How to create PowerPoint PPTX presentations from a template in Zapier, Power Automate Flow, Azure Logic Apps and PowerApps

Let us say you need to create company report presentations every month. This article shows how to automate this process and generate PowerPoint presentations from PPTX templates automatically with the help of Plumsail Documents processes.

Processes are a handy interface for creating documents from templates, converting, and delivering them in a few simple steps.

With its help, we’ll create a company report with tables and charts from a PPTX template. Below are the pictures of slides from a template and the resulting presentation - the title slide and one of the body ones. You can download complete files from the links above the screenshots to compare them.

Template

Result

Download template document
template title slide template chart slide
Download result document
company report title slide chart in company report

Configure Process

First, register or login to your Plumsail account to start configuring the process.

Create Process

Click on the Add Process button.

add process button

Give a name to the Process to recognize it later. Select PPTX for a template type.

Сreate PPTX from template

Configure template

Once you’ve created the process, you’ll jump to its first step – Configure Template.

It includes two substeps:

  • Editor;

  • Settings.

In Editor, you can compose the template from scratch or upload a pre-made one. It’s also possible to modify the uploaded template online.

Feel free to download the company report template if you haven’t downloaded it yet as we gave the link above in the table showing the template and the result.

Then upload it to the process.

upload template file

Templating syntax

When you create your own templates, mind the templating language. Plumsail PowerPoint PPTX templates use a different approach than most other templating solutions. It uses a minimum of syntax to make your work done.

To learn more about the templating engine, check out the documentation article.

In short, the templating engine thinks that everything between such curly {{ }} brackets is variables where it will apply your specified data. In our case the most basic example would be {{title}} and {{subtitle}} tags. They let the engine know that we want to render the report title and its subtitle.

We also included more complex visual content like tables and charts into our template. But there is nothing too difficult here as well. Please, see how to handle tables and charts in PPTX templates.

Test template

You can test the template to see how it will look at the end by clicking the Test template button.

After you click on the Test template button, you will see the dialog where you can insert your data in JSON format. This JSON data represents what will be pasted into {{ }} brackets instead of object names and their properties. So, it must correspond to tokens from the template.

json data PPTX template

To test the template from our example, you can copy and paste the JSON data shown below.

Note

This is JSON for testing. You can pass data from an external system or web form to the process. See the Start process section.

{
        "title": "Plumsail monthly report",
        "subtitle": "made by David Navarro",
        "date": "30/04/2020",
        "state": "On track",
        "action": [
                {
                        "description": "Hire more experts"
                },
                {
                        "description": "Remove obstacles"
                },
                {
                        "description": "Marketing"
                },
                {
                        "description": "Profit!!!"
                }
        ],
        "sales": [
                {
                        "country": "USA",
                        "lead": "John Doe",
                        "churn": 450,
                        "new": 1500
                },
                {
                        "country": "Australia",
                        "lead": "Jacky Coala",
                        "churn": 0,
                        "new": 3060
                },
                {
                        "country": "Japan",
                        "lead": "Naruto",
                        "churn": 260,
                        "new": 820
                }
        ],
        "history": [
                {
                        "period": "2018/Q1",
                        "total": 5030
                },
                {
                        "period": "2018/Q2",
                        "total": 5050
                },
                {
                        "period": "2018/Q3",
                        "total": 6120
                },
                {
                        "period": "2018/Q4",
                        "total": 6650
                },
                {
                        "period": "2019/Q1",
                        "total": 7660
                }
        ]
}

Once you’ve tested the template, press Save&Next to proceed further - to the Settings substep.

Here you set the following parameters.

test PPTX template

Template mode

It is Testing by default. It means you won’t be charged for this process runs, but result documents will have a Plumsail watermark. Change it to Active to remove the watermark.

Output filename

Use tokens to make it personalized. They work the same way as in the template. For instance, we use the following tokens to define the output file name - {{title}} and {{@date}}:format(MM.yyyy)}. As a result, we’ll receive a report with the name - Plumsail Monthly Report 04.2020.

Output type

By default, it is the same as your template’s format. In this particular case, it’s PPTX. And we kept it to create the PPTX PowerPoint presentation from a template.

Test template

Once you’ve customized all the settings, you can test the template to see the result as we did it before.

When everything is done here, click on Save & Next to set up deliveries.

Delivery

The next step is delivery. For demonstrating purpose, we’ll store the result file in OneDrive. But there are other options.

You need to connect to your OneDrive from the Plumsail account. After that, set the folder’s name where to save the ready document. Here you can use tokens as well.

Create PowerPoint presentation from pptx template

You can configure as many deliveries as you need.

Start Process

Now everything is ready, and you can start generating PowerPoint presentations. The step Start process will show available options with a description for each.

start process to create PowerPoint from template

You can start the process :

Hint

Use Power Automate Flow and Zapier to connect the process with other apps. It enables you to gather data from one app and pass on to the process to populate a PowerPoint template. Thus, you can populate the PPTX template from various web forms, CRM systems, SharePoint lists, and thousands of other web applications.

Note

There is a separate action in the Plumsail Documents connector for Microsoft Power Automate - Create PPTX document from template. Use it if you don’t need all power of processes and just want to generate a document from a template.