Available to members of the company’s early access program, the new Transform option can be sampled via the Microsoft Word web client, under the File > Transform menu.
When selected, the feature will prompt the user to pick out a visual style to apply to the presentation, before generating a preview in PowerPoint and dropping the presentation file into OneDrive.
While the Transform facility is still undergoing early access testing, Microsoft expects the feature to roll out to all users in the near future.
The company did not respond immediately to our request for clarification over whether the feature will be extended to desktop clients as well.
Turn your Word document into a PowerPoint presentation
While the prospect of automating the painstaking presentation building process is an enticing one, the Transform feature is currently limited in a number of respects.
For now, the feature only works with English language documents and, even then, only when using certain web browsers. The now defunct Internet Explorer is not supported, perhaps predictably, but the Transform feature is also incompatible with Apple’s Safari, the second largest browser in the world.
The feature is also limited to text resources only and will leave behind any multimedia content present in the source document.
“We only support text content for the transformation to presentation, other media content is not currently available. You can add your own media to the presentation after you have transformed your Word document,” explained Mohit Anand, who works on PowerPoint at Microsoft.
The company has conceded that the quality of converted presentations may be a little patchy at first, but claims the Transform feature will eventually be able to distinguish effectively between different document sections and migrate over any accompanying images, videos, fonts and more.