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PowerPoint for the web

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PowerPoint for the web (formerly PowerPoint Web App) extends your Microsoft PowerPoint experience to the web browser, where you can work with presentations directly on the website where the presentation is stored. Microsoft 365 customers with Microsoft 365 for the web can view, create, and edit files on the go.

The PowerPoint Editor is a web front-end component that creates a browser-based editing surface, which lets users work on documents without losing fidelity.

If you select the Open in PowerPoint button on the PowerPoint for the web toolbar, the presentation opens in the PowerPoint desktop app (if Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 or later is installed on the computer).

Learn how to download and install Office using Microsoft 365 for business on a PC .

Alignment, bullets, numbers

With PowerPoint for the web, you can change paragraph alignment, apply bullets or numbering, and change the level of bulleted or numbered text. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Apply basic transitions and animations

Choose from a gallery of animation and transition effects. PowerPoint for the web supports eight transitions and 37 animations. Additional animations and transitions not supported by PowerPoint for the web are preserved in the presentation and displayed in the slide show, but they can't be modified in PowerPoint for the web. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Apply rich formatting to text, shapes, and pictures

Not available in PowerPoint for the web. Advanced formatting features, such as more colors, gradients, eyedropper, effects, and styles, are available in the PowerPoint desktop app. With PowerPoint for the web, you can add a text box or choose from a gallery of shapes and apply styles, which define fill, outline, and shadow effects.

Apply themes and theme variants

Choose from a gallery of built-in themes and variants when you add a new slide to the presentation. Themes not supported by PowerPoint for the web are preserved in the presentation, but the ability to modify themes is not available in PowerPoint for the web. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Office add-ins

PowerPoint for the web only supports content add-ins for Office. Content add-ins integrate web-based features as content that can be shown in line with a presentation. Learn more about types of add-ins for Office .

Arrange objects

Move, resize, rotate, or order shapes and text boxes in layers, back-to-front in PowerPoint for the web. Ungroup shapes to work with them individually. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Broadcast slide show

The PowerPoint desktop app is required to broadcast a slide show to a remote audience through PowerPoint for the web. Viewers can watch lives presentations through PowerPoint for the web, regardless of whether they have the PowerPoint desktop app installed. Learn more about broadcast slide show .

With PowerPoint for the web, you can cut, copy, and paste content in a presentation. A user can copy and paste text between Microsoft 365 for the web programs, as well as between Microsoft 365 for the web and the Microsoft Office desktop apps on the computer. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Create and manage slides

Add, reorder, duplicate, hide, and delete slides in PowerPoint for the web. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Create custom animation

PowerPoint for the web includes a gallery of animation effects. Animations not supported by PowerPoint for the web are preserved in the presentation and displayed in the slide show, but they can't be modified in PowerPoint for the web. To create custom animations, you'll need the PowerPoint desktop app installed on your computer. Learn more about creating custom animations with PowerPoint 2013 desktop app .

Design tools, advanced

Not available in PowerPoint for the web. Advanced design features, such creating slide masters and modifying layouts, are only available in the PowerPoint desktop app. With PowerPoint for the web, you can use your own template file as the basis for creating new files or choose from a predefined list of themes.

Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software.

Embed presentation on web or blog page

With PowerPoint for the web, you can embed presentations on websites or blogs so that anyone can view your information even if they don't have the Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app. Embedded viewers show animations, transitions, and audio/video—the same as full fidelity reading view. Learn more about embedding presentations on a web or blog page .

Font downloading and formatting

The font service is a CDN based solution to ensure Office applications are able to render documents and presentations in full fidelity by downloading the required fonts to the local machine.

When sharing PowerPoint presentations with recipients via PowerPoint for the web, only use the fonts detailed in the cloud fonts list here . Why? These fonts are available in the cloud and are downloaded as needed and installed on our servers. Other fonts, including locally installed fonts not on this list and embedded fonts, will not be installed on our servers and will be replaced with fallback fonts, resulting in content reflow and formatting issues.

PowerPoint for the web lets you apply bold, italics, underline, font, size, and color to text. You can also use the Format Painter to copy the format of entire shapes.

To use your organization’s custom font on PowerPoint for the web, upload your font as an Organization Asset Library .

Full fidelity reading view

View presentations as they were intended to be seen—showing animations, transitions, and audio/video.

Full ink support

Ink can't be inserted in PowerPoint for the web, but PowerPoint for the web displays them as expected.

Full selection of animations and transitions

PowerPoint for the web supports eight transitions and 37 animations. For a larger selection, use the PowerPoint desktop app.

Headers and footers

Headers and footers, including date and slide numbers, can't be inserted, edited, or deleted in PowerPoint for the web, but PowerPoint for the web displays them as expected. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Insert, edit, and follow hyperlinks. Bookmark links work, but can't be edited in PowerPoint for the web.

Insert online video

Video and audio content plays in Reading view and Slide Show, with a file size limit of 100 MB. Online video can be inserted from YouTube, and media controls can be resized, moved, and deleted in PowerPoint for the web. But to insert audio and video other than YouTube, you need the Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app.

Integration with Excel for charts

Not available in PowerPoint for the web. With PowerPoint for the web, you can view Excel charts in an existing presentation, but you can't edit or insert an Excel chart in a presentation using PowerPoint for the web. Learn more about copying an Excel chart to PowerPoint .

Navigation - slide sorter

Slide sorter view, which gives you a view of your slides in thumbnail form, makes it easy to sort and organize your slides. You can use slide sorter view to organize your slides, add sections, and sort slides into different categories.

Offline viewing and authoring

PowerPoint for the web is launched from a web browser and relies on an internet connection. To access presentations offline, Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app must be installed on your computer and used to view and edit slides.

Picture cropping

Improve the framing of a subject in a picture with the cropping tool. Simply click one of the cropping handles at the edge of the picture and drag it until you achieve the picture you want.

With PowerPoint for the web, you can insert pictures stored on your computer, or insert pictures from Bing Images. You can move, resize, and crop pictures, and apply a number of picture styles. More sophisticated features for working with pictures, such as applying effects, are not available in PowerPoint for the web. You can't create screenshots in PowerPoint for the web, but screenshots that are in a presentation display as pictures in PowerPoint for the web. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Present online through Skype for Business or the Office Presentation Service

Not available in PowerPoint for the web. Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app lets you deliver your presentations using the Office Presentation Service, a free, public service that allows others to follow along in their web browser. Learn more about Office Presentation Service .

Presenter view

Not available in PowerPoint for the web. Only Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app allows a presenter a behind-the-scene control of the presentation flow, notes, annotations, and zooming tools. PowerPoint for the web does not support these features.

Print to PDF

With PowerPoint for the web, you can print your presentation to a PDF reader, where all the layout and formatting of your slides will print the way you expect. Learn more about basic tasks you can do using PowerPoint for the web .

Proofing tools

You can check spelling and set the proofing language, using the built-in dictionary with PowerPoint for the web. But PowerPoint for the web does not use a custom dictionary and does not include translation or a thesaurus.

Real-time co-authoring

Multiple authors can work simultaneously in PowerPoint for the web and PowerPoint 2016. Real-time presence helps you see where your co-authors are working in the presentation so that you don't create conflicts as you edit, and you can see changes as they're being made. PowerPoint 2013 supports simultaneous editing, but there is no presence indication, and changes can't be seen by multiple authors until the document is saved. For more information about real-time co-authoring in PowerPoint, see Work together on PowerPoint presentations .

Reviewer tools, advanced

Not available in PowerPoint for the web. Advanced reviewer features, such as merge conflicts and compare presentations, are only available in the PowerPoint desktop app. With PowerPoint for the web, you can view, add, edit, or delete comments.

Rights management: Apply and consume IRM and password protection

Not available in PowerPoint for the web. PowerPoint for the web displays presentations that are protected with Information Rights Management (IRM). However, these presentations can't be edited in the browser, and you can't create IRM-protected presentations in PowerPoint for the web. PowerPoint for the web can't open presentations that are digitally signed or encrypted with a password.

Run slide show

With PowerPoint for the web, you can run your presentation with just a web browser and an internet connection. Learn more about basic tasks you can do using PowerPoint for the web .

Save as or Download a copy

PowerPoint for the web saves your work every time you make a change. There is no Save command. You can download a copy, but you must have the Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app to edit a local copy.

Word Art and charts can't be inserted in PowerPoint for the web, but PowerPoint for the web displays them as expected. In Editing view, edit and format text. If you want to apply text effects to Word Art, you'll need the Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app.

If your presentation is saved in a SharePoint document library, then your presentation is online and you can share it by sending a link instead of an email attachment. People with proper permissions can view it in their web browser or mobile device. Learn more about sharing a presentation .

PowerPoint for the web plays slide shows in a full-screen window. Press the spacebar to advance the slides. Slide animations play, but only Fade and Wipe transitions between slides are supported. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

You can insert SmartArt, switch to a different layout or color scheme, apply SmartArt styles, and edit text with PowerPoint for the web. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

Table creation, editing, and formatting

Tables can be created and edited in PowerPoint for the web, and PowerPoint for the web supports most table functions. For advanced functions, such as merging and splitting cells, use the PowerPoint desktop app. Learn more about the differences between using a presentation in the browser versus the PowerPoint desktop app .

When you need to accomplish something in PowerPoint for the web but don't know how, you can use the Tell Me search feature to quickly find what you're looking for. Tell Me understands what you're trying to accomplish and helps you do it faster by making suggestions.

Undo and redo

Undo (Ctrl + Z) and redo (Ctrl + Y) an infinite number of recent actions during the current editing session in the active presentation. If the editing session times out or if you switch to Reading View for more than 30 seconds, the undo history is reset. Learn more about keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint for the web .

View and add comments

If your files are stored on SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business, you can add, edit, or delete comments.

If your files are stored on OneDrive, you can add, edit, or delete comments while in Editing View, and you can view and update comments while in Reading View.

View and edit slide notes

With PowerPoint for the web, notes for each slide can be displayed or hidden. You can also add notes in Edit mode.

WYSIWYG viewing

Edit your presentation in a form closely resembling its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product.

Feature availability

To view feature availability across plans, standalone options, and on-premises solutions, see Microsoft 365 for the web service description .

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Home Blog PowerPoint Tutorials How to Create a Presentation with PowerPoint Online

How to Create a Presentation with PowerPoint Online

How to Create a Presentation with PowerPoint Online

An online version of PowerPoint was introduced in 2010, a few years after the Google Docs release, which came out as early as 2007. Over the years, the product, along with other Microsoft Office apps, underwent major changes, making it more user-friendly and feature-rich for end users.

Given the rise of inter-device connectivity and cloud support, tools like Microsoft 365, particularly its Word, Excel, and PowerPoint web-based counterparts, have considerably increased their capabilities, matching the performance of desktop versions. In this article, we will talk about PowerPoint Online, also called PowerPoint for Web, and how it can help presenters craft presentations and access them on the go wherever they log in. 

Table of Contents

What is PowerPoint Online

Advantages of powerpoint online, getting started with powerpoint for the web, how to create a powerpoint online presentation, collaboration and sharing, saving and exporting, tips for creating high-quality slides in powerpoint online, troubleshooting common issues in powerpoint online.

  • Conclus i on

PowerPoint for the Web, which was previously called PowerPoint Online, is a web-based version of PowerPoint that enables creating, viewing, editing, and sharing PowerPoint presentations online. Unlike Google Slides, PowerPoint for the Web provides better native support for PowerPoint files. It makes it possible to seamlessly work with PowerPoint files and features through a web-based browser, with OneDrive support to share and store your data. PowerPoint for the web is free to use but has limited features. However, if you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber, you can get better features when using the web-based version of PowerPoint.

PowerPoint for the web provides the same benefits as the desktop version of PowerPoint, with the added advantage of accessing these features anywhere using an Internet browser. Below is a list of advantages of using PowerPoint Online.

Easy Accessibility

You can access PowerPoint features anywhere using an Internet-connected browser without installing the PowerPoint app on your device. Furthermore, you can also upload and access files from your device anytime, anywhere, via the web.

Support for Native PowerPoint Features

Be it online collaboration, cloud storage, or access to version history, you can get native PowerPoint features via a web-based version of PowerPoint without the need to worry about compatibility issues. Furthermore, unlike Google Slides or other web-based variants of PowerPoint, PowerPoint for the web helps access native PowerPoint features without causing compatibility issues such as incorrect display of certain themes or support for various animations available in the offline version.

OneDrive Integration

The integration of PowerPoint for the web with OneDrive allows instantly storing, sharing, and accessing different versions of a file using the cloud storage support of OneDrive.

Easy Sharing

The OneDrive integration enables the online version of PowerPoint to be used for instantly sharing presentations online using a link with a specific access level (view only or editing privileges).

Online Collaboration

While PowerPoint’s offline version also provides collaboration features, using PowerPoint for the web can provide a smoother experience when looking for real-time changes to a PowerPoint file.

Version History

PowerPoint files saved with the web version come with a version history, where you can access older file versions to restore according to need. This feature is also available for the offline version, which you must turn on upload to OneDrive. In other words, version history is only supported for PowerPoint files that are saved online.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Since you only need a web browser and a Microsoft account to access PowerPoint Online, there are no issues with having a compatible device to use the app. This means you can access PowerPoint Online using any device that can run a modern Internet browser.

Accessibility Features

PowerPoint for the web is among the few platforms that provide accessibility features for persons with disabilities, such as image ALT text and support for screen readers.

PowerPoint for the web is regularly updated, providing access to the latest features for end users.

To get started, go to Office.com  or powerpoint.office.com and select the PowerPoint icon to access PowerPoint for the web. You will require a Microsoft account to log in.

Login to Microsoft 365 account

Once logged in, you can create a new PowerPoint presentation or upload one from your device. All you need for accessing the web version of PowerPoint is a modern Internet browser and a device that can support it. This web-based version of PowerPoint works with all commonly used browsers and their variants, including Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Opera, and others.

Opening PowerPoint for Web in Microsoft 365

From Office.com, you can create new PowerPoint presentations from scratch or via a template, upload new ones, or open an existing one saved to OneDrive. 

Create a New Presentation with PowerPoint for the Web

Click Create or use a PowerPoint template from the options to create a new PowerPoint presentation. You can start with a specific theme or use a blank template. You can also browse through themes via Office.com to find one that best suits your needs.

Create a New Presentation in PowerPoint Online

Upload a PowerPoint Presentation

To upload a PowerPoint presentation, click Upload after logging into Office.com and select a file from your device.

Upload a PowerPoint Presentation to Microsoft 365

Open an Existing PowerPoint Presentation Online

All PowerPoint presentations saved from a device are automatically uploaded to OneDrive and can be accessed via PowerPoint’s online version. As mentioned earlier, you can upload and save presentations and access them anytime.

Open an Existing PowerPoint Presentation Online

Adjusting the Ribbon Menu Layout

You can toggle between the classic and single-line ribbon interface to suit your preferences. The Ribbon menu can also be adjusted to stay available or hidden periodically. 

Ribbon Menu options in PowerPoint Online

Naming Your Presentation

It is best to name your presentation to ensure it is easy to search and open later via OneDrive. Otherwise, a generic name will be assigned to the presentation (e.g., Presentation 1). To name your presentation, click on the generic name at the top and type in the new name.

Naming a presentation in PowerPoint Online

Formatting and Design

As you start formatting your slides, the Designer feature will provide you with options to create layouts for your slides. You can optionally use this feature to get started with the basic design for your slides or use the Design tab to select design elements.

PowerPoint Designer in Microsoft 365

Like the desktop app, the Design tab in PowerPoint Online provides access to themes, background and slide size adjustment options, and theme variants to help you design your slides.

Design tab in PowerPoint Online

Adding Content

The Insert tab provides all the necessary options to add new slides, tables, pictures, shapes, icons, SmartArt, text boxes, audio, video, cameo to insert Live camera feed, and other options. 

Insert tab in PowerPoint Online

Formatting Pictures

Like the desktop version of PowerPoint, pictures can be added from your device, stock images, or via Bing search. The Picture tab can be used to format added pictures after selecting them. Various options in this tab allow you to crop, add a picture frame, and adjust the picture on the slide.

Picture options in PowerPoint Online

You can also access Format Options via the right-click menu.

Format Options in PowerPoint for Images via menu

This will open a sidebar providing options to adjust the selected image’s width, height, angle, shadow, reflection, and text margins.

Format sizing options in PowerPoint Online for Videos

Formatting Videos

PowerPoint for the web allows formatting videos via the Shape tab and Format Options via the right-click menu. The Shape tab can give a frame or shape to the video, adjust the outline, manage how it is displayed on the slide, and adjust the size of the video. Sometimes, the Shape tab might be replaced with the Video tab to show editing options. This change is particularly visible if the user is not logged in and is editing the presentation as a Guest user. The Format Options enable editing the video’s width, height, angle, text margins, shadow, and reflection.

Format Options for Videos in PowerPoint Online

Formatting Audio

Two major options for formatting added audio clips include the Playback tab and Audio Format tab. The Playback tab can adjust the volume, playback trigger, and other related options.

Playback options in PowerPoint Online

The Audio Format tab includes picture styles for the audio icon, border stylizing, rotation, and other formatting options to adjust how the audio clip appears on the slide.

Audio Format options in PowerPoint Online

Annotation Options

The Draw tab gives various tools like pens and highlighters to annotate slides or draw on the screen. Other tools include an eraser, lasso, draw with touch, and stencil.

Draw tab in PowerPoint Online

Transitions and Animations

Like the desktop version of PowerPoint, the Transitions tab for the web version gives transitions to use for your slides. You can adjust the effects of added transitions and duration once you have added a transition for a slide.

Transitions in PowerPoint Online

The Animations tab can be used to apply standard transitions and adjust effects, triggers, and duration for the animations according to need.

Animations tab in PowerPoint Online

SlideShow, Review, and View

The SlideShow tab is used to start the SlideShow from the beginning of the current slide or to initiate a Live presentation with a QR code and link for viewing the presentation Live. You can also use Rehearse with Coach, use subtitles, and edit subtitle settings. You can also learn more about some of these features from our post about how to present a PowerPoint Online .

Slideshow tab in PowerPoint Online

If you are searching for the features to check spelling and grammar, comments, changes, and accessibility options, head to the Review tab.

Review tab in PowerPoint Online

Most PowerPoint users know that the viewing options are available at the bottom of the PowerPoint interface. However, you can also access them from the View tab in PowerPoint. The same features are available for PowerPoint for the web. This includes options like switching between Slide Sorter, Immersive Reader, and Normal View and access to Notes, Zoom, and Fit to Window options.

View tab in PowerPoint Online

To share your PowerPoint presentation, click Share from the top left corner of PowerPoint Online. You can create a sharing link according to specific settings, copy the existing link, link to a slide, or view and manage access to the presentation.

How to share a PowerPoint Online presentation

Collaborators can be invited via email or link by adjusting whether a user has view-only or editing privileges.

Sharing a presentation in PowerPoint Online to a list of people

Once the settings have been configured, a link can be generated to copy and share with users. When configuring settings, you can also directly send the link with a message to an end user.

Link to OneDrive for a PowerPoint Online presentation

Users collaborating on the slide deck with their names are shown at the top. A generic name is assigned to the collaborator if it’s a guest.

Checking connected users in PowerPoint Online presentation

You can see the comments added by collaborators on the presentation by going to Comments.

Adding document comments in PowerPoint Online

Next to the Comments button is the Catch-up button that tracks and shows the changes made by real-time collaborators as you work on the presentation.

Track activity in PowerPoint Online

You can also access sharing options via File -> Share . You can open sharing options or generate an embed code for the presentation from here.

How to share a PowerPoint Online presentation from the menu

When generating an embed code, you can adjust the width, height, and slide advancement options and generate a code for a website.

Embed Code for PowerPoint Online presentation

To switch between viewing modes, you can change to view only and editing options as you collaborate or open the presentation in the desktop app. These options can be helpful for you to adjust how you wish to work or review the presentation.

Adjusting view options for shared document in PowerPoint Online

To save your presentation, go to File -> SaveAs to save a copy to OneDrive, download a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, rename the file, or download the file in an alternative format such as PDF, ODP, or image.

How to save a presentation in PowerPoint Online

When saving a copy of the presentation on OneDrive, you can select an existing folder or create a new one to select the file location.

Save to a new folder in PowerPoint Online

You can consider the tips below to create visually appealing slides with PowerPoint Online.

Focus on Design Consistency

Use a consistent design with a color scheme, fonts, alignment, and graphics tailored to a specific format. Don’t use too many changes that might make the content appear muddled.  

Avoid Heavy Multimedia

Since PowerPoint for the Web is an online platform, not everyone might have the required Internet bandwidth or hardware to run heavy presentations smoothly. Using multimedia content in moderation can help avoid such issues.

Uncluttered Slides

Cluttered slides on an online interface will likely cause compatibility issues for some viewers or the slides might not appear properly on some browsers and devices. To avoid this, try to create uncluttered slides. Using minimalist slides might just be the best way to go.

Even the Distribution of Slide Elements

By evenly distributing slide elements with proper alignment, you should be able to create online slides that are easy for the eyes to follow.

Choose Imagery Carefully

When selecting icons, graphical elements, and pictures, try not to use imagery that is too flashy and might cause issues when opened across different browsers and devices. You can use icons from the built-in icons library in PowerPoint and select pictures that don’t visually overpower the viewer.

Get Design Ideas

You can get design ideas using PowerPoint Designer to adjust your design for visual appeal and design consistency.

Productivity Shortcuts

PowerPoint for the web primarily provides most of the features in the desktop app. Below are some tips and tricks for productivity when using the web version of PowerPoint. For some shortcuts listed below, PC users must use CTRL, whereas Mac users will use Command.

  • Insert New Slide using CTRL+M hotkey (Command+M for Mac)
  • Use F5 to start the slideshow and Esc to end the slideshow
  • CTRL+D duplicates the slide (Command+D for Mac)
  • CTRL+Shift+D deletes the slide (Command+Shift+D for Mac)
  • Use CTRL+S to save slide (Command+S for Mac)
  • Use CTRL+W to close the presentation (Command+W for Mac)
  • To open printing options, use CTRL+P (Command+P for Mac)
  • Zoom in with CTRL+Plus button (Command+Plus button for Mac)
  • Zoom out with CTRL+Minus button (Command+Minus button for Mac)
  • Insert a table with CTRL+T (Command+T for Mac)
  • Insert a hyperlink with CTRL+K (Command+K for Mac)
  • Align text with CTRL+L for left, CTRL+E for center, and CTRL+R for right (Replace CTRL with Command for Mac)

Screen Freezes When Working with PowerPoint for the Web

If your screen freezes while you’re working, the web version of PowerPoint is likely encountering an issue when saving the file, showing elements, or inserting content. You can wait a while, and the issue should be resolved. Also, check your Internet connection to see that you are connected. You might want to close additional tabs and review your system usage to see if your hardware is overwhelmed due to resource-intensive apps or multiple browser tabs.

Slide Elements Don’t Appear Properly

If your browser isn’t compatible or uses a browser plugin that blocks slide elements, you might encounter issues viewing slides. Use a compatible browser and turn off any plugins that might interfere with PowerPoint’s online interface.

File Upload or Download Issues

When you are unable to upload or download files, it is likely that your Internet connection is unstable or disconnected. Check your connection to resolve the issue.

Unable to Login

This is likely caused by incorrect credentials or a recent change in credentials, such as a password. If you cannot log in despite no apparent issues, try to clear your browser’s cache or switch to another browser to see if you can log in.

PowerPoint for the web provides most features available for the desktop version and some sharing and collaboration features that require uploading the file online for use. You will notice that some of these features are smoother when used with the online version compared to the desktop version. Furthermore, the online version of PowerPoint provides access regardless of whether you have PowerPoint installed on your device. If you are someone who does not have a Microsoft 365 subscription and needs to access a PowerPoint file, you can log in for free with a Microsoft account with limited features. Alternatively, if the online version is not an option for you, you can still learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation in the installed version of Office.

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The PowerPoint Online Guide: How to Make and Present Slideshows Anywhere

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Over the past thirty years, PowerPoint has become synonymous with presentations. Give a speech, present a new product, share finances in a board meeting—all are typically done with a PowerPoint presentation. That’s easy enough if you’re presenting from your laptop and have Microsoft Office installed.

Or it can be far more difficult. You might need to email your slide deck to the event organizer—and hope they have the same version of PowerPoint installed. Or you may carry your PowerPoint file around on a flash drive to open it on the presentation computer. Neither are great solutions, especially for all the times you need to make a last-minute change to your slides or if you don’t typically use Microsoft Office.

A Quick Guide to Office Online

Office Online

If you’ve ever used the iPad or Android tablet versions of Office, Office Online will feel instantly familiar. The basics are the same. Each Office Online app includes an Office-style toolbar with Home , Insert , Design , and other tabs to organize core editing tools. Office Online apps don’t include all of their Windows features. They include instead a focused set of editing tools that, for most documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, are all you need.

The big difference is that the apps are online. Instead of emailing files back and forth, or syncing changes via OneDrive or Dropbox then sending messages to colleagues when something’s finished, changes happen automatically in Office Online. Your team can open files at the same time, make changes or add comments, and Office will save and sync it to all your OneDrive accounts automatically. Office Online apps also work everywhere. Open any browser, go to Office.com, and your work is ready to pick up where you left off.

Office Online is free for personal use—log into Office.com with a Microsoft account and fill up OneDrive’s free 5GB of storage with all your Office files. A business version is included with Office 365 for business and enterprise accounts as well.

The basics are the same. If you’ve used PowerPoint before, you’ll feel at home in PowerPoint online. Here are the things to keep in mind, the tips to help you work efficiently in your browser, and ways to work around Office Online’s limitations.

A Quick PowerPoint Online Tour

PowerPoint Template

Select a template or open an existing presentation to open it in PowerPoint Online. With a similar design to recent versions of PowerPoint for Mac and Windows, you’ll find the core text and design tools on the main Home tab, options to add images and embedded videos and tables in the Insert tab, slide and template options in the Design tab, animations in the Transitions and Animations tab, and so on. If you can’t find the feature you need, type what you need in the Tell me what you want to do box to search through PowerPoint’s features and documentation.

Need to edit a picture or tweak a SmartArt graph? Select it, and a new Format tab will appear with additional tools as in desktop PowerPoint.

PowerPoint in-line editor

You may not need to look through the toolbars for tools, though. Select text in a slide and PowerPoint shows quick formatting options in a pop-over to change the font, color, and more. Or right-click on most other elements to find their quick editing options. You can then double-click on the toolbar to hide it and increase your workspace, if you’d like, relying on the popover tools to work faster.

Add a new slide: Ctrl + M or CMD + M

Move slides up or down: Ctrl + arrow or CMD + arrow

Add a comment: Alt + N

Go to next slide in Slideshow view: N

Go to previous slide in Slideshow view: P

Go to a specific slide in Slideshow view: G , then type slide number

Exit Slideshow view: Esc

How to Add Presentations to PowerPoint Online

PowerPoint Online Dropbox

PowerPoint Online is part of Microsoft’s OneDrive file storage. Open a PowerPoint file in OneDrive, and it’ll first show a preview with the option to edit it online.

But surprisingly, PowerPoint Online also works with Dropbox. That gives you another way to open your presentations online. You can save your presentations to either OneDrive or Dropbox, and then when you open PowerPoint Online, you can search through your presentations from both services. Either way, any change you make will automatically be saved to the original file.

The Dropbox integration only works for newer .pptx files. To open .ppt files, download them first, then upload them to PowerPoint Online or OneDrive. When you open them there, PowerPoint will automatically make a copy then convert the presentation to the new format so you can edit it online.

Or, if you have a PowerPoint file on your computer, open PowerPoint Online first, click the Upload a Presentation button, then select your presentation to upload it to OneDrive and open it for editing in PowerPoint Online at the same time.

How to Collaborate on PowerPoint Presentations

Share PowerPoint Online presentation

Want someone else to proofread your slides, or add their research to a team presentation? That’s easy in PowerPoint Online. From your presentation, click the Share button in the top right toolbar.

The default option is to email an invite link along with a message to your collaborators. You can choose to make the presentation editable or view only and can require a Microsoft account or not.

PowerPoint see collaborators

Or, you can copy a share link to send to anyone or share publicly online if you’d like. Select the Get a link tab to copy a link to your presentation—again, as a view-only presentation or with permission to edit. Here, if you make an editing link, anyone can tweak the presentation without signing into an account.

PowerPoint Online will show an icon beside the slide your collaborator is currently editing and will mark the section they’re working on in the same color. You can’t see the exact changes they make while they’re editing—changes take a few seconds to sync—so it’s best not to edit the same slide others are editing at the same time.

Want to chat with your collaborators? As long as everyone has a Skype account, you can open a Skype sidebar and talk with them in your PowerPoint presentation.

What’s Not In PowerPoint Online?

PowerPoint Online Fonts

The core editing features are all here. You can add and edit text, photos, shapes, and SmartArt in PowerPoint online, add core transitions and animations to slides and elements, and present your presentation all from PowerPoint Online.

One of the main differences from PowerPoint’s desktop apps are the embedding options. In desktop versions of PowerPoint, you can embed video and audio from your computer, along with data from other Office apps and macros. In PowerPoint Online, you can embed online videos from YouTube—along with graphs and data from PowerBI and other add-ins in the Office Add-ins pane.

Animations are also more limited in PowerPoint Online. It includes only eight transitions, including Fade and Push , with animations that don’t require graphics acceleration. If you add a presentation that uses other animations from PowerPoint for Windows or Mac, you’ll need to select others or present without animations.

Fonts are another core difference. PowerPoint Online includes 18 fonts, including Arial, Comic Sans, Courier New, Garamond, Georgia, Rockwell, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Verdana. You can’t install 3rd party fonts or choose fonts you have installed on your computer.

So, to make sure your PowerPoint presentations look great everywhere, stick with the fonts included with PowerPoint Online. That’s easy as they’re the only options in PowerPoint Online, but if you use another PowerPoint app, try using the Web fonts as they’re mainly fonts that work everywhere.

If you upload a presentation that uses a font not included in PowerPoint Online, you can still view the text in the correct font in PowerPoint Online on your computer or another computer with that font installed. If you don’t have the font installed, PowerPoint Online will replace that font with another similar font.

Beyond that, though, PowerPoint Online is surprisingly full-featured. It includes everything you need for making and showing presentations online—as long as you don’t need to use custom fonts, embed non-YouTube videos, or build advanced animations.

How to Present PowerPoint Presentations From Your Browser

Start presenting in PowerPoint Online

Once you’ve finished creating your presentation, it’s time to present it. That’s as easy in PowerPoint Online as in the desktop apps. You can start the slideshow from the slide you’re currently editing via the Slide View button in the lower right-hand corner. Or, click the View tab and select to start the slideshow from the beginning or current slide.

PowerPoint full-screen controls

PowerPoint Online will switch your browser to a full-screen preview mode. Click anywhere on the screen to go to the next slide, or tap your right and left arrows on your keyboard to navigate between slides. When finished, click again at the end of the presentation or press the Esc key to exit the slideshow and switch back to the windowed editor mode.

PowerPoint also includes controls on the lower left of the slideshow view, along with options in the right-click menu to switch slides or jump to a specific slide.

Slide Notes in PowerPoint Online

PowerPoint Online doesn’t include presenter view to show lecture notes on one screen while presenting your presentation on another—but there’s a workaround. While you’re giving your presentation full-screen, your browser with the original PowerPoint Online tab won’t show your slide content (Chrome hides the original window; Safari shows a Exit Full Screen placeholder). Instead, you can open a new tab or window and open your presentation there as well.

When you switch slides, move your mouse to your projection screen and click to advance—then move your mouse back to your laptop’s screen and select the next slide in your other PowerPoint Online window. Another option is to open your presentation in PowerPoint’s mobile apps and use your phone or tablet to view lecture notes while presenting from your laptop.

How to Convert PowerPoint Presentations Online

convert file to pptx in PowerPoint Online

PowerPoint Online—unlike PowerPoint for Windows or Mac—can only open .pptx presentation files made with a newer version of PowerPoint. If you open an older .ppt file or a .odp presentation from another app, PowerPoint Online can convert the file to .pptx on the fly so you can edit the presentation.

But once you’ve opened the presentation, you can export it in 3 formats: PowerPoint, ODP (used with OpenOffice), or PDF. Click the File tab in the toolbar to open the core PowerPoint menu, select Download As , then choose the file format you want. PowerPoint Online will convert your presentation and save it to your computer so that you can share the original file with others.

The best option is to share the PowerPoint presentation directly in PowerPoint Online—but when you need a traditional presentation file, that’s a handy way to get it.

How to Save All Your Presentations to PowerPoint Online

Zapier Gmail presentation

There’s one trick to make PowerPoint Online the presentation app that’s always ready when you need it is: Save all your presentations to OneDrive or Dropbox. That way, whenever you need to present something, it’ll be a few clicks away inside PowerPoint Online.

If you already use OneDrive or Dropbox to sync your files, you’re halfway there. Save every new presentation there, every time. Whenever someone sends you a presentation, save it there also.

App automation tool Zapier can do that for you automatically. One of the most common ways to share presentations is through email—so Zapier can watch your Gmail or IMAP-powered email account for new presentation files. With Gmail, you can include a search to watch for presentation files. Use has:presentation to watch for any presentation—though note that this will also include Google Slides presentations which won’t work with PowerPoint Online. Or, use filename:pptx OR filename:ppt to watch for all PowerPoint attachments.

Zapier copy file to OneDrive

Then, Zapier can save the presentation file to online storage to open and edit it in PowerPoint Online. The simplest is OneDrive since it’s PowerPoint Online’s core storage, though you could use Dropbox instead as it only takes a few extra clicks to open your presentations there.

You can save the presentation in any folder, and add a customized file name if you’d like. Then select the attachment from Gmail or your IMAP email and have Zapier copy that file to OneDrive or Dropbox. Next time you need to present something someone emailed you, don’t open your email app—instead, open PowerPoint Online and open the presentation there directly.

Ready to save any presentation you get emailed to PowerPoint Online? These Zaps will help you get started in a few clicks—remember to set up your search or filter to watch only for PowerPoint files:

Save new Gmail attachments to OneDrive

Gmail logo

Save new email attachments to OneDrive

Email by Zapier logo

Save new attachments in Gmail to Dropbox

Dropbox logo

Back up new IMAP email attachments to Dropbox

IMAP by Zapier logo

That’s PowerPoint Online. It’s a handy way to tweak and present your presentation, even if you don’t have a copy of PowerPoint installed. And it just might be the new presentation app you need for a more focused, free way to make presentations anywhere.

Need more presentation tips and tools? Check out these other Zapier guides:

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Matthew Guay

Matthew Guay is an editor and writer in Bangkok. When he's not writing, he's likely reading a new book or exploring random streets in a new city. Follow Matthew at @maguay.

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Presentations > How many slides does your presentation need?

How many slides does your presentation need?

When you’re creating a presentation, it’s important to consider the amount of information you’re sharing with your audience. You don’t want to overwhelm them, but you also want to be comprehensive and ensure that you’re covering all your bases. Whether you’re giving a 10, 15, or 30-minute presentation, see how many slides your presentation needs to get your point across.

A man giving a presentation to a group of people

Rules and guidance for PowerPoint presentations

PowerPoint is a powerful visual aid for introducing data, statistics, and new concepts to any audience. In PowerPoint, you can create as many slides as you want—which might sound tempting at first. But length doesn’t always guarantee a successful presentation . Most presentations last around 10-15 minutes, and anything longer than that (such as a 30-minute presentation) may have additional visual aids or speakers to enhance your message.

A handy rule to keep in mind is to spend about 1-2 minutes on each slide. This will give you ample time to convey your message, let data sink in, and allow you to memorize your presentation . When you limit each slide to this length of time, you also need to be selective about how much information you put on each slide and avoid overloading your audience.

For 10-minute presentations

Ten minutes is usually considered the shortest amount of time you need for a successful presentation. For a shorter 10-minute presentation, you’ll need to be selective with your content. Limit your slide count to approximately 7 to 10 slides.

For 15-minute presentations

When preparing for a 15-minute presentation, concise and focused content is key. Aim for around 10 to 15 slides to maintain a good pace, which will fit with the 1-2 minute per slide rule.

For 30-minute presentations

A longer presentation gives you more room to delve deeper into your topic. But to maintain audience engagement, you’ll need to add interactivity , audience participation, and elements like animations . Aim for around 20 to 30 slides, allowing for a balanced distribution of content without overwhelming your audience.

Tell your story with captivating presentations Banner

Tell your story with captivating presentations

Powerpoint empowers you to develop well-designed content across all your devices

Using the 10-20-30 rule

The 10-20-30 rule is an effective way to structure your presentation. It calls for no more than 10 slides and no longer than 20 minutes (as well as a 30-point font).

Tips for crafting an effective presentation

No matter how long a presentation is, there are guidelines for crafting one to enhance understanding and retention. Keep these tips in mind when creating your PowerPoint masterpiece:

  • Avoid overload: Ensure that each slide communicates a single idea clearly, avoiding cluttered layouts or excessive text.
  • Pay attention to structure: Think of slides as bullet points with introductions, endings, and deep dives within each subject.
  • Add visual appeal: Incorporate images, charts, and graphics to convey information without using too many words to make your audience read.
  • Engage with your audience: Encourage interaction through questions, polls, or storytelling techniques to keep your audience actively involved.
  • Put in the practice: Familiarize yourself with your slides and practice your delivery to refine your timing and confidence.

Ultimately, the ideal number of slides for your presentation depends on the allocated time frame and how detailed your content is. By striking a balance between informative content and engaging delivery, you can create a compelling presentation that can teach your audience something new.

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Introducing the New OneDrive App for Microsoft 365 web and Microsoft 365 desktop

OneDrive is at the core of your file and content experience in all the places you work across in Microsoft 365. It stores and protects your files while also making it possible to share files and collaborate in real time. As part of creating a consistent experience for your files across the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, we’re happy to introduce the OneDrive app for the Microsoft 365 desktop app and Microsoft 365 web (formerly Office.com). Now you get an identical files experience in OneDrive for web, Teams, Outlook and in Microsoft 365.    

Meet the OneDrive app for Microsoft 365 web 

We are excited to bring the OneDrive app to both Microsoft 365 web and the Microsoft 365 desktop app. The OneDrive app will soon replace the My content app in Microsoft 365 web, giving you consistent and familiar file management experience across all of Microsoft. The new OneDrive app takes advantage of all the recent updates made to OneDrive and SharePoint library experiences, bringing you the benefits of performance improvements, new views, and feature enhancements in OneDrive. 

The OneDrive app will roll out to both Microsoft 365 web and desktop in July 2024.  

Discover and act on relevant content 

The new OneDrive app gathers in one place all the files, Loops, dashboards and design boards you need to work on, no matter where they live in Microsoft 365. The app makes it easy to get back to all the files you’ve created as well as those shared with you. The new views and filters enable you to quickly browse and locate relevant files.

Learn more about this change 

As the OneDrive app replaces My Content on Microsoft 365 web and desktop apps, please note that direct access to local files from the device will no longer be available. The My Content feature that allowed for local document access has been phased out. We understand these changes may require adjustments, and we are here to support you through this transition. 

We'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions on how we can improve OneDrive. Just add them to the comment below. Additionally, commercial customers are welcome to join OneDrive Office Hours, a monthly Microsoft Teams meeting where our product team will answer your questions, demo new features, and get your feedback. To get on the meeting invite list, just sign up for OneDrive Office Hours. For more information on OneDrive, download the OneDrive quick start guide, tune in to the SyncUp Podcast or sign up for the OneDrive newsletter. 

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