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What is a PPTX file and How to Open It? A Complete Guide!

What is a PPTX file and How to Open It? A Complete Guide!

Microsoft’s proprietary software, PowerPoint is the pioneer of digital content presentation software. It paved the way for many others of its kind. In 2007, Microsoft introduced the PPTX format, an upgrade from the original PPT files. It came with lots of features and most importantly, it didn’t obsolete the former.

PPTX is a PowerPoint file format that was introduced in 2007. It was an upgrade from PPT which had been used in PowerPoint since the launch up until 2007. The PPTX file format makes the files more flexible and can be used, opened, and edited using various tools.

PPTX files can be opened using Microsoft PowerPoint. Besides this, many third-party software like OpenOffice, Apple Keynote (Mac), Google slides, etc. Furthermore, there are several online tools to open PPTX files.

PPTX file format has many benefits over the original PPT format. PPT format is still available in PowerPoint 13 years later, proving that this format is not completely out of date.

In this article I am going to talk about what is a PPTX file and how to open it in detail, how to convert, any trouble you might run into, etc. I hope to give you a complete understanding of anything related to a PPTX file format. So, let’s get started!

What is a PPTX file?

From the launch of PowerPoint in 1987 up until 2007, PPT was the default file format for PowerPoint presentations. In PowerPoint 2007, a new format called PPTX was introduced. The new format was not meant to replace the original but to add more features. 

PPT format saved the entire file in a single binary form whereas PPTX compresses different components of a presentation in XML format. This makes accessing the information easier and convenient by using any third party open-source software. PPTX files may include various other formats .xml, .txt, .jpg etc.

What does PPTX stand for?

While PPT stands for PowerPoint, the “x” in the PPTX stands for extensive markup language (XML). XML allows standard methods to open PPTX files without any special software. You can simply rename the PPTX extension to .zip and decompress to explore various components of the file.

Benefits of Saving a Presentation in PPTX Format

The PPTX format is the latest file format of a presentation file provided by Microsoft PowerPoint. Needless to say, it is always beneficial to use the latest version of the technology.

PPTX format is no exception. It was released Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and has been included in later versions since. So, if you use PPTX format you can easily open, edit, modify any presentation using PowerPoint 2007 and later.

The most remarkable benefit of the PPTX format is that it uses XML. Thus, making this format open source. So, a PPTX file can be easily opened and modified using other third-party software. There are plenty of free applications and online tools to open PPTX files which makes this format pretty handy.

PPTX compresses the PowerPoint presentation rather than saving the whole file in a single format. So, a PPTX file can contain different file types that can be explored separately. This is one of the key benefits of the PPTX format.

Technical Requirements for a PPTX File

PPTX is supported by PowerPoint 2007 and later versions. Assuming people uses the latest version of the software which is PowerPoint 2019 the system requirements are as followings:

Operating system: Windows 10 or Mac OS or Ubuntu

Software: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 or later

CPU: 1.6 gigahertz or above

System Memory: 2 to 4 gigabytes of RAM

Space: 4 gigabytes of available space

DirectX version: DirectX9

Dll files: Leadtools.ImageProcessing.Color.dll, Leadtools.Codecs.Ppx.dll. Version 2 of DocumentFormat.OpenXml.dll and .NET Framework 3.5 or higher is required to load PPTX files (TIP – Don’t worry about the technicalities of the DII files, most modern computers will have these files built-in).

How to Open a PPTX file?

The easiest way to open a PPTX file is by using Microsoft PowerPoint as it is the default application for PPTX files. However, there are a number of other ways to open a PPTX file. Let’s look at two of the most common methods below. Later, we will also look at how you could open a PPTX file if you don’t have PowerPoint installed on your computer!

Method 1 – Using Microsoft PowerPoint

As mentioned above, Microsoft PowerPoint is the best software to open a PPTX file. This is the default tool for this type of file format. It comes bundled with the Microsoft Office Suite.

The best way to get PowerPoint is to get a subscription to Microsoft’s Office365 suite. That way, you will always have the latest version of PowerPoint with all the latest features.

If you don’t have an Office 365 subscription yet, I highly recommend that you get one. It comes packed with several other advanced features that transform your presentation! Click on this link to get a 30-day FREE trial! (Hint – Make sure you scroll all the way down to the section just above FAQs, and you’ll find a link to “Try FREE for 1 month”. Alternatively, do a Ctrl+F and search for “Try FREE for 1 month” on the page).

With Microsoft PowerPoint, you can not only open a PPTX file but also make edits or other visual changes to the presentation. Other modifications such as customizing a slide, adding or removing animation or images can also be done conveniently using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Once you have downloaded Microsoft PowerPoint, opening a PPTX file is pretty straight-forward.

To open a PPTX file with PowerPoint, simply double click on the file (assuming that you have PowerPoint installed on your computer).

Alternatively, you can also open the Microsoft PowerPoint application first. Then, click on the “Open” tab.

Upon clicking on the “Open” tab, you will see a screen similar to the one displayed in the above image.

Simply click on “Browse“. This will allow PowerPoint to browse to the specific folder and locate the PPTX file.

Next, a window will pop-up. Make sure you browse to the specific folder in which you have saved or downloaded the PPTX file.

In the next step, find and locate the PPTX file and select it by clicking on it with you mouse once.

Lastly, click on “Open” to open the PPTX file in PowerPoint.

Method 2 – Using a FREE Microsoft Account (and opening it in a Web Browser)

If you don’t have PowerPoint installed on your computer, you can still open and view a PPTX file using your Microsoft account or a Microsoft 365 email or work account.

Creating an account on Microsoft is completely free. If you don’t already have a Microsoft account, you can create one for free here.

Once you have an account created, all you need to do is save the file to OneDrive or Dropbox and use PowerPoint for the web to open it. You can also click on the PowerPoint Web link provided and directly upload the file there to view it.

The beauty of PowerPoint web is that it allows you to also present the file online via a weblink.

Method 3 – Using Other Third-party Presentation Software

There is plenty of third-party software that can be used to open PPTX files. Although they might not be as handy as Microsoft PowerPoint, they still should be able to get the job done.

Furthermore, there are a couple of online tools that will allow you to open and modify PPTX files. This is exactly where the significance of the PPTX format enables the user to be more versatile in terms of software choices.

We shall talk about some of the best third-party software applications to open a PPTX file later in the article in below.

How to Open PPTX files without PowerPoint? (Free Alternatives)

Microsoft PowerPoint is the go-to software to open PPTX files. But, that is not the only solution. The significance of the PPTX format is that it is open source. This means it can be opened using various third-party software. Below, I am going to talk about some of the best free alternatives to open PPTX files:

1. WPS Office Presentation

WPS office to open PPT files without PowerPoint

WPS Office is honestly my personal favorite simply because it looks and to a great extent works almost exactly like Microsoft PowerPoint!

Thus, WPS Office Presentation is one of the best tools to open PPTX files. It is free and easy to use. You have to simply download the software from their website and install it in your system. One of the other advantages is that it is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.

2. Google Slides

Use Google Slides to open a PPTX file without PowerPoint

Google Slides is Google’s answer to the Office Suite. It is completely FREE to use and all you need is a Google Account.

Google slides is a user-oriented online tool that can be used to open, edit, or convert PPTX files. Just upload your PPTX file in Google drive and open with Google slide. You can make any modifications you want. Also, you can change the format of the PPTX files.

Google Slides doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles like PowerPoint, but it gets the job done! It is quick and handy, and you don’t even need to download any software!

3. Apache OpenOffice

OpenOffice by apache software foundation is another excellent third-party tool to view and edit PPTX files. It is also free and user friendly. Unlike many other third party PPTX tools, apache OpenOffice fully supports PPTX files.

This means with OpenOffice, you can open, view, edit, and customize PPTX files just like you can with Microsoft PowerPoint. It also supports mac OS.

After installing OpenOffice, select ‘File’ then select ‘Open’ from the menu bar. Choose ‘All files’ in file types. Then go to the location of the PPTX files and double click to open.

4. Keynote (How to Open a PPTX file on Mac?)

Keynote is also one of the best tools to open PPTX files. If you are a Mac user, then you perhaps don’t need any other software to open a PPTX file as Keynote comes pre-installed with Mac OS.

Keynote’s interface is very easy to use. After launching the keynote, locate the PPTX file in your hard drive. Then double click to open it. A loading bar may appear on your screen. This is Keynote making necessary changes to the file to open. The loading time may vary depending on the complexity of the file.

5. Corel Presentations

One of my last recommendations would be Corel Presentation. Now, it is NOT a free tool, but it does work really well!

Corel corporations recently released their Presentation software known as Corel presentation which is a similar tool to Microsoft PowerPoint. It can also be used to access PPTX files in case you don’t have PowerPoint.

Corel presentation is not a standalone release as of yet. It is available with Corel’s office productivity suite.

That said, if you simply want to open and view the PPTX file, you should choose any of the other four options mentioned above. They will get most of the tasks done without any problem.

How to Open PPTX file on Android?

Sometimes, we just need to have a quick look at the presentation file when we are traveling. So, viewing a PPTX on your android device is a great alternative to opening a laptop. You may have your own reason to open a PPTX file on your phone, but how exactly does one do that?

In order to open a PPTX file on an Android device, you will need to install a third-party application which is designed to read a PPTX file. Some of the best apps are Microsoft’s PowerPoint Mobile, WPS Office, Polaris Office and Zoho Show.

Each application will need you to first download it from the Google Playstore for Android users, and then open the file using that particular app. Since the steps are just the same as installing any other application on your mobile phone, I will refrain from the step by step instructions.

How to Convert PPTX Files to Other Formats?

Converting PPTX files to other formats is not that difficult. There are several ways you can convert a PPTX file to other file formats. Microsoft PowerPoint’s user-friendly features also can be used to convert PPTX files. A few methods are explained below:

1. Convert PPTX file using Microsoft PowerPoint or other Similar Apps

If you are using the latest version of PowerPoint, then you can not only open and view a PPTX file, but you can also convert it to other file formats.

Alternatively, if you don’t have the latest version of PowerPoint, but you know a friend who has one, you can still reach out to them and ask them to help you out by converting a PPTX file to a PPT file.

Either way, here’s how to convert a PPTX file in Microsoft PowerPoint –

To convert PPTX files to other formats using Microsoft PowerPoint, you first need to open the file using PowerPoint. You can use the methods described above to open the PPTX file.

Once you have your file open, go to the “File” tab, and then click “Save As“. Then choose the location where you want to save the file on your computer by clicking on “This PC“.

A new window will pop-up. Before you click save, make sure you change the name of the file, and then click “Save as Type” section. This will open a huge dropdown list.

You may be surprised to know the various different formats in which you can save a PowerPoint file! Nevertheless, choose a file type that you desire by clicking on it. Finally, click “Save“.

Now go to the folder or the location in which you have saved the converted file. You will notice that PowerPoint will have created a copy of the file converted into the format that you had chosen.

The process is pretty much the same if you are using any other presentation applications such as WPS, Keynote or OpenOffice.

2. Convert PPTX file using Google Slides

Google slides is another great tool to convert PPTX files. It’s an online tool so you don’t have to download any software.

Unlike PowerPoint and other applications, Google Slides has very limited formats in which you can convert your presentation. So, converting a PPTX to a PPT file may not be possible with Google Slides. However, you can convert it to a PDF file format.

In order to convert the PPTX file using Google Slides, simply sign in to your Google drive and click ‘New’ on the top left corner.

Then select ‘File upload’ and choose the PPTX file. After completing the upload, click the file in the bottom right corner. After opening, click ‘Open with Google Slides’ on top of the screen.

After opening with Google slides, click ‘File’ then navigate to ‘Download’. You will see a menu that will appear containing formats like .odp, .pdf, .spg, etc. Just choose the one you want and the PPTX file will be converted to that.

3. Convert PPTX file Online

There are various tools that allow you to not only open PPTX file online but also convert it to other file formats.

a. ) Online Convert

Document online-convert is a great tool that allows you to convert a PPTX file to a PPT format.

If you do not have the latest version of PowerPoint, this is a great way to convert the file to PPT and open it using the older version of PowerPoint.

Online-convert is completely FREE to use.

b.) Zamzar

Zamzar is another awesome tool that allows you to convert your PPTX file to a PPT file.

It is pretty simple and straightforward to use this website. All you have to do is simply upload the PPTX file, choose a format you want to change it to, and then simply download the file.

Just like online-convert, Zamzar is also completely FREE to use.

What is the Difference between PPTX and PPT File Formats?

PPTX format does not differ drastically from PPT. However, some significant differences are listed below:

VersionsPPTX file format cannot be used in versions older than PowerPoint 2007PPT format is supported by newer versions of PowerPoint
SourcePPTX format is open sourcePPT format is not open source and only supported by Microsoft PowerPoint
FormatsPPTX format saves the file as XML and zip formatPPT format saves files as a single binary file
VersatilityThis format is versatile and can be opened and modified by various third-party softwareNo third-party software can be used to customize PPT files
Content AccessibilityContents of PPTX files can be explored individually by decompressingPPT format does not support this type of feature
FeaturesMany unique features are included in PPTX formatsFeatures like linking videos cannot be used in PPT format

PPT vs PPTX vs PPSX – Which is best?

One of the key features of PowerPoint is its ability to save the presentation files in various types of file formats. But, this benefit can equally easily become a problem for a few users. At first glance, it can be difficult to understand the differences between the three file formats and thus create confusion amongst the users.

PPT was the default extension for PowerPoint presentations up until PowerPoint 2007. In the PowerPoint 2007 release, this default extension was replaced by PPTX. This offered more choices to users to use different apps. PPT files can still be used in Microsoft PowerPoint.

PPTX format saves the file in an open XML format instead of saving as a single binary file like PPT format. So, they can be viewed and changed easily using different software. Also, they can be simply decompressed and the file components can be explored independently. Many unique features have been added in PowerPoint that can be availed only in the PPTX format.

PPSX format is similar to PPTX. The only difference between them is that when you open PPSX files, they open directly as a slideshow. Furthermore, they are designed such that you cannot make any change to the presentation when using a PPSX file as you are unable to see the editable version of the presentation. Whereas PPTX files are opened directly in edit mode so that you can tweak the file at will.

PPSX format is the best used when you don’t want the end user to edit the file but be able to view the slideshow or the presentation.

All you have to do is just open the file and the automated slideshow presentation shall start.

As to the question of which one is the best format amongst the three – you should always prioritize and choose a PPTX format over a PPT format to save your presentations as it offers more features and can be readily accessed.

Having Trouble Opening PPTX Files?

You still can run into some trouble opening PPTX files. This can result from corrupt PPTX files. They can be corrupted due to several reasons like:

  • Error in the installation of Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Unnecessary format changing
  • Any malware attacks
  • Using faulty tools to repair PPTX files

These are some of the reasons that might corrupt PPTX files. You can try any of the following methods to recover corrupt PPTX files:

  • Open PowerPoint in safe mode
  • Change the location of the corrupt PPTX files on your hard drive
  • Create a new file using the corrupted slides

If none of the above methods works, don’t worry. Luckily there are many reliable PPTX recovery tools available. You can try any of the following tools to repair your corrupt PPTX files:

  • DataNumen PowerPoint Recovery 
  • Stellar Phoenix PowerPoint Repair 
  • PowerPoint Repair Toolbox 
  • Recovery Toolbox for PowerPoint 
  • Remo Repair PowerPoint


Q. Can I use PPTX in older PowerPoint versions?

No. To use PPTX you must have PowerPoint 2007 or later.

Q. Is PPT format still usable?

Yes. PPT format is still used but some features are not available in PPT format.

Q. Can I convert PPT files to PPTX format?

Yes. PPT files can be converted to PPTX by Microsoft PowerPoint or other third-party tools.

Q. Can I open PPTX files without PowerPoint?

Yes. PPTX files can be opened and viewed by various third-party software and web tools.

Q. Can I use ppt format in the latest PowerPoint versions?

Yes. PPT format can be used in any PowerPoint version.

Final Thoughts

With the inception of the PPTX file format, digital content presentation gained an all-new level thanks to Microsoft’s global thinking. Creating digital content, slide presentations, etc. are now more convenient than ever. You can open, view, edit, or make any modifications you want without having Microsoft PowerPoint.

Not only PPTX is supported by third-party software, but also, there are plenty of web-based tools to use. It makes working with PPTX very flexible and time-efficient. Also, you can switch between formats using online tools like Cloudconvert, Zamzar, etc. they offer conversion with only a few clicks. So, you don’t have to be an advanced user to use them.

I’ve explained every possible detail about what is a PPTX file and how to open it, how to view and modify them without having Microsoft PowerPoint, basic differences between various formats. Also, I tried to shed some light on any trouble you might find and how to overcome them. 

I expect the above writing will help to mitigate any difficulty you might face and have a smooth and personalized experience regarding the PPTX format. Best of luck with your presentations. And thanks for stopping by.