Differences between using a presentation in the browser and in PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint Web App lets you make basic edits and formatting changes to your presentation in a web browser. PowerPoint Web App also runs a slide show in the browser. For more advanced editing features, use PowerPoint Web App ‘s Open in PowerPoint command. When you save the presentation in PowerPoint, it is saved on the website where you opened it in the web app.

The presentation you open in PowerPoint Web App is the same as the presentation you open in the PowerPoint desktop application, but some features work differently in the two environments.

In this article


File formats supported in PowerPoint Web App

PowerPoint Web App opens presentations in these formats:

  • PowerPoint Presentation (.pptx)
  • PowerPoint Template (.potx)
  • PowerPoint Show (.ppsx)
  • PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation (.pptm), PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Template (.potm), or PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Show (.ppsm).
    The presentation can be opened, but macros do not run. These presentations cannot be edited in the browser.
  • PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation (.ppt) or PowerPoint 97-2003 Show (.pps)
    PowerPoint Web App displays presentations in these formats, but to edit the presentation in the browser, PowerPoint Web App saves a new copy of the presentation in .pptx format. PowerPoint Web App can’t save presentations in the .ppt or pps formats.
  • PowerPoint 97-2003 Template (.pot),
    PowerPoint Web App displays presentations in this format, but they cannot be edited in the browser.
  • OpenDocument Presentation (.odp)
    This format is supported for presentations stored in a SharePoint library.

PowerPoint Web App can’t open presentations in other file formats. For example, these formats are not supported: Open Document Format (ODF), PowerPoint Add-in (.ppam), PowerPoint 97-2003 Add-in (.ppa), Rich Text Format (RTF), and Portable Document Format (PDF).

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Features supported for viewing and printing

When you view a presentation in PowerPoint Web App, you can advance through the slides or play the slide show in the browser.

If you want PowerPoint features for printing (such as printing handouts) or you are using PowerPoint Web App in SharePoint, click Open in PowerPoint, and print in the PowerPoint desktop application.

When you are viewing a presentation, some features work differently in the browser than they do in the PowerPoint desktop application. To use features that are not available in PowerPoint Web App, click Open in PowerPoint.

This feature Works like this in PowerPoint Web App
Normal, Slide Sorter, Notes Page, Reading View, and Master views Reading view provides a way to advance through the slides, to jump to a particular slide, and to display or hide slide notes. Editing view in PowerPoint Web App is similar to Normal view in the PowerPoint desktop application. Slide Sorter, Notes Page, and Master views are not available in PowerPoint Web App.
Slide Show PowerPoint Web App plays slide shows in a full-screen window. Press the spacebar to advance the slides. Slide animations play, but transitions from one slide to the next play as fades.
Video and audio Video and audio content does not play in PowerPoint Web App, but it is preserved in the file.
Outline View Outline View is available on the File tab in Reading view.
View slide notes Notes for each slide can be displayed or hidden.
Zoom Zoom is not available in PowerPoint Web App. Using your browser’s zoom enlarges text of the PowerPoint Web App user interface, but slide content is not enlarged.
Rulers and gridlines PowerPoint Web App does not display rulers and gridlines.

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Features that differ between the browser and the desktop

When you edit a presentation, some features work differently in the browser than they do in the PowerPoint desktop application. The following tables describe how PowerPoint Web App supports features that might apply to your presentations. To use features beyond what’s available in PowerPoint Web App, click Open in PowerPoint.

Opening and saving

This feature Works like this in PowerPoint Web App
File protection: IRM, digital signature, or password PowerPoint Web App can’t open presentations that are encrypted with a password, digitally signed, or protected with Information Rights Management. Open these presentations in the PowerPoint desktop application.
Save PowerPoint Web App saves your work every time you make a change. There is no Save command.

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Editing and formatting

This feature Works like this in PowerPoint Web App
Create, delete, reorder, hide slides Add, reorder, duplicate, hide, and delete slides. Choose a layout when you create a new slide.
Copy and Paste Copy and paste text. Text pasted in PowerPoint Web App keeps the formatting of where it was copied. You might need to format the text after pasting it, to match formatting of surrounding text.
Font formatting Apply bold, italics, underline, font, size, and color. Note: the Format Painter command is not available in PowerPoint Web App.
Paragraph formatting Align paragraphs left, right, or centered; run text right-to-left or left-to-right; increase or decrease indentation; format paragraphs as a bulleted or numbered list.
Numbering and bullets Apply built-in numbering or bullet formats.
Find Find and Replace are not available in PowerPoint Web App.
Theme Theme is preserved in the presentation but can’t be edited in PowerPoint Web App.
Slide masters and slide layouts Slides in PowerPoint Web App are based on the slide master and layouts that were used to create the slide in the PowerPoint desktop application. For presentations created in PowerPoint Web App, slide masters and layouts are based on default settings. Choose among a gallery of slide layouts when you add a slide to a presentation, but you cannot change slide masters or modify layouts in PowerPoint Web App.
Animations and transitions These are preserved in the presentation but can’t be added or changed in PowerPoint Web App.
Slide show Options for setting up and customizing the slide show, broadcasting the slide show, or setting up monitors are not available in PowerPoint Web App.
Co-authoring Multiple authors can work simultaneously in PowerPoint 2010 for presentations stored in a SharePoint library. Co-authoring is not available in PowerPoint Web App.
Comments Comments are hidden in PowerPoint Web App, but they are preserved in the presentation. Comments can’t be added in PowerPoint Web App.

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Objects

This feature Works like this in PowerPoint Web App
Hyperlinks Insert, edit, and follow hyperlinks. Bookmark links work, but cannot be edited in PowerPoint Web App.
Tables Tables are displayed but cannot be edited (other than to delete them) in PowerPoint Web App.
Pictures and clip art

Insert pictures stored on your computer, or insert clip art available on Office.com. You can apply a number of picture styles, but pictures and clip art cannot be moved or resized. More sophisticated features for working with pictures, such as applying effects and cropping, are not available in PowerPoint Web App. You can’t create screenshots in PowerPoint Web App, but screenshots that are in a presentation display as pictures in PowerPoint Web App.

 Note    In SharePoint, the ability to insert clip art is available only if it has been switched on by the SharePoint administrator.

Video and audio These are preserved in the presentation, but cannot be added in PowerPoint Web App. They are displayed as placeholders.
Shapes, charts, equations, and ink These can’t be inserted in PowerPoint Web App, but PowerPoint Web App displays them as expected. In Editing view they appear as pictures that cannot be edited.
SmartArt Insert SmartArt, switch to a different layout or color scheme, apply Smart Art styles, and edit text.
Text boxes and WordArt These can’t be inserted in PowerPoint Web App, but PowerPoint Web App displays them as expected. In Editing view, edit and format text. If you want to apply text effects to WordArt, click Open in PowerPoint.
Symbols These can’t be inserted or edited in PowerPoint Web App. If the font for displaying a symbol is not available, the symbol is displayed as a placeholder.
Headers and footers Headers and footers, including date and slide numbers, cannot be inserted, edited, or deleted in PowerPoint Web App, but PowerPoint Web App displays them as expected.
Macros You can view, edit, print, and share presentations that contain macros, but to run the macros click Open in PowerPoint.
ActiveX controls, embedded OLE objects These can’t be inserted or edited in PowerPoint Web App, but PowerPoint Web App displays them as expected.
Linked pictures    These are preserved in the presentation but are hidden in Reading view and Slide Show. They are displayed as placeholders in Editing view.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint Web App