How to Change a PowerPoint Show File to a Work File

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When you're using PowerPoint and receive a PowerPoint file, whether over the company network or as an email attachment, you can tell from the file extension whether it is a show file — meant for viewing only — or a working presentation file. The show file has the file extension .ppsx in PowerPoint Windows versions 2016, 2010, and 2007 and on PowerPoint for Mac 2016, 2011, and 2008, while the presentation working file uses the file extension of .pptx on the end of the file name.


change file extensions from PowerPoint show to PowerPoint presentation

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A PowerPoint show is the actual presentation that you view when you are a member of the audience. A PowerPoint presentation file is a working file in the creation stage. They differ only in their extension and the PowerPoint format they in which they open.

PPTX is the extension for a PowerPoint presentation. It is the default save extension beginning with PowerPoint 2007. Older versions of PowerPoint used the extension PPT for this format.

PPSX is the extension for a PowerPoint show. This format saves presentations as a slideshow. It is the same as the PPTX file but when you double-click it, it opens in Slide Show view rather than Normal view. Versions of Powerpoint older than 2007 used the PPS extension for this format.

Editing a PowerPoint Show File

Sometimes, you want to make a few changes to the finished product, but all you received from your colleague is the show file with the .ppsx extension. There are a couple of ways to make edits to a .ppsx file.

Open the File in PowerPoint

  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Choose File > Open and locate the show file with the .ppsx extension on your computer.
  3. Edit the presentation as usual in PowerPoint.
  4. To continue editing at a later time, choose File > Save As to save the file as a regular working presentation file with a .pptx extension or choose File > Save to save it once again as a PowerPoint show.

Change the File Extension

In some cases, you can just change the extension before opening the file in PowerPoint. 

  1. Right-click on the file name, and choose Rename from the shortcut menu.
  2. Change the file extension from .ppsx to .pptx.
  3. Double-click on the newly named file to open it in PowerPoint as a working presentation file.