What Is a PPSM File?

PowerPoint's PPSM files can contain macros, and they open directly to the slide show. You can still edit it if necessary, and convert it to other file formats

What to Know

  • A PPSM file is a Microsoft PowerPoint Open XML macro-enabled slide show.
  • Open one with PowerPoint, or with a free program like PowerPoint Viewer or FreeOffice Presentations.
  • Convert from PPSM to PPTX, PDF, or a video with PowerPoint.

This article explains what a PPSM file is and how to open, edit, or convert one.

What Is a PPSM File?

A file with the PPSM file extension is a Microsoft PowerPoint Open XML macro-enabled slide show created with Microsoft PowerPoint. They open by default in the slide show view to immediately launch the presentation. The format uses a combination of XML and ZIP to store its contents.

PPSM files are the replacement for PPS files used in PowerPoint 2003 and older.

How to Open a PPSM File

PPSM files can be opened using PowerPoint, but only if it's version 2007 or newer. Opening one in an older version of PowerPoint requires the free Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to be installed.

Although a PPSM file opens directly to the slide show, you can still edit one by right-clicking it and choosing New, or by opening the editor (like PowerPoint) first and then browsing for the file from there.

To open a PPSM file without PowerPoint, use Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer tool. FreeOffice Presentations will open the file as well, and there may be other free presentation programs that will work, too.

This is an executable file extension due to the possibility that it contains macros. Take care opening PPSM files from sources you're unfamiliar with, like from an email or a strange website.

How to Convert a PPSM File

Opening a PPSM file in PowerPoint lets you save it to a different format through the File > Save As menu. You can pick from lots of formats like PPTX, PDF, PPT, PPTM, POTM, and ODP.

You can even use PowerPoint to convert PPSM to a video format (MP4 or WMV). Do this through File > Export > Create a Video.

If you want to save to a single PDF file, another option is to do it online with Online2PDF.com. You can render each slide as a separate page in the PDF, or you can choose to build separate PDFs for each slide.

PPTM is a very similar macro-enabled file format used with PowerPoint, but those files open in edit mode when double-clicked rather than launching the presentation. Two other formats you may see in PowerPoint are PPTX and PPSX. Neither of them can run macros, unlike PPSM and PPTM; however, PPSX opens in slideshow mode automatically like PPSM, while PPTX does not.

Still Can't Open the File?

If your file doesn't open with those slide show programs, check that you're not misreading the file extension. Some files use a similar file extension, but have nothing at all to do with PowerPoint or presentations in general.

PP is one example. It's used by the Pocket Physics Nintendo DS application as a sketch file. It won't, therefore, open in any of the programs linked above and has nothing to do with a slide show.

Some other examples include PRST, PSM, PS, PPR, and PPM. As related as they may seem, they're used by different file formats and so can't be opened with the same applications.

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