus­tra­tor, make your vec­tor object fairly large. This will give you a much cleaner vec­tor object in PowerPoint.
  • After plac­ing in Pow­er­Point, don’t for­get to ungroup TWICE 
    • there will be an empty box that was, for all intents and pur­poses, the art­board in the very back. delete this, edit remain­ing shapes as needed.
  • EMFs are not rec­om­mended for logos or small text. To pre­vent logos from being messed with, always bring them in as PNGs. For text, I rec­om­mend skip­ping the EMF method alto­gether and, instead, use YouP­re­sen­t’s incred­i­bly use­ful Text to Out­line addin. It’s for PPT 2013 and later, and it’s FREE!
  • WARNING: As of May, 2017, EMFs can­not be used in PPT 2011 for Mac or build 15.33 of PPT 2016 for Mac. If you have dis­cov­ered this issue has been fixed, let me know in the comments.
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