This questions has been asked often, and with PowerPoint 2010 coming up, it’s been asked more frequently. The question is about having multiple versions of PowerPoint installed on the same machine, and if that can cause any problems?
The answer is that generally you should see no problems as long as you follow some guidelines:
- If you want to install an older version of PowerPoint, and you have newer versions installed — then you first need to uninstall the newer versions first. Always reboot after each install or uninstall.
Make sure you have the install media for all your PowerPoint (and Microsoft Office) versions — and the serial numbers too!
- Now install the oldest version you want — for example, the oldest to newest sequence would be:
PowerPoint 2002 (XP)
After installing each version, reboot your system and install all available updates and service packs before proceeding to install the next successive version. Yes, you need to reboot after installing updates and service packs too!
And if your version of PowerPoint needs online activation (as all versions after PowerPoint 2002 do), then activate before installing the successive version.
By default, the newest versions will take over the associations for the PowerPoint file format but if you need to open a particular file in an older version, you can always use the File | Open options in that version to open that file.
Also, on one of my Windows Vista machines I have no problem having PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2007 open at the same time — don’t know if this works everywhere though — do try how it works for you!
There’s also a very interesting discussion on this subject on Indezine’s LinkedIn group.