How to Open PowerPoint Documents Without PowerPoint
Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to open a PowerPoint presentation but don’t have the program installed on your computer? Maybe you’re at work and forgot to bring your laptop. Or perhaps you’re using your friend’s home PC, which doesn’t have an up-to-date version of MS Office.
If this sounds like you, we’ve got some good news. There are plenty of tools that can help open that PowerPoint document, and you don’t even need to spend big to get them.
In this article, we’re going to take you through the different tools that you could use to open a PowerPoint file if you don’t have the program on your device.
PowerPoint Compatible Applications
Microsoft PowerPoint may be the Mona Lisa of presentation programs, but it’s definitely not the only well-known option in town. Whether you want to make your work stand out with some snazzy transitions and animations or need an easy-to-use tool for creating basic slide shows, there are plenty of options available on the market. These include web-based utilities like Google Docs Presentations, LibreOffice Impress, PowerPoint Viewer, NeoOffice, Slide Share, and others.
Let’s now see how each of these tools work.
1. Downloadable Programs
a) PowerPoint Online
PowerPoint Online is a cloud-based service from Microsoft that allows users to create, edit and share presentations on any of their devices. It provides high-quality presentation tools that let you design and collaborate with your team and automatically synchronize that information across your connected devices.
To use PowerPoint Online, all you need is a browser and a Microsoft account (hotmail.com, live.com, outlook.com, MSN, or even a Microsoft 365 work/school account). If you have the file on your computer, you can view it with one simple drag from your desktop to the PowerPoint web page. You can also use PowerPoint online to open files saved on Dropbox or OneDrive.
PowerPoint Online lets you share or collaborate with partners when giving presentations. So you’ll never have that awkward moment during work meetings where colleagues are trying to pass along an idea but can’t quite do so because they don’t have access to the specific content like you do.
b) PowerPoint Viewer
PowerPoint Viewer is a great tool to use if you want to view your PowerPoint presentations. It works well with password-protected documents and allows you to open, print, and share files with others. Although it doesn’t allow you to edit anything, you can see slideshows in their entirety and compile notes on ideas that may have been brewing while it was being created.
Although, Microsoft retired the original PowerPoint Viewer back in 2018, but we already have a few replacements designed for Windows 10 version 17763.0 or higher. A good example would be PPTX Viewer, which offers pretty much the same tools as the application originally developed.
2. Open-Source Tools
You’ll be pleased to learn that Microsoft PowerPoint isn’t the only tool you can use to power through a slideshow. There are plenty of open-source alternatives out there that don’t involve the default software package from Microsoft. In most cases, these alternatives are as good as PowerPoint itself, if not much better. Before looking at our top picks under this category, it’s important to understand what open-source tools are.
Open-source software is software whose source code is available to the public for reuse, study, and redistribution under a list of licensing terms that indicate various copyright responsibilities. Unlike proprietary software, no one owns open-source software. Everyone can modify it and share it with others. For this reason, you should always exercise caution before using any open source program for your presentations.
Here are our top open-source presentation tools:
a) Apache OpenOffice Impress
Apache OpenOffice Impress is a free and general-purpose office software compatible with many different kinds of documents. It includes a word processor (similar to Microsoft Word), a spreadsheet application (similar to Excel), and a presentation and graphics program (similar to PowerPoint). It is available in over 100 languages and also allows you to install third-party extensions for additional functionality.
To open a PowerPoint file with the help of Apache OpenOffice Impress:
- Download and install the software on your computer.
- Open the application and press the Ctrl + O keys simultaneously. This will allow you to open any of the PPTX files on your device.
- Double-click on the PPTX file of interest to open it.
Apache OpenOffice Impress is a versatile tool that allows you to view and create striking presentations. You can even enhance your presentations with 2D and 3D graphics, special effects, and animations. The toolbar and sidebar are incredibly user-friendly. There’s a “Properties” button to help you sort through slideshows as well as a “Navigator” button to enable you to navigate around with ease. In addition, a variety of formatting tools are available in the “Style” section located at the top of every slide.
Apache Open Office Impress might not have the best graphics but it certainly won’t disappoint. That said, there’s a minor learning curve involved, and it’s unlikely that you’ll hit the ground running. But once you conquer that hurdle and learn how all of its features work, you’ll be making high-quality presentations in no time.
b) LibreOffice Impress
LibreOffice’s presentation software is also named Impress. It’s synonymous with quality presentations that are just as good as those created using PowerPoint.
To open a PowerPoint file with LibreOffice:
- Download and install the software on your computer.
- After installation, open the application and press the Ctrl + O keys simultaneously. This will allow you to open any of the PPTX files on your device.
- Double-click on the PPTX file you’d like to open.
LibreOffice Impress comes with a wide range of templates to choose from, but their basic layout can be tweaked by installing specific formatting add-ons. That includes animated transitions and decorative frames. So it’s a good pick if you need well-crafted presentations, complete with visual animations and powerful charts for your marketing campaign.
Libre Office and Apache OpenOffice are strikingly similar. As a result, some users use them interchangeably.
NeoOffice is a free, open-source office suite for Mac that includes word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawing applications. It also allows you to open presentations initially created using LibreOffice or OpenOffice Impress.
To open a PowerPoint presentation using NeoOffice:
- Click on “File” and then select “Open.”
- Navigate to the location of your PowerPoint document.
- Double-click on the file to open it.
- Select “Slide Sorter” view and then click on the “Play” icon.
NeoOffice comes with several benefits. First, you don’t have to use or subscribe to any particular service to work with your documents in the software. Second, it’s always up-to-date because the developers constantly monitor the program and install the updates by themselves. They don’t have to wait for official approval from a company owner such as Microsoft or Apple to release new features. Lastly, there are no commercial restrictions on downloading copies for multiple people at once.
3. Web-Based Tools
a) Google Docs Presentations
If you want to make a presentation without using PowerPoint, Google Slides is an excellent option. It lets users easily import their presentations and share them with others conveniently through the cloud. Although it doesn’t come with the same features as Microsoft PowerPoint, it’s one of the most user-friendly presentation tools.
If you want to open a PowerPoint file using Google Docs, here are the steps:
- Sign in to your Google Drive account.
- Click on “New” and then select “File Upload.”
- Navigate to the location of the PowerPoint document you’d like to view and then click on “Open.” At this point, your file should begin uploading. During the process, it’s automatically modified into a Google Docs file.
- After uploading successfully, right-click on the document and then click on “Open with.”
- Select “Google Slides” from the dropdown list.
Besides viewing the file, you can also make further tweaks as you see fit. Additionally, you can download the presentation in various formats, including PPTX, ODP, PDF, JPEG, and TXT.
SlideShare is a social media site for presentations. Users can upload their slideshows and embed them on other websites. Presentations are typically viewed by browsing topics that others have uploaded within a specific category (e.g., business, marketing).
To open a PowerPoint file using SlideShare:
- Sign in to your SlideShare account.
- Click on the “Upload” button on the upper right.
- Navigate to the location of the PowerPoint document you’d like to view and then click on “Open.”
- Use the SlideShare upload screen to fill out some information about your presentation. That includes the title of your presentation, the level of privacy desired (public, private, or limited), and a brief description of what your presentation is all about.
- Click on “Publish” to complete the process.
- Click on “My Uploads” to view the presentation.
SlideShare comes with its limitations. Notably, you can only upload PPT files as static slideshows with no multimedia or animation effects. In addition, the quality of the text and images you create within your presentation is low since everything is saved in a raster format (720 x 480 pixels resolution).
Despite the low resolution, SlideShare presents one of the best ways to introduce yourself and your work in an interactive format that’s easy on the eyes. You’re able to create engaging, compelling, and immediately shareable presentations that can be accessed anytime.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Use PowerPoint on a Smartphone or Tablet?
The Microsoft Office mobile app lets you read, view, and edit PowerPoint documents on the go with your iPad, iPhone, or Android device. You can store files in the cloud and access them from anywhere. The app is designed to work around your schedule by seamlessly syncing the files on your devices to provide online and offline support.
You can use the app to open files in your Google Drive or OneDrive account and quickly transfer them between devices. What’s more, you can create a document on one device and then continue editing it later on another device. Thus, the app is perfect for co-authoring with others.
The app is readily available in both the App Store and Google Play.
Make Presentations Like a Pro
PowerPoint is an excellent program for presentations, but its alternatives may work better depending on your needs. In this tutorial, we’ve shared information on how each of the available options works and what to do to view your document. We’re confident that this information will help you choose the perfect presentation tool for your next project.
Have you tried any alternatives to PowerPoint? Let us know in the comments section below.