What Is a PPT File?

This is an older PowerPoint presentation format, but you can still edit one in Microsoft's program or other free slideshow creators

What to Know

This article explains what a PPT file is and how to open one or convert one to a different format.

What Is a PPT File?

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 these files to contain various slides of text, sounds, photos, and videos.

PPT files

PPT is also short for a number of technology terms that have nothing to do with presentations, like propagation prediction tool, program processing table, program planning team, and Precision Pad Technology.

How to Open a PPT File

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

If it was created with versions of PowerPoint older than v8.0 (PowerPoint 97, released in 1997), it's not reliably supported in newer versions of the program. 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 one, such as WPS Office Presentation, OpenOffice Impress, Google Slides, and SoftMaker Presentations.

Another way to open PPT files without PowerPoint is to use one of Microsoft's free PowerPoint viewer programs.

If you want to extract the media files out of one, you can do so with a file extraction tool like 7-Zip. First, convert it 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.

How to Convert a PPT File

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

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

In the Export menu is also a Create Handouts option that will translate the 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 file. FileZigZag and Zamzar are two free online PPT converters that can save one to MS Word's DOCX format as well as PDF, HTML, EPS, POT, SWF, SXI, RTF, KEY, ODP, and other similar formats.

If you upload the file to Google Drive, you can convert it to the Google Slides format by simply opening it. See How to Convert PowerPoint to Google Slides if you need help.

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

Still Can't Open It?

Files that aren't opening with the programs mentioned above might not actually be related to a slideshow. Check the extension again to make sure it's not really a file that's spelled with similar file extension letters

PSTs, for example, are used with email programs like Outlook. Another is PTP, a preferences file used by Pro Tools.

There are others that are used in PowerPoint, though, and so are also similar looking to PPT. PPTM is one example—it does work with the slideshow programs linked above.

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