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I have a folder containing a bunch of ppts, each of which I'd like to convert to an individual pdf. I'm using Ubuntu 10.04 with whatever comes installed on it.

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I think you meant "a folder containing a bunch of ppts" not pdfs. – Marcel Stimberg Nov 3 '10 at 12:35
Your question need better explanation. Are you trying to convert each ppt to a pdf, or all the ppts to a single pdf with different pages, or ...? – frabjous Nov 3 '10 at 18:06
up vote 26 down vote accepted

You can use unoconv. It's available in the repositories, so you can just apt-get it: unoconv Install unoconv

Note that the info in the web page is outdated. Use man or type unoconv -h to get actual command line options. It works like this:

unoconv -f pdf presentation.odt

This command will create a presentation.pdf file.

I have only used it to batch convert ods to pdf and it works perfectly. I haven't tried it with presentations (but for a quick test now), but I expect that it will work nicelly.

Note that it will not work on Lucid (10.04), because of a bug in the python-openoffice biddings. If you need to use it on Lucid, you can add this ppa to your software sources to upgrade your Openoffice version.

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Your example uses the wrong command (uniconv instead of unoconv) – Marcel Stimberg Nov 3 '10 at 12:36
Upppsss.. corrected, thank you. – Javier Rivera Nov 3 '10 at 15:39
That gives this error: Leaking python objects bridged to UNO for reason pyuno runtime is not initialized, (the pyuno.bootstrap needs to be called before using any uno classes) Segmentation fault – James Nov 4 '10 at 1:01
@James: Yes, I checked it on 10.04 and it gives that error. A little googling shows that there is a bug in the Openoffice version shipped with Lucid. It works on Maverick (10.10) and Hardy (8.04), the versions that I use. – Javier Rivera Nov 4 '10 at 9:35

You can also use the command line of libreoffice for your purpose. This example converts all ppt-files in the current directory to pdf's:

libreoffice --headless --invisible --convert-to pdf *.ppt

Get more information on command line options with:

man libreoffice

(Note: You have to close all running instances of libreoffice before the command line works)

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This solved my problem. – Luis Alvarado Feb 27 '12 at 23:10
It's awesome that libreoffice has the --convert-to option, but it sucks that it doesn't say anywhere that you also have to pass --headless and --invisible for it to work. +1 for the answer. – scribu Jun 9 '12 at 0:01
--headless implies --invisible (at least on LO 3.4). Add -env:UserInstallation="file://$HOME/.libreoffice-alt" to work even with GUI instances running (credit here). – Beni Cherniavsky-Paskin Dec 13 '12 at 20:04
(: - Amazing! - :) – desgua Feb 23 '13 at 19:27

easy cheat-

use unoconv with midnight commander to convert odt to pdf:

launch mc - navigate where the odt files are

tag odt files using Ctrl-T then F2,@,

paste in "unoconv -f pdf" (without the quotes)

it will spew a bunch of dire error messages, but it works!

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