A recent question by one of our clients wondering if they can use PowerPoint as a certificate maker to generate bulk certificates.

Is it possible to generate certificates in bulk? I want to create a certificate for all our students, designed in PowerPoint, and then generate 600 personalized certificates.


The answer is a resounding “yes.”

Let’s say you have a list of students in Excel, and you have a certificate template designed in PowerPoint. And now you want to generate 600 certificates automatically.  You can turn PowerPoint into a certificate maker using our DataPoint for PowerPoint plugin.

Design Your Certificate Template

First, create your certificate in PowerPoint as you would like it to be. It is important for a mail-merged or data-injected certificate, that you think about the text boxes that you want to use for the variables. For a certificate generally, I can think of 3 variables. The date that the certificate was signed on, the name of the student, and optionally the course or name of the track they took. We could start with a certificate like the one below.

certificate of scholarship template

Make Your Data Connection

After you have the initial PowerPoint design, you need to connect to your 600 students in a database or Excel file. From the DataPoint menu in PowerPoint, click the List button from the Connections group.

DataPoint plugin for linking data to PowerPoint slides

Select Microsoft Excel from the list of DataPoint’s data providers and click the Add connection button. Now browse to select the Excel file with the students. Click OK to close.

connect to excel file

Next, click the Add query button and select the datasheet that contains the data that you want to use. Check, and change if needed the selection range, and check the option that the first row contains the field names or column names. Again, click OK to close.

connect to excel datasheet

You will now see a preview of your data that we will use on the certificates.

Previewing Excel data in PowerPoint

Back to the slide. Select the text box that will host the ‘signed on’ date, and then click DataPoint, then the Clock button.

select textbox for the current date

Leave Clock/Date selected at the top and select the date format that we should use to format today’s date.

Choose the date format

Next, select the text box that will host the student’s name. Leave the data connection to the first (pre-filled) connection. Select Name from the list of available columns. And for now, leave the row number at 1. Click OK to close and the name of the first student is copied into this textbox.

Bind the student's name

Turn Loose the Automated Certificate Maker!

We have now created the first certificate for any first student. Next, we have to find a way to create the other 599 other certificates. Click the Scrolling button from the DataPoint menu. Check the Enabled option but leave the step size to 1. We are going to create a certificate for every data row of our data. The step time is not relevant here since we are creating certificates that we are going to print instead of showing them on a television screen. Hit OK to close.

Activate data merging

Let’s start DataPoint’s magic. Click the Snapshot button on the DataPoint menu.

DataPoint will now generate a new presentation with a slide or certificate per student. Since we are going to create 600 slides automatically, that process will take several minutes. Sit back and relax.

generate snapshot

After some time, that newly created presentation is opened and you will have your 600 custom generated slides that you can print out on thick paper.

certificates are generated by certificate maker

What a time saver it is to use PowerPoint and DataPoint as a certificate maker. Everyone will think that you manually created those 600 slides. But that is our little secret. Next time or next year, you will have new student info in the Excel file. Then you will open the presentation again and just hit the Snapshot button to generate a new list of certificates.

This is a huge time saver for you, no typing or copying and pasting names, and the best part is that you will have no typos at all on the certificates. That alone is already worth the investment.

Generate your own certificates in minutes

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