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PowerPoint to EXE (Part 1) in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

Explore Part 1 of 4 about creating an EXE from PowerPoint 2007.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

Note: This is part of a set of tutorials that shows you how you can create an EXE from PowerPoint 2002, PowerPoint 2003, and PowerPoint 2007. If you have PowerPoint 2007, the new PowerPoint 2007 compatible Viewer, or the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack installed, then make sure you use the tutorial specific to PowerPoint 2007 only.

PowerPoint 2007 includes the Package for CD feature, which we'll use with a cool and undocumented Windows utility to create a standalone EXE file from PPT or PPTX presentations that can play on any system with Windows XP, Vista, or higher installed.

  • PowerPoint 2007's Package for CD feature is a wonderful way to create autorun CDs that contain a copy of your presentation with linked files and the Viewer engine. Often overlooked, this feature also contains the Copy to Folder option.
  • The second utility we'll use is called IExpress, a file distribution packager that has been included as part of Microsoft Windows for a long time now.

I need to add that this technique uses the PowerPoint 2003/2007 Viewer and thus inherits all its abilities and limitations, for instance, it doesn't support OLE or the use of Action Settings | Run Program procedures.

Having said that, this technique outputs much more than a standalone EXE. Other benefits it offers include the ability to email a PowerPoint presentation, reasonable protection against edits, ease of use for the end user, having nothing permanently installed on a system, etc.

Before You Begin

Here are some thoughts and guidelines that will help you before you begin:

  • PowerPoint 2007 does not ship with a new Viewer that can handle the new PPTX file format, the Viewer included with PowerPoint 2007 is a modified version of the PowerPoint 2003 Viewer. However this is transparent to the end user as PowerPoint 2007 automatically back-saves your PPTX to a PPT that includes full fidelity viewing of all the new effects in PowerPoint 2007, even in an old PPT file!
  • At all times, especially when you are creating new presentations or linking media to presentations, try using the old DOS 8.3 naming structure where the actual file name does not exceed 8 characters and the extension does not go beyond 3 characters. Of course, it you are working with PPTX files native to PowerPoint 2007, you can extend this rule to a somewhat ironic 8.4 naming structure.

Part I: Create a Packaged Folder

  1. Open, create or edit a new or existing presentation in PowerPoint 2007. This could be either a PPTX file, or even an older PPT file.
  2. Save the presentation and choose Office Button | Publish | Package for CD, as shown in Figure 1.
  3. Package for CD
    Figure 1: Package for CD
  4. In the Package for CD dialog box as shown in Figure 2, give your project a name. You'll find that the active presentation has already been included as per the default options, the default also includes the new PowerPoint 2007 Viewer within the CD compilation. Choose the Copy to Folder option rather than Copy to CD. This brings up another dialog box over the earlier dialog box (see Figure 2 again). Click OK.
  5. Copy to folder
    Figure 2: Copy to folder
  6. PowerPoint stores all required content including the presentation, linked files, Viewer and two text files (autorun.inf and play.bat) within a folder, as you can see in Figure 3. Note that the PPTX file is now converted to a PPT file. Exit PowerPoint.
  7. Packaged folder
    Figure 3: Packaged folder

Continued on Page 2 >

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Download and play your own Jeopardy-like game

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