During exam time, I often have to read a lot of .ppt files provided to me by our instructors. That’s what we are supposed to study so that sylabii can be revised quickly. I don’t use windows at all and hence have to use libreoffice for opening these presentation files but libreoffice is quite slow for me as compared to microsoft powerpoint. I don’t want to install Windows now just because of this purpose. However, I observed that pdfs can be opened comparitively faster than these .ppt files. Converting each ppt file to its pdf equivalent is a cumbersome task.

Last week, I wanted to convert a bulk of .ppt files to their pdf equivalents and this is where Libreoffice headless came to my rescue, it helped me do a mass conversion with this following command :

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

This will convert all the ppt files in current directory to their pdf equivalents.

If you don’t know what a headless means, it means that you don’t want the whole GUI thing to woke up and do stuff for you, that increases the performance by several folds such as in this case. We just want the conversion feature of libreoffice. You can call other LO features too by passing a help flag and see what are the functions that LO supports and try calling them headless.

Let me know in comments below. Happy hacking !

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03 February 2015