There’s lots more ways to use Powerpoint without standing in front of an audience.
It’s easy to think of Powerpoint as only useful for people who have to give a speech, but there’s actually many other choices for saving slides and presentations that let you use Powerpoint in many other situations.
In PowerPoint 2007 there are several formats in which you can save your presentation. The advantage of this is that you can share and use your presentation for different applications like websites, wallpaper, blogs, etc.
Over the years Microsoft has gradually added various ‘Save As’ and distribution options to PowerPoint. With some of the new features in PowerPoint 2007 you can now use it beyond yet another mundane corporate presentation and use it for personal and creative purposes.
Just one example: in a recent Office Watch article we showed how to make a travel journal of photos with captions in Powerpoint. You can share your annotated travel shots with others via a web site or emailing a PDF.
In this article we’ll go through some of the many options available for saving and distributing Powerpoint presentations and individual slides. We’ll focus on Powerpoint 2007 though many of the features have been in Microsoft Office for some time.
To save a file in PowerPoint for the first time when you are creating it, click on Office Button | Save. The ‘Save As’ window pops up. By default the file will be saved in .pptx or presentation format. If you wish to change it then simply click the ‘Save as type’ drop-down. As shown in the below screenshot all available file types with respective file extensions will be displayed. You can choose the suitable file extension and click on ‘Save’ button.
PowerPoint 2007 does not support saving files to PowerPoint 95 and earlier versions. You can save the file to be compatible with PowerPoint 97-2003 version.
Saving Presentation in Different File Formats
Let us explore different file extensions available in PowerPoint 2007 to save a presentation.
Default file extension
.pptx – This is the default file format in which PowerPoint 2007 saves a file. It is smaller and less liable to virus infection than the PPT predecessor.
.ppt – By saving the file in this format you can open it in older versions of PowerPoint like PowerPoint 2003, 2002 and 97.
.pptm – you have to use this option if your PowerPoint 2007 presentation includes macros.
.pps, .ppsx – By saving the file in this format you can directly open the presentation in Slide Show view.
The ‘PowerPoint Show’ format is exactly the same file as the standard ppt/pptx file extension. The different file extension tells Powerpoint or Powerpoint viewer to open directly in Slide Show view instead of standard editing mode.
Tip: if you want to edit a pps/ppsx file just rename it to ppt/pptx instead then Powerpoint will let you open and edit it just like any other presentation. If you want to stop someone doing that you should use another ‘Save As’ option or password protect the presentation.
PDF and XPS file format
PDF or Portable Document Format and XPS or XML Paper Specification are formats which helps in preserving the original formatting of documents and enables sharing and printing of files.
XPS is a Microsoft created format that the company would like to establish as a replacement to PDF. Thus far XPS hasn’t made much headway and most people don’t know the format even exists. Unless you have some specific reason and know that all the intended users can support XPS, we suggest you stick with PDF.
Tip: if you want to send slides or a presentation for viewing only, the PDF option is our recommendation. The PDF file is small and is widely accepted on Windows, Mac and Linux machines. Other than the common and free Adobe Acrobat reader, no other software is required.
To save a file in PDF or XPS format you have to first install the “Save as PDF or XPS” add-in specific for 2007 MS Office System unless you have Service Pack 2 which (finally) included the feature directly.
Saving to a PDF lets you easily send a compressed form of a slide, slides or entire presentation to anyone knowing that they should be able to view it without MS Office. PDF is very good at maintaining the look of the original document.
To save the file in PDF or XPS format, click on Office Button | Save As | PDF or XPS. Note here that since the add-in has already been installed you are able to the see the text ‘Publish a copy of the presentation as a PDF or XPS file”. Otherwise you would be getting a message to install the add-in.
Once you click on PDF or XPS option ‘Publish as PDF or XPS’ window opens. Here click on the ‘Publish’ button after choosing the required ‘Save as type’. In the below screenshot as PDF file type is chosen the presentation will be published as a .pdf file.
The published PDF file appears as shown in the below screenshot. This can easily be printed or shared without any change in the formatting.
Send Presentation in Email
Without opening the email application you can send your presentation in an email message directly from PowerPoint. You can also send a copy of the presentation as a PDF or XPS attachment. To do this click on Office Button | Send. As you can see in the below screenshot there are three ways in which you can email your presentation.
But remember that only if you have installed the add-in for PDF or XPS you will see the option to email as PDF or XPS attachment. If you’ve been reading Office Watch or Office for Mere Mortals over the years then you’ve probably got it already.
Suppose I choose the option to send email as PDF attachment then the presentation will first be published and then attached to the email and sent. For all the three options given to send as email PowerPoint opens the default email application and attaches the file to the new message. You can then choose the recipient’s mail id and send the email.
As you can see in the above screenshot you can even fax the presentation provided you are connected to an Internet fax service provider. An alternative to faxing from Office (which has never worked very well) is to save the presentation as a PDF then email or upload the PDF to your Internet fax provider which should be able to open the PDF and fax the contents to the fax numbers you specify.
Publish to CD
Apart from sending the presentation in an email you can share and distribute your presentation with others by burning a CD of the presentation. For this click on Office Button | Publish | Package for CD.
In the ‘Package for CD’ window as shown in the below screenshot you can directly copy the files to a CD or copy to a folder and then transfer it to the CD.
Despite the name ‘Package to CD‘ you don’t have to use the published files on a CD. A DVD or Bluray disk are fine too – in fact might be necessary for really big presentations. The package can also be saved to a USB memory stick or any other type of storage.
You even have an option to save few selected slides from the presentation in another location by selecting the option Office Button | Publish | Publish Slides. This is similar to saving a copy of the presentation.
Image based file extensions
.gif, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .bmp – By saving the file in any one of these image formats it can be easily used as a standalone image on individual web pages and other applications. Each of these file formats are used for specific purposes. Since GIF file format supports only 256 colors it is more suitable for black and white images rather than color. It also supports animation.
PNG file format is considered to replace GIF although it does not support animation.
JPEG file format supports nearly 16 million colors and is suitable for all kinds of images and graphics. It is a commonly used image format for most applications.
TIFF file format stores bit-mapped images which can be either color or black and white. They are larger than JPEG files and mostly used if you want to edit the slide image outside of Powerpoint. TIFF is the equivalent of a digital camera RAW option.
When you choose to save a file in this format you will get a pop-up message asking whether you would like to export just one slide or all the slides. Once you choose the option the image file will be created.
Suppose you choose to export all the slides then for each slide an image file will be created and all of them will be stored in a folder as shown in the below screenshot. These files can then be used individually in any application.
.mht, .mhtml – By saving the file in this format you can view the presentation as single file web page which can include graphics, media files and add-ins. File saved in this format can be easily shared through email though the MHT format is only supported by Internet Explorer browsers.
The .mht file appears in frames in the webpage as shown in the below screenshot.
The advantage of MHT is that it’s a single file – all the images, web page, styles etc are in one place.
.htm, .html – This file format stores web page as a folder containing images, scripts and other supporting files as shown in the below screenshot.
Unlike MHT, the images and other files are saved separately in a sub-folder. If you move or rename the sub-folder the presentation won’t work.
The advantage of saving to .htm is that you can access all the images in the presentation as separate files. Generally speaking we prefer the .mht format because the single file is easier to move around with no external links to break.
While saving file in .mht or.html format in ‘Save As’ dialog box there is an option to publish the pages.
When you click on the Publish button the ‘Publish as Web Page’ window open as shown in the below screenshot. Here you can control which slides you wish to publish instead of the entire presentation.
There is another method to share a single file across many users. In PowerPoint 2007 you can share the presentation by saving it to a document management server or a SharePoint site by clicking Office Button | Publish | Document Management Server. A document management server provides a central location to manage and track changes to files. This also helps in maintaining different versions of files.
There is also an option to create a Document Workspace site where you can share a copy of the presentation and maintain a local copy at the same time. For this click Office Button | Publish | Create Document Workspace. Your local copy of the file will be automatically synchronized with that on the server so that you can keep tab on the changes and coordinate with others who are working on the same file.
After exploring many ways of saving, sharing and distributing PowerPoint files online if you wish to simply distribute the hardcopy of the presentation then is there is always the PRINT option to do so
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