Did you receive a PowerPoint presentation, and now you have been asked to make edits to the PowerPoint slides within Google Slides? Why? It could be that you no longer have access to PowerPoint. It may also be that the program used to work with slides in your organization or educational institution is Google Slides, and you are expected to work within that program.
While PowerPoint is certainly the de facto standard for presentation slides, you may have umpteen reasons to work with Google Slides and also may need to open PowerPoint slides in Google’s presentation program to either view slides or to edit them. You may even have to save the slides in Google Slides’ native format and that’s something we will explore later on this page. Whatever your objective may be, you will first need to open your PowerPoint presentation in Google Slides as the first step.
Are Both Programs Similar?
The answer to that question is neither yes nor no. Answers may depend on your usage scenario, and beginner presentation users may find that Google Slides does have all the features they need. Also, while Google’s presentation program allows you to import PowerPoint presentations, it doesn’t support all features and effects of PowerPoint. In many ways, you will have to decide what works best for you.
Finally, it is true that Microsoft’s presentation program has many more features, and PowerPoint for the Web is something that’s more similar in breadth and features with Google Slides.
In this article, we will look at three ways to open a PowerPoint presentation in Google Slides. These are the three methods we will explore:
- Open from Google Drive. This method copies a PowerPoint presentation to Google Drive and then, lets you open from there within Google Slides.
- Open within Google Slides. Launch Google Slides and open a PowerPoint presentation, even if it resides on your local computer.
- Open from Gmail. Open a PowerPoint presentation attached to an email within Gmail, which as you all know, is Google’s email program.
Method 1: Open from Google Drive
These steps will allow you to open a PowerPoint presentation in Google Slides using Google Drive.
- Open your web browser and sign in to any of your Google services such as your Gmail account. Next, click the Nine Dots button at the top-right, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, below. Click the Drive icon in this menu.
Figure 1: Nine-dots button
- Doing so opens Google Drive in a new browser tab. Click on the New option, as shown highlighted in red in Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: Click the New button
- Click on the File Upload option in the ensuing menu, as shown highlighted in red in Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Choose the File Upload option
Looks Different on Your Computer?
If the interface looks a little different on your computer than what you see within the screenshots on this page, there is no reason to worry.
First of all, you may be using a different browser or even a different operating system. Secondly, Google Drive, Gmail, or even Slides are not installed desktop applications like PowerPoint, and their interface may change more frequently. Even then, you may find that most options will work similarly to what you see on this page.
- This action will open a dialog box that allows you to choose a PowerPoint file for upload, as shown in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Open dialog box
- After browsing and selecting a file from your local computer, click the Open button, shown highlighted in red within Figure 4, above. Doing so will upload the file directly to your Google Drive.
- Once your file is uploaded, you will see a notification in the bottom-right of your browser window, as shown in Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: Upload complete
- Right-click on your uploaded file within to open a context menu. Next, you must bring up a submenu by choosing the Open with option. Select the Google Slides option from this submenu.
- Google Slides will open and launch your PowerPoint file, as shown in Figure 6, below. Do note that you are warned about Google Slides not supporting all PowerPoint features, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6. Making edits could overwrite some PowerPoint file characteristics. You can see the file format being used for this file, as shown highlighted in green in Figure 6.
Figure 6: Save as Google Slides
- It is probably best that you do not alter the PowerPoint file at this point in time and save it as a Google Slides file. To save as a Google Slides file, choose the File | Save as Google Slides option, as shown highlighted in blue in Figure 6, above. Doing so will ensure that you have saved versions of both your PowerPoint and Google Slides files.
Method 2: Launch Google Slides and open a PowerPoint presentation
This is a very simple method to open PowerPoint presentations straightaway within Google Slides:
- Open your web browser and access Google Slides by visiting the product page, as shown in Figure 7, below. Make sure that you have signed in using the Google account you want to use.
Figure 7: Sign in to Google Slides
- Locate the Recent presentations area, and click on the Open file picker icon, located at the rightmost of this area, as shown highlighted in red in Figure 7, above.
- Doing so brings up the Open a file window with several tabs, as shown in Figure 8, below.
Figure 8: Open a file
- Options within these tabs are explained below:
- My Drive: If the PowerPoint presentation is within your Google Drive, you can choose this tab.
- Shared with Me: If PowerPoint presentations have been shared with your Google account, they will be located within this tab.
- Starred: If you have starred any presentations, those will show up in this tab, which makes it easy to quickly open a favorite presentation.
- Recent: Your recently opened presentations will show within this tab.
- Upload: You can use this tab to upload any local PowerPoint presentations from your computer.
- Whichever tab you choose, locate and select your presentation file. Then, click the Open button, as shown in Figure 9, below. Do note that the Open button will be grayed out unless you select something to open.
Figure 9: Click the Open button
- Clicking the Open button brings up the presentation slides in Google Slides. Again, you can continue editing the file as a PowerPoint file, or choose to save it as a Google Slides file, as explained in the preceding section.
Method 3: Open a PowerPoint Presentation from Gmail
Follow these steps when someone sends you a PowerPoint file as an attachment within Gmail:
- Within Gmail, open the email which contains the PowerPoint file attachment.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the email, and you can see the attached file, as shown in Figure 10, below.
Figure 10: PowerPoint file as an email attachment
- Hover your cursor on the attachment, and you will find three options, as shown in Figure 11, below. Click on the third option that says Edit with Google Slides, highlighted in red within Figure 11.
Figure 11: Edit with Google Slides
- Google Slides will open the presentation in a new browser tab. Do note that in this case, the PPTX file will also be saved in your Google Drive. As with the other two methods previously explained on this page, you can continue editing the file as a PowerPoint file, or choose to save it as a Google Slides file using the process again already explained in the preceding sections.
Whichever of the three methods you choose, do remember that you can continue using the file as a PowerPoint PPTX file. We suggest you do not edit the PowerPoint PPTX file, and save it immediately as a Google Slides file so that you have native files in both file formats.