How to Convert PowerPoint Slides to Mac Keynote Presentation

PowerPoint might be the industry standard when it comes to presentations, but it’s far from the only option. Yes, Microsoft’s offering might be the most powerful, but it isn’t the easiest to use. That title might just go to Apple’s Keynote, which makes preparing and giving presentations easy.

Even if you’re a Keynote diehard, you might run into situations when you’re stuck with a PowerPoint file. You can tell these by the .ppt or .pptx format. Fortunately converting them to the Keynote format is a straightforward process.

Import a PowerPoint presentation into Keynote


To get started, open up your PowerPoint presentation in Keynote. Apple’s software supports both the newer .pptx format and the older .ppt extension. Unless you’re exceedingly lucky, you’ll probably see a few warnings.

Replacing missing fonts

The most common problem you’ll encounter is missing fonts. Being a Microsoft product, PowerPoint defaults to using Microsoft fonts. Since these aren’t available in Apple’s software, you’ll need to choose some alternatives.

Strangely enough, you might even have to replace a font with a font of the same name. Apparently, the Helvetica used in PowerPoint isn’t the same as Keynote’s version of Helvetica.


If all you’re doing is presenting, you don’t absolutely need to change fonts. If you plan to edit the presentation at all though, you’ll need to choose replacements.

Other possible issues

While missing fonts are the most common issue, they aren’t the only issue you may encounter. Graphs, for example, can be problematic when importing a PowerPoint file into Keynote. In the worst-case scenarios, you may need to completely replace the graph with a new one.

There are other issues you may run into as well, depending on how many of PowerPoint’s features you use. A list of what is and isn’t compatible between PowerPoint and Keynote is available on Apple’s website.

Test your presentation


Once you’ve made any changes necessary, the next step should be to run through your presentation. This way you can check for any other incompatible features or other issues. If you find anything that doesn’t look right, now is the time to fix it.

Save your presentation as a Keynote file

If you’re able to run through the presentation without issue, now it’s time to save the file. Once you save the presentation as a Keynote file, the conversion process is done. Just to make sure that everything went smoothly, you might want to close the file and open it again. It’s better to catch any issues early, instead of in the middle of a presentation.

Other options

If you’re running into problems not addressed here, having PowerPoint installed on your Mac can help. This way, you can fix issues in the original version of the presentation before converting to Keynote’s format. It might be less than ideal, but if you have an Office 365 subscription, it can make your life easier. You can still convert to Keynote in the end, but you aren’t stuck if you run into issues.

In extreme cases or if you’re out of time, converting to Keynote may not be an option. If you’re stuck with a PowerPoint file but don’t have the software, there is a solution. Just as with Microsoft Word files, you can open a .pptx or .ppt file in the web version of PowerPoint. This may not be your first choice, but it can save your presentation in a pinch.

Kris Wouk
Kris Wouk

Kris Wouk is a writer, musician, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web.

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