Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Post by Barr » Fri, 19 Sep 2003 14:32:04

Hi everyone,

I've been reading this group for a while and there seem to be quite a
few knowlegeable people, so I'm hoping someone might have seen my
problem before and point me toward a solution. I've searched Google
for many hours but so far come up with nothing. Just FYI to start, I'm
using Word&Powerpoing 2000 SP3, Windows 2000 SR3, 2.4Ghz P4 with 2GB
RAM (just so you don't think I'm on a 486 or something).

I have several powerpoint presentations (well, hundreds) each in the
30-70 slide range, some with graphics, some just text, which are used
in training presentations. I proposed a while ago that we start
creating the printed student guides in Word by linking the slides into
Word documents, which gives us far more flexibility in the
presentation as well as much more opportunity to add content outside
of slides than the simple notes section in Powerpoint.

Anyway, seems like a good idea, right? We copy a slide in the Slide
Sorter view, go to Word and choose Edit->Paste Special, then Paste
Link. In principle it gives us workably small (3-6MB) Word documents
even with 50 slides; in practice it occasionally gives us 55MB
documents, with no rhyme or reason why. In fact, even when it doesn't
it's often unusably slow in Word.

OK, I've done seriously *tons* of investigation on this, and one
really odd thing I notice is that the links in Word (from Edit->Links)
all appear to have full, rather than relative, file paths, even though
we ensure that the word and powerpoint files source are always in the
same directory. This seems bizarre to me, and is one big part of the

If I create a linked document in D:\Courses, then copy the whole
folder to a network drive, and my co-worker opens them, it still looks
for a D:\Courses folder on his system (which he doesn't have), which
I'm guessing causes at least some of the slow downs.

Anwyay, I'm hoping for one of several solutions;

1) If someone can point out something obvious I'm doing wrong, I'll
love ya for it :)
2) If anyone can suggest how I can modify the linking process so it
uses relative rather than absolute (full path) links, that might help
a ton.
3) I'm a programmer (mostly Perl, but VBA isn't a stretch), so even if
someone can point me to a solution that requires some programming, I'm
certainly game to try it.

One last thing - I've seen a few messages talking about Powerpoint and
OLE that suggest that Office 2002 (or is that XP?) and/or Office 2003
may improve the situation a lot. Considering the development time we
put into these courses, upgrading Office is perfectly reasonable if it
will actually solve my problem - I'd buy the new version in a
heartbeat. My only reluctance is that we may shell out the money, and
end up with exactly the same problem.

Anyway, I appreciate it if you've made it through this posting, and
literally *any* help would be greatly appreciated at this point. There
is a pronounced forehead-shaped dent in the front of my monitor, and
I'm concerned it may be growing :)


Barry Hemphill [MS PPT LVP]
Concord Communications

(yeah, that L is for Least)

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Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Post by Echo » Fri, 19 Sep 2003 21:50:36

i, Barry.

I've never investigated how the paths in paste-linked PPT/Word files
respond, but here's an idea.

After you create your Word document in D:\Courses, make a copy of the
Word document, then use Ctrl_A to select all and Edit/Links to break all
the links.

That *should* have the effect of keeping your file size down as well as
eliminating the link issue for the file you actually put on the server.

Would that be an option, or do the links need to be intact on the server
version as well?

BTW, you might experiment with File/Send to/Word and choosing PasteLink
there. It does basically what you're doing, although your Word file size
might end up being larger than what you see now. If you break the links
as I described above, though, it should become a bit more manageable.

Just a couple of thoughts. Hopefully Steve or someone who has a better
understanding of PPT and the wonky way it deals with links will be able
to chime in. And since you can actually *do* VBA (unlike me!), you may
be ahead of the game! This might be a Word link-handling issue,

PPT 2003 (and 2002, for that matter) have different default paste
options for copy/paste than the apps in Office 2000, but I don't know
that they'll help in your situation. I'm just not sure.

LOL! You're doing fine, Barry. You obviously have quite a bit of
knowledge to be able to track back to find out what's causing your
problem. And hey, anybody who can crank out code of any kind has my


Barry wrote:


Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Post by Steve Rind » Fri, 19 Sep 2003 23:05:34

irst, thanks for supplying all the relevant system/Office details in

First, are you absolutely certain that somebody hasn't inadvertently done an
embed instead of a link on the Monster DOC files? To test, put a copy of
the source PPT someplace safe, then delete it from wherever Word expects to
find it. The slides should all disappear when you open the DOC in Word
again. If not, the slide's embedded.

Next, and probably more likely: what's on the slides in question? Bitmaps
are likely to send the Word filesize upward. With alacrity. And vigor.

With a link or embed, what you see in Word is a WMF picture of the actual
content. WMF is a mostly-vector format that can contain bitmaps, but only
in BMP format. BMP does no image compression, the amount of data can grow

It could well be. Do the slides eventually appear though? That is, is Word
able to resolve the link at all, albeit slowly?

But will you respect us in the morning? ;-)

You've fallen in among PPT users, whereas the question is more one about how
Word resolves links. No problem there - most of us use Word too, but you
may also want to ask about this over in the Word part of the newsgroup.

First question, though: what happens if you link strictly to PPT files in
the same folder as the Word .DOC?

The suggestion above may help but I expect not. OLE links require a full
However, what if you add an intermediate step - export images from PPT, link
to them from Word.
Links to images are quite different from OLE links. In PPT, they *can* be
forced to be relative.

Offhand, I wouldn't expect an upgrade to change things.

Try the desk instead. The desktop's more rugged and usually cheaper to
replace. And it avoids all those embedded glass shards.



Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Post by B » Sat, 20 Sep 2003 01:37:51

ust an idea, but what if ...

1) Rub 2 cats together. This serves no function on the computer, but allows
you to see that in comparison: your problem vs. getting scratched up by two
irate cats, the problem isn't so bad

2) Export all the slides as jpgs

3)Insert the jpgs into the docs.

Sounds like it may resolve the link and size issues at the expense of
current auto-updating.

Are the document to be used statically or dynamically?


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Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Post by Glen Milla » Sat, 20 Sep 2003 07:17:02


Take my advice and don't try number one. You'd rather be chased by a cranky
emu. My dad was chased by an emu one day and they aren't cute at all.

Glen Millar
Microsoft PPT MVP
Please tell us your ppt version, and get back to us here
Remove spaces from signature

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Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Post by Bud Trinke » Sat, 20 Sep 2003 08:32:42

ince I didn't know better I have been highlighting the slide or ant
portion thereof then Control C, Control P .doc and .ppt back and forth
forever. This does not get the slide layout but that was not what I was
looking for anyway. My training books are all in MSWord so I use the
drawings and//or text by Cutting and Pasting with the keyboard. So far it
has not caused any problems and the .doc or .ppt does not seem all that

Bud Trinkel
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Problems with Powerpoint slides in Word as OLE links (MVPs help??)

Post by Steve Rind » Sat, 20 Sep 2003 09:51:30

> Take my advice and don't try number one. You'd rather be chased by a

Really? Dang. Herself just took in a stray and now we have a matching set
of white fur, yellow-eyed little guys. I was really looking forward to ....
but no, I'll trust your judgment.

Say. If St. Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland, who chased all
the emus out of here?