PPT vs. PPS (or PPTX vs. PPSX)

Created: Saturday, August 21, 2004, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 3:41 am

Updated: at



Quite often, you might have received a PowerPoint presentation with a PPS or PPSX extension rather than the normal PPT or PPTX extension – here’s more info.

First, let me tell you a little about the extensions:

  • PPT is the default file extension for saving presentations in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier versions.
  • PPTX is the default file extension for saving presentations in PowerPoint 2007 and later versions.
  • PPS is the the show mode extension in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier — these files run in “play-presentation” mode when double-clicked.
  • PPSX does the same thing in PowerPoint 2007 and later — it runs in “play-presentation” mode when double-clicked.

Here’s some more details that might help you clear the gobbledygook:

  • Technically there is no difference between PPT (or PPTX) and PPS (or PPSX) files.
  • With PPT and PPS files, you can actually rename the extensions whenever you want and the presentation file will remain the same.
  • With PPTX and PPSX files, you cannot rename at will — but trust me, they are the same!

The difference lies in how PowerPoint treats them:

  • By default, PPT and PPTX files open in edit mode within PowerPoint allowing you to use all the menus and commands.
  • By default, PPS and PPSX files open in slideshow (play-presentation) mode, and you see no PowerPoint interface. When the presentation finishes or you manually exit using tthe ESC key, PowerPoint also quits.

Having said that, you can play all PowerPoint file formats (PPT, PPS, PPTX, PPSX) directly from within Windows Explorer — right-click the file and the choose the Play option in the context menu.

You can also edit a PPS or PPSX file without changing the extension using either of these options:

  • Just drag and drop the PPS or PPSX file from Windows Explorer into an empty PowerPoint window.
  • Launch PowerPoint and open a PPS or PPSX using the File/Office Button | Open option to edit a presentation.

How Do I Convert a PPSX File to PPTX?

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Save your PPSX file in a convenient location such as your Desktop.
  2. Choose the File | Open option in PowerPoint to open the PPSX file. Make sure you choose this File | Open option rather than double-clicking the file, or double-clicking an email attachment.
  3. With your PPSX file open in Normal view in PowerPoint, press the F12 keyboard shortcut to bring up the Save As dialog box.
  4. Make sure you save now as a PPTX file. You can choose PPTX in the Save as type drop-down list.

See Also: PowerPoint Tutorials | PowerPoint Tutorials: Interface and Basics

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