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How to transform existing PowerPoint and PDF training into interactive e-learning
Nov 16, 2021
45 minutes
Jordan Javadi
Onboarding Specialist

Jordan 0:02 — So, welcome everyone. As I said, my name is Jordan. I’m an onboarding specialist at Easygenerator. And today’s webinar is all about transforming your trainings that are maybe in PowerPoint or PDF formats into an interactive e-learning using Easygenerator. As I mentioned, this webinar is being recorded, and the recording will be sent out either a bit later this week or maybe next week. And to give you an idea of what I’ll be covering today, here is a bit of the agenda. So first, I’ll be talking about why you might actually want to choose e-learning when you’re moving away from PowerPoint and PDF, and then what are some of the things that you should actually consider when you’re moving towards e-learning? What are the options to actually make this move? And finally, how can you do this within Easygenerator itself?


I’ll be going over three possible ways that you can convert your PowerPoints and PDFs into e-learning. But then I’ll also jump into Easygenerator as well and show you how it’s actually done. So, it’s the more practical side of things. That will be at the end. If you have any questions during this session, please make sure you use the Q&A function, not the chat. My colleague, Easygenerator’s, own celebrity, Tessa, is monitoring the Q&A for questions. But there’ll also be a slot at the end for a Q&A. If there’s any unanswered questions, we’ll address those towards the end.

Why choose e-learning?

And with that said, I’ll go ahead and dive into it. So, the first thing I’ll talk about is what it actually means to move online and why you might actually want to choose e-learning when you do so. And so, when you’re moving away from face-to-face, in-person trainings, it can actually mean a few different things. So, it could be something like a live instructor led training, such as a webinar, like via Zoom, what we’re doing right now. It could also be a pre-recorded training session that you distribute to learners via maybe email, maybe you send it out on Teams or Slack, something like that.

It’s important to note that these two methods are still instructor-led. So, there is a third option for moving away from in-person training. And that is to make the training available for learners to take in their own time. This would be asynchronous learning. And asynchronous learning is learning that’s led by the learner themselves — it can be completed in their own time; it can be completed at their own pace. It’s independent of any other learner. And none of these methods are necessarily better than the other options. But today, I’m really going to be focusing on moving towards asynchronous learning. And that’s because courses that you create within Easygenerator are an example of asynchronous learning.


Learners are able to start and stop the course at their own pace whenever it suits them. And there are quite a few benefits to moving to e-learning, which is what I’ll discuss now. So here we have six benefits, or six reasons why you might want to choose e-learning. And I’ll just give a quick description of each of these. So, timesaving for creator when you’re comparing creating. When you’re comparing a face-to-face instructor led training to an e-learning, with an e-learning, you only have to create it one time.

You create the course once you can make it available for everyone or for whoever needs to have access to it for potentially an unlimited amount of time. You don’t need to offer the live session over and over again like you would an in-person or live training. This also saves time because you don’t have to re-record the lesson and send out another email, for example, if you update the PowerPoint or you update the video that you’ve recorded.  

And updating the content regularly is also really fast. So, the ease of constant maintenance because when you create a course and Easygenerator, you really only need to maintain it or update it within Easygenerator itself. You don’t need to update a PowerPoint presentation and then re-recorded or updated using other tools. Everything is sort of self-contained within the Easygenerator platform.  


And the course accessibility, especially during times of COVID, I think, is really important. With e-learning, learners are going to be able to access the course whenever it suits them. If you are offering live trainings at the moment, you might have to offer them multiple times a day to cover all time zones. This is something that you won’t have to do with e-learning. 


Jordan 4:27 — And also with e-learning, you can always be sure that learners are engaged because you can add questions to your courses. You can add different types of interactive elements. And unlike something like a pre-recorded video lecture or just a static PowerPoint, there’s not really a way for you to measure interactivity or to measure engagement, I should say. You can’t really make a PowerPoint interactive either, or a PDF interactive. And when you use features such as question responses and provide learners the ability to download certificates, you’re also allowing all learners to be acknowledged so they can basically be proud of their achievements.


And if you’re tracking results for your courses within Easygenerator, you’ll be able to determine things such as if questions are too difficult or too easy, if learners are finishing your course too quickly or too slowly, this might influence your decision to potentially add some additional content to the course — maybe split a course up into multiple shorter courses. You can track the learners progress to make sure that they’re successfully progressing through the contents and actually understanding everything because you can see what scores they have. With PowerPoint or with PDF, there’s really no way to track even simple things like, did the person open the training, let alone tracking? Did they understand it?  


But there are still a few things that you need to consider when you move to e-learning. And it does sound like a bit like I’m bashing PowerPoint, but I’m not trying to. I’m using PowerPoint right now. And PowerPoint does have its place. But that place is not necessarily in training people remotely. PowerPoint is really good for in-person presentations that are led by an instructor, situations where interactivity between learners or between learners and the instructor is possible.  


And PDF also has its place. PDFs can be really can be really good for short one-pagers, summaries, handouts, things like that. And PowerPoint and PDFs are not so great for things like a pre-recorded training session, because again, there’s really no interactivity there. And they’re also not so great to send out to learners to review on their own. There’s no way that you’ll be able to track results or gain any type of insights into areas that maybe learners are struggling with. And, and so there are also some other things you need to consider.  


And mainly, it’s important to know that just moving your content online, or moving your PowerPoint or your PDF into Easygenerator, doesn’t automatically make it better. There are some things that you need to do to ensure that your learners are going to have the best experience possible. So you can see on the slide here on the left, those are some of the things that you should add to make sure there’s a positive learner experience. So doing things like adding interactivity, in the form of questions, maybe using some of our features, like the hotspots or the Show More block. But also adding acknowledgments, setting up question responses, maybe enabling the certificate downloads. And using the data that’s gathered to revise your training, to direct your training strategy going forward based on the results of courses that you have created.  


If you don’t add some of these elements to your course, it may not be a positive experience, and may not have the biggest impact potential as it could if you did add these elements. And so, it really is much more than just moving the material to the online environment. You really do need to offer an experience that’s going to lead to learning success. 


How to convert PPT and PDF

And so, you’re probably wondering, okay, how do I do this? What are my options in Easygenerator? So, there’s a few options I’m going to talk about. First of all, you can see here, the first option is rethinking your training and starting from scratch. So, in an ideal world, this would be rethinking your entire training strategy, essentially rebuilding your entire trainings from scratch as Easygenerator courses. You would open up Easygenerator, start adding brand new sections, start adding all of your contents, creating questions, learning objectives, etc. This is going to have the highest impact potential because you’re creating the content specifically for a remote learner, instead of just adapting an existing training.


Jordan 8:50 — However, this is also going to take the most amount of time. So, we’re not going to really go over this today. You’re here to learn how to do this quickly. And so, I’m going to talk about these other three methods here. And so, I’ll just give a brief description of these. And then I will jump over into Easygenerator and actually show you how you would do these.

Import PPT into Easygenerator

So, the first one here is importing your PowerPoint and editing it. This is the newest option. So, this is the PowerPoint importer that we just added to our tool about I think two months ago now. Essentially, what this allows you to do is to upload a PowerPoint presentation, which will automatically be converted into an Easygenerator course. So, all of the text and the images and the videos and even the audio will be extracted and then will be inserted into a course that’s automatically generated. And then from there, you can add your questions. You can add interactive elements, things like that.


You can also add your slides as images. And what I mean by that is in PowerPoint it’s actually possible to export your entire PowerPoint presentation or just individual slides as an image, and then within Easygenerator, you can just add those slides as an image using the image block as you normally can. And when you do this, you can still add interactivity between the slides, you can add interactivity on top of slides, you could use slides as hotspots, for example. So, this takes a little bit more time but it’s very flexible, as well.


And the last option that we’ll talk about is embedding your entire PowerPoint slide deck or your PDF into a course. This is one of the fastest ways to do it. And basically, what this entails is embedding the entire presentation or the entire PDF, into a single Easygenerator content page. This takes quite literally, maybe 10 seconds. And then you’re still able to add interactivity before the PowerPoint or before the PDF, or after the PowerPoint or the PDF. And so, you’re still able to add some interactivity, adding questions, and you’re still able to track results. So, you can see who’s opened it, who’s answered the questions, etc. And this is maybe the best method to quickly get a bunch of content online at once. And I just want to stress here as well, that all of these options have a high impact potential.


But in order to actually reach that potential, so to speak, you do need to do things like add interactivity, and not simply embed or import or copy the slides into Easygenerator. You really do need to do things like add questions, maybe use the hotspots, add learning objectives, etc.


And so now what I’ll do is I’ll actually open up Easygenerator, and I will walk you through how each of these are done. So just give me one moment to do that. Alright, so sorry, I have many things on my screen at the moment. Alright, so in Easygenerator, to use the PowerPoint importer, which is the first thing I’ll talk about. Once you’re signed in, and you’re going to create a new course, you’ll have the option here to import a PowerPoint.


Before I get into this, there are a few technical requirements to go over quickly. The main ones are that this supports PowerPoints that are up to 100 megabytes and 100 slides. This also supports PPTX files only that that has been the standard PowerPoint format for over 15 years. But some of you might have some really retro PowerPoints from the 90s. That’s kind of cool, but you will need to save those as a PPTX for this to import. When you upload the PowerPoints, I’m just going to quickly find my PowerPoints. This will then, in one click, upload the presentation and create the course.


I’ll give a quick walkthrough of what’s actually been done here. At the top, this is the course title. And this comes from whatever you’ve named the PowerPoint file. But if you wanted to change this, you can easily edit it or rename it as you want. It will create a single section inside of Easygenerator. And inside of the section. Each of these content pages that you see here are all slides from the PowerPoint. The titles of these content pages come from the titles of the PowerPoint slides. And before I do anything else, what I first want to do is I’m going to open up the original PowerPoints and open up this e-learning just so you have an idea of what this actually might look like in reality.


So, this is the PowerPoint presentation that I just uploaded. It is quite basic, so don’t get too excited. So, here we have our title slide, we have a table of contents, we have some text, a table, some images with some accompanying text, and then a final slide with some text and an image. And I’ll compare that now to the course that’s been created here. So, by previewing this, I’ll be able to see without me making any adjustments, what my e-learning is going to look like potentially. So, you’ll notice I don’t have an introduction. So that’s something that you’ll probably want to write, you probably want to give this an icon and a proper title. But inside of the sections here we have our title slide, not so relevant here and in e-learning, so this can just be deleted. That’s no problem. We have our sort of table of contents. We have just a little introduction text. Then we have our table.


So, it’s also good to note that if any of the texts in your PowerPoint will retain its formatting. So, if the text is bold, if it’s italics, if it’s a link, if it’s in a table, that will carry over after it’s imported. And then here we have a page with some text and some images. So, this is actually not exactly right. So, in the PowerPoint, this is actually two columns with some text on top, and then the image — not a problem, I can show you how easy it is to fix. And then we have our last page, which is just an image and some text.


So, the first thing to sort of note here is that once your content is in the tool, now you can actually start improving it. So, you might want to, for example, give it a section title. So, I might call it something like, introduction to Easygenerator. And then I want to add a learning objective. So, adding a learning objective is actually really important. And it’s a really nice way to add a bit of interactivity to the course. You might be wondering why adding a learning objective is interactive, and I will show you in just a moment. So, I’m just going to paste in our learning objective. And then I’ll quickly preview this course one more time.


And the learning objective is important because it’s the first thing that the learners are going to see when they start your course. So, whenever they open the section, I have my learning objective. So, this is going to give the learner an idea of what’s important as I go through this, what’s the outcome? What’s the outcome of this training? Why am I taking this training, that sort of thing. So, you’re already sort of helping them have an idea of what they should really be paying attention to as they work through your course. And you can also do things like adding a section icon, which I’ll just quickly throw one on here. And so, we’ve already just cleaned this up a bit and made it look a bit nicer.


But everything that’s imported imports in a way that’s completely editable. So, if I open up one of these pages, you’ll see that everything can still be changed. So, this was the page that’s a bit different from the PowerPoint. So essentially, this text here is the label for this image. First of all, this image is way too small. So, you can resize it by just clicking on it, and then clicking the Resize button. And this will make it fill in the available space. I’ll do that for the other image here as well just to make them equal. But then if I wanted to change this text — like maybe I want to get rid of these bullet points, I can change that I can resize this, if I want to change the sizing, I can do that as well here. And then I can move this image to be underneath this text because this text is basically the title or the label. And all I need to do is just drag it.


So, you could spend more time here making it look as nice as you want. But the point is that you can really easily manipulate everything once it’s been imported into the tool. And so, if I wanted to add additional content, that’s also possible. So maybe I decide, okay, I actually want to add a video to this page as well. I could just come here and add a video, just drag it in. If I wanted to maybe add a voiceover. There’s no difference at this point from a course that’s been created entirely from scratch versus a course that’s been created by importing the PowerPoint.


But you’ll also probably want to be adding questions as well. So once you import your PowerPoint presentation, now you can start adding those elements that I mentioned that are important to making it an effective course. And one of those elements is adding questions. And to add questions, you would just simply drag in any of the 10 question types here into the tool. So maybe I want to have this question, maybe here towards the end. And then I’ll just open this question up and set it up. So, let me first — at the top, I’ll give it a question title. And I’ll just quickly paste or write in some answer choices. And maybe one more. So, I’ll just mark which answers are correct here by checking them. Let me say, check all that apply.


And adding my question, that’s already a great way to add some interactivity. But you can even go further than this. With questions, you can add question responses. And that’s what you’ll see here. The question responses are basically forms of feedback. It’s what appears after the learner submits the correct answer or an incorrect answer. So, in this situation, or for this question, I should say, I’m asking about you know, what ways can you publish a course and Easygenerator? For those of you that aren’t familiar with Easygenerator so far, or yet, you can publish courses using a private link and to a Learning Management System (LMS) with a SCORM file.


So, if someone was to get this question, correct, maybe I could provide them with some feedback where I’d just say, you know, great job, give a bit of context, etc. But if they get the question wrong, you can also set that feedback up. And it’s a bit more important to set feedback up for people that get the question wrong because this is potentially another learning opportunity for them. So I’m just going to add some additional feedback here. If they get this question incorrect, I’ll just give them a bit of an explanation as to what the correct answer actually is. And so, by doing this, I’ve added a lot of interactivity, I’ve added another learning moment to a PowerPoint that already exists with not much — it didn’t take much time, it didn’t take much effort.


And so, this is the first way of converting your PowerPoints into an e-learning using the PowerPoint import function. And you’re still able to take advantage of everything that Easygenerator has to offer. So, all of the questions you can add voiceovers, you can add whatever content you want, you can add videos, whatever it is that you need. So, I mentioned that, you know, we don’t need this title slide — just get rid of it, just delete it, click the Delete button. And if you do have PowerPoints that are really long, this PowerPoint is only about six slides, and you may want to split it up into multiple sections. And if that’s the case, you can just add a new section by dragging in this new section from the left. And you can move the pages between the sections just by dragging using these arrows here.


So that way, you can sort of create a more structured course that’s more focused and makes a bit more sense as they go through it. And it’s not just one very long section. So, this is the first method of converting your PowerPoint using the PowerPoint import function.

Exporting slides as images

What I’m going to talk about now is exporting your slides as images. So, I’m just going to move these back out of the section just to clear this out. So here we will have export, slides as images. To do this, I’m actually going to start in PowerPoint. And first I’m going to add a content page. And then I’ll open this up. And then in PowerPoint, you’re able to export your PowerPoint presentation as a set of images. And to do this, you click File and then you click either Save a Copy or Save As — it just depends on how you have the file saved. And whenever you do this, you’ll see under the file name, you can change the file type. And from here, you can save it as an image file. So, you could save it as a JPEG or a PNG. So here I’ll use a PNG.


And when you save it now, it’s going to ask if you want to export all of the slides in the presentation, or only the currently viewed slide. If you export all of the slides, it will create a new folder on your computer with all of these images in it. So, I’ll just show you what that will look like first. So, I’ve already saved this. So, I’m just going to find my folder here. So, you can see that I have a folder with the same title as the PowerPoint presentation. And inside of that, these are all of my slides that have been exported as an image. So, if I open up one of these images, you can see it’s just the slide itself, but in an image format. So once you’ve done this, you can simply add those slides to your Easygenerator course using the image block. So, I’ll just drag in an image block here. And I will upload one of my slides here. So, let’s find a good one. So, let’s say I want to import — yeah, why not this one.


Jordan 23:45 — And after you add the slide here as an image, you’ll have this image editor, which will let you move it around crop it, you know, you can zoom, you can resize it. And since the slide itself has a title, we can actually just sort of crop that out, and then we can just write the title at the top of the page here. So, instead, we’ll just write publishing at the top. And then you can add multiple slides to a single page by just adding additional image blocks. If you wanted to, you can put you know two slides next to each other. But you can also use your slides as hotspots. So, for those of you that haven’t used the hotspot function yet, I’ll give you a bit of a demo of that.


So, under the interactive options, you have this hotspot on an image. If you add this, you’ll be able to first choose an image. So, let’s say I have here an image of this table. It’s all the different things the two different things that you can create at Easygenerator. You can create a hotspot by just clicking and dragging on the image like this. And this is an area where, if the learner hovers over it, additional information appears. So, in this case, maybe you want to explain what actually results tracking mean in this case. So, explain results tracking. When the learners actually come to your come to this page in your course, they’ll see that you have this hotspot and this slide on a single page. So just let this load up. Let’s try that again. There we go.


So, you can see this top image is the hotspot. So, if I hover over this, “I,” you get this additional context. So, this is a way that you can extend your current setup with very little extra work. So, you’re just extending the content that’s already been created. So, you might have some really nicely designed slides that you just want to sort of import the whole slide and maybe extend that content by adding some hotspots. Maybe you have some charts or some graphs, you could put these hotspots on there, and give some context to that data that’s being shown in those charts and graphs. And if you wanted to add questions, you can add questions before or after these pages. So, I could maybe add a question before the page, add some questions afterward. And then you could have as many of these content pages as you want. And these pages can all have as many images as you want. So, you could have one or two slides per page, or you could have more, it’s really up to you.


This is the second way of getting your content into the tool. And the last method that I’m going to go over works for both PowerPoints and PDFs. And that is to embed your entire PowerPoints or entire PDF documents into your course.

Embed entire PPT or PDF

For this, I’m going to add a new section again, just to keep ourselves a bit organized. So, let’s say embed. So, I’ll start off by just adding a content page again, inside of this content page. On the left side, you’ll have the option to add a document. So, from the documents menu, you can drag in a document. Whenever you do that, there’s always going to be a placeholder. So, the placeholder object for the document is a PDF. So, I’ll just show you how this would work with a PDF first. You would upload the file here, just click Change documents. And then you can upload your PDF or PowerPoints.


Then when the learner actually comes to this page in your course, they’ll see the entire — in this case is going to be a PDF, but I’ll show you a PowerPoint in a second — they’ll see your entire PDF here; they can go through it as much as they want. They’re able to download it here using this download button. And potentially they could print it just depending on what browser settings they have and things like that. This on the left is the file name. So, it’s important to make sure that the file name is relevant because they can see that. And then you’re able to add questions before and after your document. So maybe you want to have a little bit of a pre-assessment before they actually come to your PDF, or your PowerPoint. Or maybe you want to have a post-assessment, just a knowledge check after they navigate through that PDF or the or the PowerPoint. I’ll show you now what it would look like if we uploaded a PowerPoint here instead.


So, for a PowerPoint, I’m just going to upload my PowerPoint. And it’ll take a take a few seconds to upload there. So, just give it some time. Alright, so there we are. And at the top, I’m going to preview this so you’ll see how the PowerPoint will be displayed for the learners in this case. So just like with the PDF, they’ll be able to go through the entire presentation, they’ll have these navigation arrows here at the bottom, they can click through the presentation. They’re again able to download it. And on the left, this is the course title, and they are able to — or sorry, the file name — they’re able to see that. And if you do have a voiceover in the PowerPoint, for example, that will play here as well. So that’s still possible. Just important to know that the document file size limit is 10 megabytes. So, if you do have a large PowerPoint presentation that has maybe some animation or maybe some videos or some or some voiceovers, embedding it like this may not be possible due to the file size limitation. But it’s always worth a try if it’s not so long.


And again, just like with the PDF, though you can still add additional content, you can add additional questions or questions in general just by dragging them in before or after that presentation. So, it’s a bit less flexible in the sense that you can only add questions before or after the entire presentation or the entire PDF. When you compare that to exporting it — your slides — ss a set of images, for example, you have the flexibility to add questions between the slides, and things like that. But that’s why this is one of the better options if you just want to get a lot of content online quickly. But it does have that limitation of being a bit less flexible with where you can add your questions and add your interactivity. Just to give a little bit of a summary of all the three methods that I went over today. So, the PowerPoint import feature is probably going to be the best in terms of the functionality. So, it’s a one-click solution to get your content into the tool.


But I again want to stress that, you know, Easygenerator is not PowerPoint. So, you are going to have to make some changes to the content to make it, you know, flow the best. And in e-learning sort of environments, you’ll need to add questions and add things to make it interactive. It’s not automatically better just because it’s online. And you can export all of your slides as a set of images, you can choose to just pick and choose a few of the slides, for example, maybe that you want to add to your course. Maybe there’s a very nice image or chart or something that you do want to have in your course exactly as it is in PowerPoint. And then the last method was to embed your entire slide deck or PDF file into a single page. And that’s really great to get it online really quickly. And you’re still able to add knowledge checks and questions. And you can have results tracking as well with that.


But again, adding interactivity, adding learning objectives, that’s really important. That really should be your ultimate goal as well once you get the content into the tool. So now we do have a bit of time here at the end. So maybe we can do a bit of a Q&A. Oh, sorry. It started all over again. Let me go back to the last slide. So, Tessa, are there any questions that I should address?

Live Q&A session

Tessa 32:17 — Yes. So, there were quite a lot of questions coming in, I was able to answer most of them. Before we jump into the questions, I’d like to share that if you would like a demo with one of our specialists — and that way you can ask one-on-one questions, I did see some questions that are more relevant for that — I’m going to share a link with you all in the chat. So, you can pick out a date and time and have one-on-one conversation to ask more of those specific questions. So, feel free — oh, I didn’t send it to everyone, let me just switch that up. So, the link you can hopefully see now in the chat. So that being said, yeah, a few questions came in one of them — Jordan, hopefully you can answer because I’m not entirely sure — yeah, images, tables, and fonts will be transferred. Can graphs and SmartArt be transferred as well?


Jordan 33:11 — Yeah, good question. So, the short answer is no. So, SmartArt and shapes, and things like that — those won’t transfer over. I believe that’s because they are proprietary Microsoft formats. But there is a workaround. So, within PowerPoints, maybe I can actually spend just a moment showing this, you can save elements as images. So, I’m trying to see that, let’s see here, you can save your SmartArt and things like that as an actual image. So, if you have smart art in your presentation, you can click on it. And if you have multiple pieces of it that, together, create a graphic, you can hold down the control key and select multiple elements. And then if you right-click it, you’ll have an option to save it as a picture. And if you do this, that picture will be a regular image that you can then upload to Easygenerator. So that’s sort of a workaround to get that SmartArt into the tool.


Tessa 34:08 — Yes, perfect. Does the same apply to graphs, by the way, just to check?


Jordan 34:14 — Graphs I’m not entirely sure about. If it’s, yeah, a graph I believe would be a shape object as well. So, you could save it as an image by right-clicking and Save As Image.


Tessa 34:29 — Perfect. Then another question. Yeah, when PowerPoint slides are imported, can the animation be kept an Easygenerator too?


Jordan 34:39 — So with animations with PowerPoint, so we will upload the PowerPoint based on the sort of, finalized version of the slide —meaning that if the animation is, every time you click, some more information appears on the slide, the content that will be imported into Easygenerator is the everything on the slide. So, because Easygenerator doesn’t really have an animation function. So, it just imports all of the content onto the slide or into the page, if that makes sense.


Tessa 35:09 — Yeah, absolutely. See, I see a question as well, if I embed a PowerPoint and change the PowerPoint later, will the new version be reflected in the e-learning?


Jordan 35:23 — No, it wouldn’t. So, the file that you upload to Easygenerator that’s sort of — it’s uploaded as-is. It’s not in any way connected to the PowerPoint that’s living on your computer. So, if you update the PowerPoint on your computer, you’ll need to re-embed it into the course. So, you just upload it again.


Tessa 35:43 — Alright. Let’s see, another question. Can Keynote be uploaded, or is it PowerPoint only? So, Jordan, I believe it’s only PPTX files, right?


Jordan 35:52 — So, Keynote, I believe, is Apple’s PowerPoint alternative. I don’t know if — I imagined that you can save a keynote presentation as a PPTX file. I know, for example, Google Slides, you can. So, the Keynote file wouldn’t be accepted. But if you can convert it to a PPTX file that would be able to be uploaded into the tool.