Print Slides From a PowerPoint Show File for PC

A quick extension change does the trick

PowerPoint Print Menu
 Screenshot for Dotdash

Most people who work in PowerPoint save their files as a PowerPoint Presentation with a .pptx extension. When you open this format, you can see the slides, tools, and options for work you can do on the presentation. When you save this same file in a PowerPoint Show format with a .ppsx extension, you have a file that plays when you double-click it and does not show any of the menus, ribbon tabs or thumbnail images you see in the presentation's file.

PPSX files are emailed every day around the world. Often they contain inspirational messages or beautiful images. Clicking on the attached link opens the show automatically, and it runs without interruption to the end. How then, can you print out the contents of the presentation?

Believe it or not, the only difference in these two formats is the extension. So you can print out the contents of the presentation in one of two ways.

Open the PowerPoint Show File in PowerPoint

  1. Rather than double-clicking on the PPSX file to open it, an action that starts the show, instead open the presentation as if you were going to edit it.
  2. In PowerPoint, click File > Open.
  3. Select the slides you want to print by clicking on their thumbnail images in the left column.
  4. Use your File > Print command as usual to open the Print window. 
  5. Make any adjustments you need and print the slides.

Change the Extension on the PowerPoint Show File

  1. Rename the PPSX file by changing the file extension to .pptx.
    • Save the file to your computer.
    • Right-click on the filename and choose the Rename option from the shortcut menu.
    • Change the file extension from .ppsx to .pptx and click Save. You have now changed this show file to a working presentation file.
  2. Open the newly renamed PowerPoint presentation file.
  3. Select the slides you want to print by clicking on their thumbnail images in the left column.
  4. Use your File > Print command as usual to open the Print window. 
  5. Make any adjustments you need and print the slides.

Note: If you are working a version of PowerPoint earlier than 2007, the extensions are .pps and .ppt.

What to Do If You Can't See the File Extensions

If you can't see the extension on the PowerPoint file, you won't know whether you have a presentation or a show file. Whether the file extensions are shown is a setting in Windows and not within PowerPoint. To configure Windows 10 to show the file extensions:

  1. Click Start and select File Explorer.
  2. Click the View tab in File Explorer and choose the Options button.
  3. Select the View tab at the top of the Folder Options window.
  4. Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types to see the file extensions.
  5. Click OK to save the change.