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File Formats in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn about various Save As Type in PowerPoint.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows XP and higher






Quick -- how many file formats (types) can PowerPoint save to? If you count every single format from the necessary to the irrelevant (and forget the missing ones), then the number is 26 formats for PowerPoint 2010, the latest Windows version of this program! Some of these could be genuinely helpful (such as the new WMV export in PowerPoint 2010) and others such as GIF, JPG, PNG, WMF, and EMF ensure that you get good graphic outputs. And RTF outlines can be a boon sometimes.

When you access the Save As dialog in PowerPoint 2010 (and previous versions too), you can choose the file type you want to save your active presentation as (see Figure 1).

Save as type in PowerPoint
Figure 1: Save as type

Have you ever wondered what all those file types are? Should you even be concerned about them at all? I suggest you take a look for yourself:

  • PPTX (PowerPoint Presentation) -- This file type is the default save option in PowerPoint 2007 and later. It is based on XML and can be distinctly identified as different from the older file formats for PowerPoint because it has four letters rather than three -- for example PPTX rather than the older PPT format.
  • PPTM (PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation) -- This is identical to the PPTX file format other than the fact that file type saves presentations with macros enabled.
  • PPT (PowerPoint 97–2003 Presentation) -- This file type was the default format for presentations created in PowerPoint versions 2003 and earlier. Most of the time, this is known as the PowerPoint 97 to 2003 format (or the PowerPoint 97 to 2004 format if you include Mac versions of PowerPoint).
  • PDF (Portable Document Format) -- This file type saves presentation as an Adobe PDF file. PDFs cannot be opened and edited like normal PowerPoint files once saved.
  • XPS (XPS Document) -- This file type saves presentations to the XPS (XML Paper Specification) format.
  • POTX (PowerPoint Template) -- This file type saves presentations as a template that you can use as a starter for future presentations. This file format works with PowerPoint 2007 and subsequent versions of PowerPoint.
  • POTM (PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Template) -- This file type saves presentation as a template in the same way as POTX files -- but with macros enabled.
  • POT (PowerPoint 97–2003 Template) -- This file type saves presentations as a templates in PowerPoint 97 to 2003. You can still open and use these in newer versions of PowerPoint.
  • THMX (Office Theme) -- This file type saves presentation as a theme that includes colors, fonts, and effects. Such Office Theme files can also be used within Word, Excel, and other Office applications to impart a standard look to all your documents.
  • PPSX (PowerPoint Show) -- This file type saves presentations as a slide show. In all respects this is the same as a PPTX file -- but when double-clicked, this opens in Slide Show view rather than Normal view. See our PPT vs. PPS (or PPTX vs. PPSX) article.
  • PPSM (PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Show) -- This file type saves presentation as a slide show with macros enabled, and works in the same way as PPSX files.
  • PPS (PowerPoint 97–2003 Show) -- This file type saves presentations as a slide show in PowerPoint 97 to 2003 -- in all respects this is the same as a PPT file -- but when double-clicked, this opens in Slide Show view rather than Normal view. See our PPT vs. PPS (or PPTX vs. PPSX) article.
  • PPAM (PowerPoint Add-In) -- This file type saves presentations as an add-in that includes custom commands or VBA code. Typically used in PowerPoint 2007 or later versions.
  • PPA (PowerPoint 97–2003 Add-In) -- This file type saves presentations as an add-in that you can open in PowerPoint 97 to 2003. Typically used in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier versions.
  • XML (PowerPoint XML Presentation) -- This file type saves presentation in an XML format for use in an XML information storage system.
  • WMV (Windows Media Video) -- This file type saves presentation as a video that you can play on the web or on a media player. Only available in PowerPoint 2010 (and possibly later versions).
  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) -- This file type saves individual slides from the presentation as GIF graphic files you can use on the web or open in an image editing application.
  • JPG (JPEG File Interchange Format) -- This file type saves individual slides from the presentation as JPG graphic files you can use on the web or open in an image editing application.
  • PNG (Portable Network Graphics Format) -- This file type saves individual slides from the presentation as PNG graphic files you can use on the web or open in an image editing application.
  • TIFF (Tag Image File Format) -- This file type saves individual slides from the presentation as TIFF graphic files you can use for print processing or open in an image editing application.
  • BMP (Device Independent Bitmap) -- This file type saves individual slides from the presentation as BMP graphic files.
  • WMF (Windows Metafile) -- This file type saves individual slides from the presentation as WMF graphic files -- these are typically vector (as opposed to bitmap) files that can be edited in illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW.
  • EMF (Enhanced Windows Metafile) -- This file type saves individual slides from the presentation as EMF graphic files -- these are typically higher quality 32-bit vector graphics (as opposed to bitmap) files that can be edited in illustration programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW.
  • RTF (Outline/RTF) -- This file type saves the presentation as an outline in Rich Text Format, which you can open in Microsoft Word. This only includes text that is contained with the text placeholders as opposed to text boxes.
  • PPTX (PowerPoint Picture Presentation) -- This file type saves the presentation as a PowerPoint 2010 or 2007 presentation in which each slide is converted to a picture.
  • ODP (OpenDocument Presentation) -- This file type saves presentation in a format that you can open using applications that support ODP files, such as Google Docs or OpenOffice.

See Also:

File Formats in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
File Formats in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
File Formats in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.



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