Saving PowerPoint for the Web | File types / Examples

PowerPoint to Web

Regular PowerPoint: Files ending with .ppt

When you save PowerPoint normally, you end up with a file ending with a .ppt extension. This uploads to the Web just fine - and can be downloaded and viewed by anyone who has either PowerPoint or the free PowerPoint viewer. Different browsers handle all fancy PowerPoint elements differently: Animations, clipart, etc. may look very different in Firefox or Safari - and even in older versions of Microsoft's own Internet Explorer.

Also, If folks download a .ppt file, it opens in edit mode - they have to know how to display it as a slide show.

Example: Normal .ppt file

Make sure to try this in both Internet Explorer and Firefox - you'll see why/

PowerPoint Show: Files ending with .pps

Using the File | Save As menu (by adjusting the FIles of Type box at the bottom of the screen), you can change the file type to a PowerPoint Show, which gives you a file ending in .pps. Now, when downloaded, the file will always open in Slide Show mode.

Example: Powerpoint Show (.pps file)

Converting to PDF: Files ending with .pdf

On the Mac you can also use the File | Save As menu choice to save as PDF. In Windows, however, you have to have a converter available: either Adobe's complete (and expensive) Acrobat program -not just the free reader - or something else. In the TLC's CCSF labs (Batmale 313 and 422) we have the free pdf Creator installed. You can print to a pdf using PowerPoint's print dialog, and choosing PDF Creator as the "printer" - you end up with a file ending in .pdf.


PowerPoint Converted to PDF (converter: Adobe Acrobat from toolbar)

PowerPoint Converted to PDF - 4 pages on one (converter: PDF Creator)

Creating the standard handout version to download

The 3-slides + space for notes format is the tried-and-true method for handouts to distribute with your presentation at a conference or in class.

In Powerpoint itself, to print this format:

  1. Open the Print dialog (File menu | Print)
  2. In the Print What box, choose Handouts
  3. In Slides per page: Choose 3
  4. Print to any available printer

To make a pdf of this handout version of your presentation:

Do steps 1, 2 and 3 to set handouts as your print format

Then: Convert to pdf by either:

  • Canceling the print and then clicking the Convert to Adobe PDF icon on the Acrobat toolbar (if you have the complete Acrobat installed on your computer - we have it in our TLC labs). Sometimes you may have to actually print one copy of the handout to set the print option before you click the Adobe pdf icon to convert to pdf.
  • OR: If you have installed PDF Creator, choose that as the printer and print.

The resulting pdf will be in handout format.


PowerPoint Handout saved as pdf

Saving "As Web Page"

Save as Web page is another option on the File menu. It creates an html file (same name as the presentation and a .htm extension).  PLUS a folder with the name of the presentation and the work "files" that is necessary for the presentation to run on the Web. You must upload BOTH the htm file and the folder for the Web version of the presentation to work. And the results are tailored to Internet Explorer.

Example: PowerPoint Saved as Web page

To see the problems inherent in this method, open the link in both Internet Explorer and FireFox or Safari.


LecShare is an inexpensive program devoted to making PowerPoint files accessible. It does this in two ways:

  1. You can open a PowerPoint presentation inside LecShare and have the program highlight non-compliant features (like missing Alt tags for images). The program allows you to add the tags within LecShare and saves them back into your original PowerPoint.
  2. Recording and presenting narration: If you include your narration script in yourPowerPoint presentation's notes field, LecShare can help you produce 508-compliant forms of your presentation that are ready for uploading to the Web.
    It helps the recording process by displaying notes beside your slide so that you can use them as prompts. When you are through recording, it can output the result to a compliant HTML format ot to a captioned QuickTime video.

More on Lecshare

LecShare's Web site

    CCSF Web site    
    November 18, 2008