How to Merge PowerPoint Files into a Single File

PowerPoint presentations are commonplace for many lines of work, and often times there’s a need to combine slides and files. If you need to use slides from two or more PowerPoint presentations for your school assignment or an office presentation, there are several ways to go about it. You can insert individual slides, import whole presentations, or simply merge two presentations.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about merging PowerPoint files in this article.

Reuse PowerPoint Slides

Reusing slides is the easiest way to include slides from one presentation in another presentation. With this method, you can control what slides you are adding and choose where to insert them. Here is how the reuse slides method works.

  1. Launch PowerPoint on your computer, then open the document to which you want to add slides.
  2. Find the place where you want to add a slide or slides. Then, click between two existing slides.
  3. Click the Insert tab of the Main Menu.
  4. After that, click on the New Slide icon on the left side of the menu.
  5. Then, click Reuse Slides.
  6. The Reuse Slides dialog box will open; click the Browse button. If you check the box next to Keep source formatting, the newly inserted slides will remain as they were in the original presentation. If you uncheck the box, their formatting will be adjusted to the one in the main presentation.
  7. Insert your slide. Browse the presentations and click the one you want to add the slides from and click Open.
    PowerPoint File Explorer Window
  8. You will see the thumbnails of the available slides. Browse and select the ones you would like to insert into your main document. You can click Insert All Slides to import all slides from the external presentation.
    PowerPoint Slide - Insert All Slides
  9. If you want to discard the theme of your main presentation in favor of the theme in the external presentation, you should select the Apply Theme to All Slides option when selecting the slides you want to insert.

This method is great if you want to add a slide or two to your main presentation. Also, if you want to add bits and pieces from various presentations to your main presentation, this is the way to go. Though you can insert all slides from an external presentation via this method, it is better to take the Insert Object route for that.

Use Insert Object to Merge PowerPoint Files

The insert object method is your best option if you want to insert all slides from an external presentation and keep the animations and transitions between them.

Keep in mind that once you insert the slides into your new presentation, they won’t be linked to the original file. As such, any changes you make to the original file will not affect the slides you inserted into your main presentation. Conversely, if you edit the slides in your main presentation, the external file from which you copied those slides will remain unchanged.

With that out of the way, let us see how the insert object method works.

  1. Launch PowerPoint and open the main presentation.
  2. Insert a new slide. Delete the text boxes, as they should be completely blank.
  3. Click the Insert tab in the Main Menu.
  4. Click the Object icon.
  5. You will see the Insert Object dialog box. There, you should pick the Create from file option. You can enter the address of the document into the text box and press Enter or click the Browse button.
  6. Browse for the external presentation you would like to insert into your main one and double-click on it.
  7. Next, you will see only the first slide of the imported presentation. Though you cannot see them at the moment, the remaining slides are below.
    PowerPoint Test Slide - Insert Object
  8. Stretch the inserted object to fit the size of the slide of your main presentation to avoid changes in the size of the slides once you play the presentation. PowerPoint Test Slide - Object Inserted

 After you have successfully inserted the entire object into your main presentation, you can adjust and tweak it to make sure it runs smoothly.

Merge PowerPoint Documents

Finally, you can opt to completely merge two PowerPoint presentations into one. Here’s how this method works:

  1. Open PowerPoint and open the main presentation.
  2. Click the Review section of the Main Menu.
  3. Click the Compare button; you will find it in the Compare section.
  4. Browse for the presentation you want to merge with your main presentation and select it by double-clicking on it.
  5. Once the merging is complete, you will see the Revisions pane right of the merged presentations.
  6. In the Presentation Changes portion, you will see the differences between the presentations and choose which changes you want to keep and which you want to discard. PowerPoint Slide - Presentation Changes
  7. The Slide Changes portion displays the differences between the individual slides of the two presentations. Choose the settings you want to keep for the final version.

Drag and Drop PowerPoint Slides

One of the simpler ways to merge two presentations is using a drag-and-drop method. If you have two separate presentations and would like to make them into one, or if you are working on a group project, you can merge them using this function.

  1. Open both presentations on your PC or Mac, and make sure you minimize the PowerPoint program so that you can see both at the same time.
  2. Using your mouse, long-press the slide you need to move and drop the slide into its proper place. You might need to do this for each slide; thankfully, you can also click the first slide you want, hold down the Shift key, and then click on the last slide to select them all and move accordingly. PowerPoint Slide - Drag and Drop
  3. The location of the slide will highlight with a red line. PowerPoint Slide - Slides added to PowerPoint

To make things even simpler, your final presentation will automatically update to the design of the receiving document. Of course, you can always update the design of the entire document by using the Design function at the top of your presentation.

Final Thoughts

The methods explained in this article will help you take your PowerPoint skills to the next level. You will be able to combine and merge your presentations like a pro in mere minutes. Now that you know these PowerPoint tricks, you can better spend your time elsewhere.

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