Turning Off Auto-Start in PowerPoint

Dennis Faas's picture

A reader recently wrote with a PowerPoint inquiry:

" I often receive lovely PowerPoint files and when I open the file it automatically starts as a slide show. But I would like to view each slide on the "Presentation" panel (on the left) in order to save a few individual slides. How do I turn off the feature that makes my presentations auto start in a slide show? "

My Reply:

The reason your PowerPoint files open automatically is because they were saved as a .pps file (PowerPoint Show), rather than a .ppt file, (PowerPoint Presentation).

The .ppt file extension is the default file extension for saving presentations in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions. As for .pps, it is the show mode extension in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier. These files run in "play-presentation mode."

The difference lies in how PowerPoint treats these files. By default a .ppt file opens in edit mode within PowerPoint, allowing you to use all the menus and commands. By default a .pps file opens in slideshow (play presentation) mode, and you can see no PowerPoint Interface.

I am hoping that you save all attachments that are sent to you prior to opening them. If that is the case, you could always change the file extension to .ppt when you save the file. But, you do not have to do that in order to open it without it playing automatically.

You can also edit a .pps file without changing the extension using either of the two options below:

  • Just drag and drop the .pps file from Windows Explorer into any empty PowerPoint window.
  • Launch PowerPoint and open a .pps file using File | Open to edit a presentation.

I hope this has been helpful to you.

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