PDF presentations: How to present a PDF effectively.

A man gives a professional PDF presentation to a room of people using Adobe Acrobat.

Easily include PDF documents in presentations. Learn how to present PDF files and convert them into Microsoft PowerPoint slideshows.

Learn how to present a PDF in a way that can engage your audience and share your ideas effectively, no matter what tools you have available. You may have to share information from a PDF document when you’re getting ready to give a presentation at work or school. But what’s the best way to display a PDF if you want to keep your audience interested? Read on to learn two ways to give an engaging and eye-catching PDF presentation.

How to present a PDF.

You have a few options for presenting your PDF slideshow. PDF presentation mode is available on most PDF editing software but not necessarily in a PDF viewer. You can also, of course, convert your PDF to a PowerPoint presentation. The simplest way to present your PDF is to share your screen or project the view of your PDF from a free PDF viewer. Check out the instructions for these various methods below.

Option 1: Use PDF presentation mode.

If you use PDF presentation mode, you won’t have to convert your PDF and worry about formatting issues. You will also have preference options as you learn how to put a PDF in presentation mode. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Select File > Preferences > Full Screen View to select options for your presentation.
  3. Select View > Full Screen.

The options will allow you to decide things like whether you will time your slides and which transitions you want between slides. You can also use a similar process with Preview on your Apple device.

How to present a PDF document

With Adobe Acrobat online services, it’s fast and easy to convert PDFs into PowerPoint presentations. Simply follow these three steps:

A man gives a professional PDF presentation to a room of people using Adobe Acrobat.

  1. Navigate to Acrobat online services and launch the Convert PDF to PowerPoint tool.
  2. Drag and drop your PDF file into the converter or click Select A File to locate it.
  3. Download your presentation once the converter has finished.

You can now open the slideshow as you would any ordinary PowerPoint presentation. And as a bonus, you can edit the text, images, and formatting directly in PowerPoint.

Option 3: Present a PDF using a PDF reader window.

The easiest way to include a PDF file in your presentation is simply by using your PDF reader. Most video call applications let you share your screen and display the PDF to others. If you’re at an in-person meeting, you can also project the PDF reader onto a screen.

To share your screen with your PDF reader in a call, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Open your PDF in your PDF reader, and leave it open.
  2. Begin your video call.
  3. Select the screen-sharing option.
  4. Select the PDF reader as the screen you’d like to share.
  5. Select View > Full Screen.

Although letting others see your PDF reader may be easy, it isn’t always the most optimal way to give a presentation. It can be slow to scroll through the pages of the PDF file — plus, depending on the orientation, you may also not be able to display an entire page while keeping text at a legible size.

Why create PDF presentations vs. other methods?

PDF slideshows have several advantages. You might be creating a presentation from a PDF as your original document. In that case, there’s no need to complicate your process and convert your PDF into another format. Unlike other presentation methods like PowerPoint, you can present your PDF on any device. PDF presentations also tend to use less storage. Additionally, since one of the main purposes of a PDF is to retain the formatting, you can trust that your fonts and structure will remain stable for your presentation.

What is PDF presentation mode?

PDF presentation mode is the simplest option for presenting a PDF. It doesn’t require converting your file or downloading extra software. It allows you to present your PDF in full screen and use your keys to toggle between pages. You can create transitions between your pages and even time your slides. One limitation of PDF presentation mode is that it doesn’t support videos.

Can I see my notes in PDF presentation mode?

While putting your PDF in full-screen presentation mode shows your slides neatly, it doesn’t show your presenter notes separately on your personal device. If you need to have notes on hand, you can always print them out or give yourself concise notes as reminders on the slides themselves. If you have converted a PowerPoint presentation to a PDF, your notes won’t be lost. They’ll be available for you to look at under Options > Publish > Notes pages.

Tips to help improve your PDF presentation skills.

Presenting in front of a group, large or small, can sometimes feel daunting. Here are some quick tips to improve your PDF presentation skills:

More resources on PDFs.

PDF is one of the most relied-upon formats in professional settings, so using it directly for a presentation will be very convenient. Now that you’ve learned how to present a PDF effectively, here are more resources to work with PDFs:

Explore what more you can do with Adobe Acrobat online services to easily convert, edit, and sign PDFs - and more.