In this post, we look at PowerPoint file extensions and which type you should use when saving your work to enable sharing, editing and presenting.

These are .pptx .ppsx .pptx (saved as a PicturePresentation) and .pdf

Before we start, always save a copy of your PowerPoint as a .pptx file using the Save as function. This will prevent you accidentally converting a valuable PowerPoint into, for example, a Picture Presentation which is then un-editable.

Ordinary PowerPoint Presentations .pptx

When you save a simple PowerPoint presentation, you give it a name, and PowerPoint adds the file extension .pptx. Your Introduction Presentation file becomes Introduction Presentation.pptx.

Saving your PowerPoint with the .pptx file extension allows your work to be copied and edited. This is ideal for sharing your work with colleagues who may want to edit elements of it for their own use.

If you need to share your presentation with a colleague who’s using an older version of PowerPoint, then save your slides as a .ppt file. PowerPoint 97 through 2003 cannot open and process .pptx or .pptm files.

PowerPoint Shows .ppsx

If you want to give your PowerPoint presentation to a colleague, and you don’t want them to change anything, then save your presentation as a PowerPoint Show file. Your colleagues can display your slides, but they won’t be unable to change any part of your presentation. This is also a preferred format for uploading to Blackboard.

You will need to save your ordinary presentation as a .ppsx file. If you’re sending your slide show to somebody who is using PowerPoint 97 through 2003, then create a .pps PowerPoint Show file.

Be sure to save a copy of your presentation as a (.pptx) file. If you’ve only saved the Show file (.ppsx) you won’t be able to make changes to your presentation.

PowerPoint Picture Presentations .pptx

Picture Presentations add an additional layer of protection to your work. A PowerPoint Picture Presentation looks like a PowerPoint slideshow, but when you save your work as a Picture Presentation, each slide is converted to a simple image.

PowerPoint slides contain text objects, image objects, animations, transitions, and many other special effects. Picture Presentations contain only snapshots of your slides.

If somebody wants to copy your work, they can see each of the images and retype the text. They can even grab (and re-crop) the images. But they cannot capture any of the animations/audio etc. in PowerPoint.

Be sure to save a copy of your presentation as a PowerPoint Presentation(.pptx) file. If you’ve only saved the PowerPoint Picture Presentation (.pptx) you won’t be able to make changes to your presentation.

PDF Files .pdf

You can also save your presentation as a portable document format (.pdf) file. These .pdf files can be opened on any Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android device. The resulting file, however, is a static document. Don’t expect to see slides fade in and out. All of your animated objects will become static.However, for display a basic PowerPoint presentation this method would be highly recommended as it doesn’t require the user to download and save the file to their PC/Mobile device before viewing.


.pptx to be used when you want and editable/shared to others PowerPoint files

.ppsx to be used when you want users to show your PowerPoint but without being able to edit it.

.pptx (PicturePresentation) to be used for displaying your PowerPoint as images only. Animations, audio etc. will not display.

.pdf  For creating a portable document, accessible across multiple devices and platforms.