Printing PowerPoint Handouts to PDF and Retaining Hyperlinks

I have to make a web and a print version of my PowerPoint presentations, which go into a student book. For the PowerPoint presentations, I prefer to use a 2-page handout format. This saves a lot of paper, and 2 slides per page is fine for classroom handouts. Since both the print and web versions are a .pdf file, I’d like to simply have one .pdf that is optimized differently for the different versions.

The Problem:
When I chose to Save as PDF, my .pdfs printed a black background on all of the .png images I used. I had to make 2 versions of my book with 2 different sets of settings. For last minute changes, now I’m changing at least three different files (the presentation, the web version, and the print version)!

Other things that I didn’t want or didn’t work:

  • Saving each slide as one page (I want the 2-page handout) offered solutions, but it doubled my print job
  • Printing to .pdf wont retain hyperlinks, so I needed to store/fix 2 different output versions of my presentations

The Reason:

I finally discovered that the problem was arising only when I had “ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)” selected under the PDF Options. Deselecting that option causes the image to be displayed correctly.

It turns out that transparency in objects is not allowed in “ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)” formatted documents, so by setting it to be ISO compliant, it will automatically add a background color to images with transparencies.

Transparency is forbidden in “ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)” formatted documents, so the transparent portions of .png and .tif files are filled in. 

You can read about other restrictions of PDF/A files on its wiki page:

The Fix:
To fix, simply deselect the ISO 19005-1 option when saving your PowerPoint as a PDF. The .png images will display correctly. Here’s how:

  1. File > Save As PDF
  2. Click Options button
  3. In PDF Options (bottom), uncheck “ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)”


I’ve been searching for this answer for years, and I finally found it on another forum.


Help! My keyboard, mouse, and/or pointer does not work while in PowerPoint Slideshow view!

In August, I was the instructional designer charged with hosting an 8-hour training event. It went very well, but just when I started the first PowerPoint presentation in slideshow mode, I realized my laser pointer didn’t work (and new batteries didn’t help!). Then I realized my keyboard and mouse were also not responding.

To get around this issue on the day of the training, I started the slideshow using the “Rehearse Timings” button.

Rehearse Timings

Rehearse Timings

This meant having the Rehearsal window open during my welcome presentation. More importantly, I could continue the day without interrupting other modules. Fortunately, only the Welcome presentation was affected, and my SMEs (subject matter experts) were safe.

What Happened?

After some digging, the reason why I could not use my keyboard or mouse while in Slideshow View was due to the Kiosk setting. When a presentation is in kiosk mode, certain keyboard and mouse events are unavailable, and some PowerPoint controls do not work during the slideshow.

How Do I Fix It?

When stuck in kiosk mode, simply use the Escape key to exit the slideshow and return to normal view in PowerPoint. Follow these steps to shut off kiosk mode:

  1. Click the Set Up Slide Show button from the Slide Show ribbon.

    set up show window

    Set Up Slide Show window

  2. In the Show type group, change the setting to “Presented by a speaker (full screen)”. This is considered the best setting for projecting a presentation.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Save your PowerPoint file. (options in Set Up Show are stored in your PowerPoint!)

While you have Set Up Show open, be sure to poke around some of the other available settings… though most of these settings are now available from the ribbon in 2007 and up. Although my problem was very specifically kiosk mode, the Advance slide group settings could also have created a fairly similar issue.

How Did This Happen?

Three words: I did it.

This setting was turned on when I decided to reuse some of my welcome slides for mini-slideshows I use in between modules. I turned on the kiosk mode by accident on both slide decks instead of on the new one. When I realized that it was a problem only in one presentation, I was able to trace back the steps I made to figure out the problem.

It can happen to the best of us. In an effort to reuse and re-purpose things, accidents can and do happen. If I had given someone else this deck with kiosk mode enabled, I could have caused a lot of grief!