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Los Angeles Ethnicity: Adding a picture of your map to a PowerPoint presentation
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Print Screen output from ArcMap.
On this example of Print Screen output from ArcMap, note the pixillated edges of the ellipses and the poor legibility of the smallest city labels.
Print Screen output from ArcMap imrpoved using PDF format.
On this example, note the improved appearance of the graphics and text. This picture was created from a map exported to PDF using Adobe Acrobat, and a Print Screen of the PDF was used on the PowerPoint slide.

What: The easiest way to get a picture of your map into a PowerPoint presentation is to use your computer's Print Screen function to capture a what is called a screenshot or screen capture of your map. Then you can paste the screenshot onto a slide in your PowerPoint presentation. We have found that using the Print Screen capture of the map in ArcMap isn't as good as using a Print Screen of Adobe Acrobat's PDF file of the same map. The ArcMap development team is working on improving ArcMap's rendering quality, but you can use the technique described below in the meantime. Additionally, we describe how you can crop the image using Microsoft's Paint program and how to copy and paste the clipped picture into PowerPoint.

Why: The reason to use a PDF image of your map is that Acrobat Reader uses custom anti-aliasing technology to render lines and text. A higher quality picture of your map in your PowerPoint presentation is more legible and professional looking.

How: To create the improved image of your map, you need to crop it and save it in a different file format. Here is how we created an image of our map for use in a PowerPoint presentation (you can download the presentation from the Introduction page for this map):

  1. Because we created this map in the ArcMap data view, we first needed to make sure the ArcMap window was set to show the map at the scale for which it was designed (1:275,000).
  2. We then exported the map to PDF format.
  3. We opened the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  4. Using Ctrl-Print Screen , we captured the screen image. You will not see anything happen when you use the Print Screen function. Behind the scenes, the operating system has placed the image on its clipboard, which means you can paste it in any software application that will accepted pasted objects.
  5. To crop the image, start the Microsoft Paint program -- either choose Paste from the Edit menu or use Ctrl-V on the keyboard to paste the image into Paint.
  6. The pasted image is still selected, so you can move it up and left until the map is in the upper left corner of the paint window.
  7. To unselect the image, click on another tool and then click on the Selection Tool.
  8. From the bottom right corner of the image (use the scrollbar, if necessary), resize the image and crop it the extent of the map. Do this by moving the cursor over the tiny selection handle at the bottom right of the image, click down and drag it up and left, releasing the mouse button when you get to the upper left corner of the map area. You may need to fine tune the cropped image by repeating these last three steps.
  9. Select the image in Paint using Ctrl-A on your keyboard, and copy it to the clipboard using Ctrl-C.
  10. Open your PowerPoint presentation and on the slide you want your map to appear on, choose Paste from the Edit menu or use Ctrl-V on the keyboard to paste the image into PowerPoint.
  11. Sometimes we find that we need to resize this once it's in PowerPoint. To do that, right-click the image and choose Format Picture, or just double-click the image to get to the same dialog box. Use the Size tab to change the size.

One additional thing you can to to improve the drawing time and appearance of the image is to convert it to a BMP file. To do that, save the screenshot in Microsoft Paint to a BMP file format. Then open the BMP in Adobe Photoshop and save as a CompuServe GIF file, which creates a file that has an optimized palette of colors and it can reduce the file size dramatically. Using this BMP image in your PowerPoint can reduce the file size of your PowerPoint file as well.

what about a .tif? posted by Lynn Gionette on Apr 28 2008 11:20AM
If you save the .pdf as a .tif and import it into Powerpoint, I find it looks great too!. But I think you have to have adobe acrobat to do it. You can also crop in Powerpoint, which would probably be better to do that use Paint, since the more programs you have to use to process something, the more "used" it ends up looking. You can also right click on the cropped image in powerpoint and "save the image" as a .tif, jpeg, bmp, etc. check it out!
resizing a map in PowerPoint posted by Van Walker on May 5 2014 1:23PM
When resizing a map or an image, do so only by a corner handle, as this maintains the proper aspect ratio of the map or image - but only if the 'Lock aspect ratio' box is checked in the Size options of the Format Shape properties. The resizing of a map, photo, or image by anything other than a corner handle with the 'Lock aspect ratio' box checked will distort or stretch the image inappropriately
Thanks! posted by Aileen Buckley on May 5 2014 1:25PM
Thanks for the tip on resizing images in PowerPoint!

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