TutorialsUsing Ipe figures in PowerPoint

PowerPoint 2019, and the (newer) version of PowerPoint included with Office 365, are able to read SVG figures as vector graphics. As Ipe is able to create SVG files, this creates a way to get Ipe figures in PowerPoint, in such a way that they can still be edited in PowerPoint (as PowerPoint shapes).

Step 1: Ipe to SVG

You can export Ipe files to SVG by using File > Export as SVG.

Alternatively, there is a terminal command iperender to do it. The syntax is

$ iperender -svg -page <page_number> -view <view_number> <input>.ipe <output>.svg

On Windows, you'll need to replace iperender by the full path name of iperender.exe. As this is cumbersome, it is easier to make a batch file like this:

"D:/Downloads/ipe-7.2.9/bin/iperender.exe" -svg -page 1 -view 1 %1 %~d1%~p1%~n1.svg

Replace the path to iperender.exe, and save the batch file as ipetosvg.bat. Now you can drag-and-drop an .ipe file onto the icon of this batch file, and the figure will be converted to an .svg file in the same directory.

Warning If you're on Windows and iperender.exe doesn't seem to be working properly, check if you have Ipe 7.2.8 or newer. Earlier Windows builds had an issue causing the -svg option to be missing.

Step 2: SVG to PowerPoint

An SVG file can simply be dragged onto PowerPoint to insert it. At that point, it is a non-editable object.

Warning Recent versions of PowerPoint seem to have a bug where text exported by Ipe gets corrupted by PowerPoint's SVG renderer after saving and re-opening the presentation). This has to do with the fact that Ipe exports text as references to glyphs, and PowerPoint apparently cannot properly handle that. A workaround is to open the generated SVG file in Inkscape, select all objects, press Ctrl+Shift+G a few times to ungroup everything, and press Alt+Shift+D. This replaces the glyph references by individual objects that PowerPoint has no issues with.

If you want to be able to edit the figure with PowerPoint's drawing tools, you need to convert it to PowerPoint shapes. Note that this process is not perfect; some features will be lost (for example text labels, gradients, and clipping paths). The conversion can be done by right-clicking the figure and selecting Convert to Shape. This will bring up a dialog warning that this may lose formatting; just click Yes. The figure is now ready to be edited in PowerPoint (you may need to ungroup it first).