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It’s difficult for two or more people to work on a PowerPoint presentation simultaneously, as Office doesn’t have the same collaboration features offered by Google Slides. One way around this problem is to combine PowerPoint presentations into a single file.

Merging two PowerPoints can be done by either importing the slides using the “Reuse Slides” option or by using the copy-and-paste method instead. These instructions are designed to work for the latest versions of Office, including Office 2016 and 2019, as well as Office 365 and Online. You may find the instructions vary for older versions of PowerPoint.

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Combining PowerPoint Files Using the Reuse Slides Option

The “best” method for merging PowerPoint files, or at least the method that PowerPoint officially supports, is to use the “Reuse Slides” option. This feature merges the content of one presentation file into another, matching the theme of the new presentation file in the process.

To do this, open your PowerPoint presentation file—this is the file you’re looking to merge into. In the “Home” tab on the ribbon bar, select the “New Slide” button and then click the “Reuse Slides” option at the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears.

Click Home > New Slide > Reuse Slides in PowerPoint to begin merging files

A menu will appear on the right. Click the “Browse” button to locate the PowerPoint presentation file that you want to merge into your open file.

Click the Browse button in the Reuse Slides menu to begin copying slides from another presentation

Locate your second PowerPoint file and then click the “Open” button to insert it.

Locate your second PowerPoint file, then press the Open button.

A list of slides from your second presentation will appear in the “Reuse Slides” menu on the right.

First, you’ll need to decide on the formatting for your inserted slides. If you want to keep the format (including the theme) from the original presentation, make sure that the “Keep Source Formatting” checkbox is enabled at the bottom of the “Reuse Slides” menu. If you don’t check this, your inserted slides will have the style of the open presentation applied to them.

Press the Keep Source Formatting box to keep the formatting of your existing slides before inserting them into a new PowerPoint file

To insert individual slides, right-click a slide and then select the “Insert Slide” option. Otherwise, click the “Insert All Slides” to copy all of the slides into your open PowerPoint presentation.

Right-click and press "Insert Slide" or "Insert All Slides" to insert slides from your other presentation into your open PowerPoint file

Your slide (or slides) will then be inserted into the open presentation, immediately underneath the currently selected slide. With your PowerPoint files combined, you can then save your merged file by clicking File > Save or Save As.

Copying and Pasting PowerPoint Slides

While the “Reuse Slides” method allows you to change the format of your slides before you insert them, you can also combine PowerPoint files by copying the slides from one open PowerPoint file and inserting them into another.

To do this, open a PowerPoint presentation and select the slides you want to copy from the slide selection menu on the left. From there, right-click on the selected slides and then press “Copy” to copy them to your clipboard.

Select the slides you're looking to copy, then right-click > Copy to copy them to your clipboard

Switch to the PowerPoint presentation you’re looking to paste your slides into and then, in the slide selection menu on the left, right-click at the position you want to stick your slides.

To paste the slides and apply the theme of the open presentation file to them, click the “Use Destination Theme” paste option.

Press the "Use Destination Theme" paste option to paste slides and apply the formatting of the open PowerPoint file to them

To keep the original theme and formatting, select the “Keep Source Formatting” paste option instead.

To keep the original theme applied to your pasted slides, press the "Keep Source Formatting" paste option

The slides you paste will then appear in your new presentation at the position you selected. You can then save the merged file by clicking File > Save or Save As.

Ben Stockton Ben Stockton
Ben Stockton is a freelance tech writer from the United Kingdom. In a past life, he was a UK college lecturer, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, he's been a tech writer, writing how-to articles and tutorials for MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Cloudwards.net. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing.
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