How to Open, Edit, and Convert PPT Files

A file with the PPT file extension is a Microsoft PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation file. Newer versions of PowerPoint have replaced this format with PPTX.

PPT files are often used for educational purposes and office use alike, for everything from studying to presenting information in front of an audience.

It's common for PPT files to contain various slides of text, sounds, photos, and videos.

How to Open a PPT File

PPT Files screenshot

PPT files can be opened with any version of Microsoft PowerPoint.

PPT files created with versions of PowerPoint older than v8.0 (PowerPoint 97, released in 1997) are not reliably supported in newer versions of PowerPoint. If you have an older PPT file, try one of the conversion services listed in the next section.

Several free programs can also open and edit PPT files, such as WPS Office Presentation, OpenOffice Impress, Google Slides, and SoftMaker FreeOffice Presentations.

You can open PPT files without PowerPoint by using Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer program, but it only supports viewing and printing the file, not editing it.

If you want to extract the media files out of a PPT file, you can do so with a file extraction tool like 7-Zip. First, convert the file to PPTX either through PowerPoint or a PPTX conversion tool (these are usually the same as PPT converters, like the ones mentioned below). Then, use 7-Zip to open the file, and navigate to the ppt > media folder to see all the media files.

Files that aren't opening with the programs mentioned above might not actually be PowerPoint files. Check the extension again to make sure it's not really a file that's spelled with similar file extension letters, like a PST file, which is an Outlook Personal Information Store file used with email programs like MS Outlook.

However, others that are similar, like PPTM, are actually used in the same PowerPoint program but are just a different format.

How to Convert a PPT File

Using one of the PPT viewers/editors from above is the best way to convert a PPT file to a new format. In PowerPoint, for example, the File > Save As menu lets you convert the PPT to PDF, MP4, JPG, PPTX, WMV, and lots of other formats.

The File > Export menu in PowerPoint provides some additional options that are useful when converting PPT to a video.

PowerPoint's File > Export > Create Handouts menu can translate the PowerPoint slides into pages in Microsoft Word. You'd use this option if you want an audience to be able to follow along with you as you make a presentation.

Another option is to use a free file converter to convert the PPT file. FileZigZag and Zamzar are two free online PPT converters that can save the PPT to MS Word's DOCX format as well as to PDF, HTML, EPS, POT, SWF, SXI, RTF, KEY, ODP, and other similar formats.

If you upload the PPT file to Google Drive, you can convert it to the Google Slides format by right-clicking the file and selecting Open with > Google Slides.

If you're using Google Slides to open and edit the PPT file, it can also be used convert the file again, from the File > Download as menu. PPTX, PDF, TXT, JPG, PNG, and SVG are the supported conversion formats.