Question of the Month – December

Question: Somebody’s sent me a PowerPoint presentation that I need to edit, but I can’t find a way of doing this. Is there a workaround?

This is a common problem and many people waste a lot of time rebuilding or rewriting PowerPoint presentations, thinking that this is the only option if they want to make changes. Fortunately, there is an easy way to make any PowerPoint presentation editable.

The key to this process is to look at the file extension: it will be either .pptx or .ppsx. .ppsx files are view-only, whereas .pptx files are editable. If you have a .ppsx file, you’ll have to convert it to .pptx before you can edit it.

The first option you can try is simply to change the file extension. In Explorer (Finder in OSX) simply right click on the file and select “Rename” and resave the file with a .pptx extension, then open this file in PowerPoint. If that works, great, but sometimes it might not due to the creator using a different version of Office or a different operating system to you.

The second option if the above did not work is to resave the file as a .pptx. Open the .ppsx file on your computer in PowerPoint and then select the “Save as” option. In the drop-down menu option below the file name in the saving window you will be able to choose “PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx)”, which will save the file for you as an editable version.