What Is a PPS File?

This is an outdated slide show format used by PowerPoint, but it can still be used in modern programs

What to Know

  • A PPS file is a Microsoft PowerPoint slide show.
  • PowerPoint can open one, as can free apps like PowerPoint Viewer, OpenOffice, and WPS Office.
  • Convert one to PPT, MP4, and other formats with those same programs.

This article explains what a PPS file is, how to open one on all your devices, and how to convert one to a different format like PPT, MP4, PDF, or PPTX.

What Is a PPS File?

A file with the PPS file extension is a Microsoft PowerPoint 97-2003 slide show file. Newer versions of PowerPoint default to using PPSX instead.

A PPS file can contain different pages called slides that can hold video, audio, text, animations, images, and other items. Apart from one exception, they're identical to PowerPoint's PPT files—the difference is that PPS files open directly to the presentation instead of to the editing mode.

PPS files in Windows 10

PPS is also an abbreviation for terms that have nothing to do with the slide show file format, like packets per second, precise positioning service, and pre-paid system.

How to Open a PPS File

Most PPS files you'll find were probably created by PowerPoint and can, of course, be opened and edited with it. Another way to view and print (but not change) this kind of file without using PowerPoint is via Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer.

Since these files are used by PowerPoint to immediately begin a presentation, opening one by regular means will not let you edit it. To make changes, you need to drag and drop the file onto an empty PowerPoint window or open the program first and then browse for the file from the menu.

A number of free, non-Microsoft programs also work, including OpenOffice Impress, WPS Office Presentation, and probably other presentation programs and free MS Office alternatives.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the file, but it's the wrong application, or you'd rather have another installed program open it, Windows users can easily change the default program that opens PPS files.

How to Convert a PPS File

The easiest solution is to use PowerPoint. Open the file and then save it to some other format like PPT, PPSX, PPTX, etc., through the File > Save As menu. The other editors listed above can do the same.

One example of a compatible online converter is Zamzar. It can save files in this format to PDF, JPG, PNG, RTF, SWF, GIF, DOCX, BMP, and several other formats.

Online-Convert.com is another one that supports saving to video formats like MP4, WMV, MOV, 3GP, and others. PowerPoint can convert PPS to MP4 or WMV as well, through File > Export > Create a Video.

To use the slideshow in Google Slides, you have to first upload the file to your account. Do this by selecting the file picker icon on the right side of that page, and then find the file through the Upload section. Once it exists in your Google account, converting into other formats like PPTX and PDF is possible through File > Download.

In some contexts, PPS stands for packets per second. You can convert PPS to Mbps (or Kbps, Gbps, etc.) at CCIEvault.

Still Can't Open It?

Most PPS files are no doubt used with PowerPoint. If your file doesn't open that way, there's a good chance you're misreading the file extension, confusing another format for this one because the extensions are so similar.

Consider PSS as an example. At a glance, you could confuse it for a PPS file and try to open it with a slideshow program. In reality, it could be a video file used in a PlayStation 2 game, in which case you'd need a video player to watch it.

PSP is another. These are usually PaintShop Pro image files. Again, PowerPoint would most likely display an error if you attempted to use it in this context.

  • How do I send a large PPS file?

    There are many ways to send large files over the internet if your PPS file is too big for email. For example, you can use a cloud service like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox. You may be able to get your PPS file under the email size limit if you compress it into a ZIP file.

  • How do I convert a PPS file to a Word document?

    Use an online tool like Zamzar to convert the PPS file to a DOCX file, which can be opened in Microsoft Word.

  • How do I view PPS files on Android or iPhone?

    Download the official PowerPoint app for Android from the Google Play Store or download the PowerPoint app for iOS from the App Store. The file should open in the app when you select it.

  • How do I remove password protection from a PPS file?

    Open the file in PowerPoint, then go to File > Info > Protect Presentation > Encrypt with Password. Clear the Password field and select OK.

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