I have a PDF scan of a line drawing that someone made by hand. I'd like to turn it into an editable PowerPoint diagram. The image is pretty simple, like a cartoon with no shading, and has some text labels, similar to the one at the end of this but in PDF format. Is there a good way to do this, besides just trying to select by eye the shapes in PowerPoint that come close to the drawing?

  • You want to convert the drawing to an editable diagram, or you just want to "take a picture" of the drawing and use it as such in the PPT? Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 14:08
  • 1
    Sounds like it might be best to redraw the image in a vector editing program. An (automatic) image trace filter might work OK but it depends on the image. You might get better responses if you show an example image of what you're trying to do. PowerPoint is most likely not the best program to re-draw the image.
    – AndrewH
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 15:47
  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. Why can't you use the scan itself? Can you share an example image showing what you are trying to do? It's quite hard to make recommendations without seeing anything. Thanks.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 17:13
  • @Mario S. E. I am seeking to get an editable PowerPoint diagram, instead of just the scan, so I edited the question. I also added a link to a similar type of drawing as the one I'm working with.
    – KAE
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


There's no direct path from an image to editable Powerpoint drawing.

Best case is your PDF is vector based and you could open the PDF in a vector editor (Illustrator, Inkscape, etc) then copy/paste elements from the vector app to Powerpoint. Whether or not a PDF is vector based is anyone's guess until it's examined/opened. "Scans" are rarely, if ever, vector-based.

Barring opening the PDF in a vector app, you would need other software to trace the drawing first, such as Illustrator, Inkscape, or online tracing apps. Then you could copy/paste elements from that other app into PowerPoint. However, getting a good, viable, trace is another matter entirely. And, as with any tracing regardless of the app used, type will never be actual, live, editable, type.

For PowerPoint, when the drawing merely consists of simple shapes and some type, it's often much faster (and more reliable) to merely redraw the diagram within PowerPoint, using PowerPoint tools.

Microsoft office applications aren't really known for more advanced operations where images are concerned.

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