MS-PowerPoint / Getting Started

Coexisting with Older PowerPoint Versions

So how many versions of PowerPoint are out there? Actually, way too many PowerPoint versions exist out there in the wild - in fact, Microsoft wishes existing PowerPoint users would upgrade because its older versions are the biggest competitor for the new versions!

Using older versions of PowerPoint have their excuses:

  • Many users work in large organizations, and an upgrade to the latest version of PowerPoint (and Microsoft Office) is a big decision that involves upgrading hundreds or thousands of licenses.
  • A very large number of users work for governments, and they think it is better to use the older version and save the upgrade costs for other, more pressing requirements.
  • Many users are so happy with their versions of PowerPoint that they just don't want to upgrade!
  • Upgrading can also entail an upgrade of your Windows version. For instance, PowerPoint 2007 runs only on Windows XP and Windows Vista.
  • And yes, many users just find it too expensive to upgrade.

Whatever the reasons might be, the result is at least five other versions of PowerPoint are in use out there:

  • PowerPoint 2000, 2002, and 2003 for Windows
  • PowerPoint X and 2004 for Macintosh

These guidelines can help you coexist with users of older versions:

  • You can save your PPTX presentations to the older PPT format. You will lose some editing capabilities, but most of the time, the PPT files work just fine in older versions of PowerPoint.
    Choose Office> Save As and choose PPT as the file type to save your PowerPoint 2007 files for use with older versions.
  • Microsoft has created an update for older versions of PowerPoint that enables them to open the new PPTX presentations.
    At least, this update works for PowerPoint 2000, 2002, and 2003 at the time of this writing. Updates for PowerPoint for Mac versions are also coming.
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