Saving Your Presentation Files
Soon after you create a new presentation, be sure to save it. And save your presentation from time to time as you work on it as well. Until you save your work, it rests in the computer's electronic memory (RAM), a precarious location. If a power outage occurs or your computer stalls, you lose all the work you did since the last time you saved your presentation. Make it a habit to save files every ten minutes or so or when you complete an important task. To save a presentation, do one of the following:
- Click the Save button.
- Press Ctrl+S.
- Click the Office button and choose Save on the drop-down list.
We wish that saving were just a matter of clicking the Save button, but saving your work also entails telling PowerPoint where you prefer to save presentations. It also means saving presentations for use in earlier versions of PowerPoint as necessary, and saving AutoRecovery files. Better read on.
Telling PowerPoint where you like to save presentations
When you attempt to save a presentation for the first time in the Save As dialog box, PowerPoint shows you the contents of the My Documents folder (in Windows XP) or the Document folder (in Windows Vista) on the assumption that you keep most of your presentations in that folder. The My Documents folder is the center of the universe as far as PowerPoint is concerned, but perhaps you keep the majority of your presentations in a different folder. How would you like to see your favorite folder first in the Save As and Open dialog boxes? To direct PowerPoint to the folder you like best and make that folder's name appear first in the Save As and Open dialog boxes, follow these steps:
- Click the Office button and choose PowerPoint Options on the dropdown list. You see the PowerPoint Options dialog box and select the Save category. The top most options in this category.
- In the Default File Location text box, enter the address to the folder where you prefer to keep your presentations. For example, if you are fond of keeping presentations in the My Stuff folder on the C drive of your computer, enter C:\My Stuff and in the end click ok.
Saving Presentations for use in earlier versions of PowerPoint
Not everyone is a proud owner of Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007. Before you pass along a document to a co-worker who has an earlier version of PowerPoint, save your document so that your co-worker can open it. Presentations are stored in the XML format in PowerPoint 2007 (later in this tutorial, "Understanding the New PowerPoint XML Format" explains XML). Unless you save your document for earlier versions of PowerPoint, people who do not have the latest version cannot open them.
Saving a presentation for use in PowerPoint 97-2003
Follow these steps to save a presentation so that someone with PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002, or 2003 can open it:
- Click the Office button and then choose Save As> PowerPoint 97-2003 Format. You see the Save As dialog box.
- Enter a new name for the presentation, if necessary.
- Click the Save button. Presentations saved in the PowerPoint 97-2003 format have the .ppt, not the .pptx, file extension.
Converting PowerPoint 97-2003 presentations to 2007
When you open a presentation made in an earlier version of PowerPoint, the program switches to compatibility mode. PowerPoint 2007 shuts down features that were not a part of earlier versions of PowerPoint to accommodate the presentation. You can tell when PowerPoint is in compatibility mode because the words "compatibility mode" appear in the title bar next to the presentation's name. Follow these steps to convert a 97-2003 presentation for use in PowerPoint 2007:
- Open the presentation file and then click the Office button and choose Convert on the drop-down list. A dialog box informs you what converting means and in the end click ok.
Saving presentations for earlier versions of PowerPoint by default
If you are way ahead of the pack and you always have to save PowerPoint presentations in a different format so that co-workers can open them, make the different format the default format for saving all your presentations. That way, you do not have to choose a new format whenever you pass off a file to a co-worker. Follow these steps to change the default format for saving presentations:
- Click the Office button and choose PowerPoint Options on the dropdown list. The PowerPoint Options dialog box appears and then select the Save category.
- In the Save Files in This Format drop-down list, choose PowerPoint Presentation 97-2003 and then click ok.
Remember that you made PowerPoint 97-2003 the default format for saving presentation files. Someday soon, your co-workers will catch up with you. They will acquire PowerPoint 2007. And when that happens, return to the PowerPoint Options dialog box and choose PowerPoint Presentation in the Save Files in This Format drop-down list.
Saving "AutoRecovery information"
To insure against computer and power failures, PowerPoint saves presentations in the background every 10 minutes. These presentations are saved in AutoRecovery files. After your computer fails, you can try to recover some of the work you lost by getting it from the AutoRecovery file.
PowerPoint saves AutoRecovery files every 10 minutes, but if you want the program to save the files more or less frequently, you can change the AutoRecovery setting. "AutoRecovering" taxes a computer's memory. If your computer is sluggish, consider making AutoRecovery files at intervals longer than 10 minutes, if your computer fails often and you are worried about losing data, make AutoRecovery files more frequently. Follow these steps to tell PowerPoint how often to save data in an AutoRecovery file:
- Click the Office button and choose PowerPoint Options on the dropdown list. The PowerPoint Options dialog box appears and then click the Save category.
- Enter a Minutes setting in the Save AutoRecovery Information Every xx Minutes box and in the end click ok.
When disaster strikes
After your computer fails and you restart PowerPoint, you see the Document Recovery task pane with a list of files that were open when the failure occurred:
- AutoSaved files are files that PowerPoint saved as part of its AutoRecovery procedure.
- Original files are files that you saved by clicking the Save button.
The Document Recovery task pane tells you when each file was saved. By studying the time listings, you can tell which version of a presentation - the AutoRecovery file or the file you saved - is most up-to-date.
Open the drop-down list for a presentation and select one of these options:
Opens the presentation so that you can examine it. If you want to keep it, click the Save button.
Opens the Save As dialog box so that you can save the presentation under a different name. Choose this command to keep a copy of the recovered file on hand in case you need it.
Deletes the AutoRecovery file (this command is available with AutoRecovery files, not files that you saved on your own).
Shows repairs made to the file as part of the AutoRecovery procedure.