|May 22, 1990; 27 years ago (1990-05-22)|
1707 (Build 8326.2062) / July 31, 2017; 39 days ago (2017-07-31)
Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Azerbaijani (Latin), Bangla (Bangladesh), Bangla (Bengali India), Basque (Basque), Belarusian, Bosnian (Latin), Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Kinyarwanda, KiSwahili, Konkani, Korean, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian (FYROMacedonia), Malay (Latin), Malayalam, Maltese, Maori, Marathi, Mongolian (Cyrillic), Nepali, Norwegian (Bokmål), Norwegian (Nynorsk), Odia, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Quechua, Romanian, Romansh, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian (Cyrillic, Serbia), Serbian (Latin, Serbia), Serbian (Cyrillic, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, Sindhi (Arabic), Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Tatar (Cyrillic), Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Turkmen (Latin), Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek (Latin), Valencian, Vietnamese, Welsh, Wolof, Yoruba
PowerPoint for Mac 2016
|April 20, 1987; 30 years ago (1987-04-20)|
2016 (15.24.0) / July 12, 2016; 13 months ago (2016-07-12)
|Proprietary commercial software|
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program, created by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin at a software company named Forethought, Inc. It was released on April 20, 1987, initially for Macintosh computers only. Microsoft acquired PowerPoint for $14 million three months after it appeared. This was Microsoft's first significant acquisition, and Microsoft set up a new business unit for PowerPoint in Silicon Valley where Forethought had been located.
PowerPoint became a component of the Microsoft Office suite, first offered in 1989 for Macintosh and in 1990 for Windows, which bundled several Microsoft apps. Beginning with PowerPoint 4.0 (1994), PowerPoint was integrated into Microsoft Office development, and adopted shared common components and a converged user interface.
PowerPoint's market share was very small at first, prior to introducing a version for Microsoft Windows, but grew rapidly with the growth of Windows and of Office. Since the late 1990s, PowerPoint's worldwide market share of presentation software has been estimated at 95 percent.
PowerPoint was originally designed to provide visuals for group presentations within business organizations, but has come to be very widely used in many other communication situations, both in business and beyond.
The first PowerPoint version (Macintosh 1987) was used to produce overhead transparencies, the second (Macintosh 1988, Windows 1990) could also produce color 35mm slides. The third version (Windows and Macintosh 1992) introduced video output of virtual slideshows to digital projectors, which would over time completely replace physical transparencies and slides. A dozen major versions since then have added many additional features and modes of operation and have made PowerPoint available beyond Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows, adding versions for iOS, Android, and web access.
Creation at Forethought (1984–1987)
PowerPoint was created by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin at a software startup in Silicon Valley named Forethought, Inc. Forethought had been founded in 1983 to create applications for future personal computers that would have graphical user interfaces, such as Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh.
On July 5, 1984, Forethought hired Robert Gaskins as its vice president of product development, to create a new application that would be especially suited to the new graphical personal computers. Gaskins produced his initial description of PowerPoint about a month later (August 14, 1984) in the form of a 2-page document titled "Presentation Graphics for Overhead Projection." By October of 1984 Gaskins had selected Dennis Austin to be the developer for PowerPoint. Gaskins and Austin worked together on the definition and design of the new product for nearly a year, and produced the first specification document dated August 21, 1985. This first design document showed a product as it would look in Microsoft Windows 1.0, which at that time had not been released.
Development from that spec was begun by Austin in November 1985, for Macintosh first. About six months later, on May 1, 1986, Gaskins and Austin chose a second developer to join the project, Thomas Rudkin. Gaskins prepared two final product specification marketing documents in June of 1986; these described a product for both Macintosh and Windows. At about the same time, Austin, Rudkin, and Gaskins produced a second and final major design specification document, this time showing a Macintosh look.
Throughout this development period the product was called "Presenter." Then, just before release, there was a last-minute check with Forethought's lawyers to register the name as a trademark, and "Presenter" was unexpectedly rejected because it had already been used by someone else. Gaskins says that he thought of "PowerPoint", based on the product's goal of "empowering" individual presenters, and sent that name to the lawyers for clearance, while all the documentation was hastily revised.
Funding to complete development of PowerPoint was assured in mid-January, 1987, when a new Apple Computer venture capital fund, called Apple's Strategic Investment Group, selected PowerPoint to be its first investment. A month later, on February 22, 1987, Forethought announced PowerPoint at the Personal Computer Forum in Phoenix; John Sculley, the CEO of Apple, appeared at the announcement and said "We see desktop presentation as potentially a bigger market for Apple than desktop publishing."
PowerPoint was never written to run in DOS the dominant OS at the time. IBM Lotus Freelance Graphics was released in 1986 and worked within DOS to produce slides that were a worthy competitor to PowerPoint. In the 1990s Lotus opted to develop Freelance Graphics for OS/2 rather than Microsoft Windows. With the general lack of adoption of OS/2, Freelance became a little-used system.
PowerPoint 1.0 for Macintosh shipped from manufacturing on April 20, 1987, and the first production run of 10,000 units was sold out.
Acquisition by Microsoft (1987–1992)
By early 1987, Microsoft was starting to plan a new application to create presentations, an activity led by Jeff Raikes, who was head of marketing for the Applications Division. Microsoft assigned an internal group to write a specification and plan for a new presentation product. They contemplated an acquisition to speed up development, and in early 1987 Microsoft sent a letter of intent to acquire Dave Winer's product called MORE, an outlining program that could print its outlines as bullet charts. During this preparatory activity Raikes discovered that a program specifically to make overhead presentations was already being developed by Forethought, Inc., and that it was nearly completed. Raikes and others visited Forethought on February 6, 1987, for a confidential demonstration.
Raikes later recounted his reaction to seeing PowerPoint and his report about it to Bill Gates, who was initially skeptical:
When PowerPoint was released by Forethought, its initial press was favorable; the Wall Street Journal reported on early reactions: "'I see about one product a year I get this excited about,' says Amy Wohl, a consultant in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 'People will buy a Macintosh just to get access to this product.'"
On April 28, 1987, a week after shipment, a group of Microsoft's senior executives spent another day at Forethought to hear about initial PowerPoint sales on Macintosh and plans for Windows. The following day, Microsoft sent a letter to Dave Winer withdrawing its earlier letter of intent to acquire his company, and in mid-May of 1987 Microsoft sent a letter of intent to acquire Forethought. As requested in that letter of intent, Robert Gaskins from Forethought went to Redmond for a one-on-one meeting with Bill Gates in early June, 1987, and by the end of July an agreement was concluded for an acquisition. The New York Times reported:
Microsoft's president Jon Shirley offered Microsoft's motivation for the acquisition: "'We made this deal primarily because of our belief in desktop presentations as a product category. ... Forethought was first to market with a product in this category.'"
Microsoft set up within its Applications Division an independent "Graphics Business Unit" to develop and to market PowerPoint, the first Microsoft application group distant from the main Redmond location. All the PowerPoint people from Forethought joined Microsoft, and the new location was headed by Robert Gaskins, with Dennis Austin and Thomas Rudkin leading development. PowerPoint 1.0 for Macintosh was modified to indicate the new Microsoft ownership and continued to be sold.
A new PowerPoint 2.0 for Macintosh, adding color 35mm slides, appeared by mid-1988. The same PowerPoint 2.0 product re-developed for Windows was shipped two years later, in mid-1990, at the same time as Windows 3.0. Much of the color technology was the fruit of a joint development partnership with Genigraphics, at that time the dominant presentation services company.
PowerPoint 3.0, which was shipped in 1992 for both Windows and Mac, added live video for projectors and monitors, with the result that PowerPoint was thereafter used for delivering presentations as well as for preparing them. This was at first an alternative to overhead transparencies and 35mm slides, but over time would come to replace them.
Part of Microsoft Office (since 1993)
PowerPoint had been included in Microsoft Office from the beginning. PowerPoint 2.0 for Macintosh was part of the first Office bundle for Macintosh which was offered in mid-1989. When PowerPoint 2.0 for Windows appeared, a year later, it was part of a similar Office bundle for Windows, which was offered in late 1990. Both of these were bundling promotions, in which the independent applications were packaged together and offered for a lower total price.
PowerPoint 3.0 (1992) was again separately specified and developed, and was prominently advertised and sold separately from Office. It was, as before, included in Microsoft Office 3.0, both for Windows and the corresponding version for Macintosh.
A plan to integrate the applications themselves more tightly had been indicated as early as February 1991, toward the end of PowerPoint 3.0 development, in an internal memo by Bill Gates:
The move from bundling separate products to integrated development began with PowerPoint 4.0, developed in 1993–1994 under new management from Redmond. The PowerPoint group in Silicon Valley was reorganized from the independent "Graphics Business Unit" (GBU) to become the "Graphics Product Unit" (GPU) for Office, and PowerPoint 4.0 changed to adopt a converged user interface and other components shared with the other apps in Office.
When it was released, the computer press reported on the change approvingly: "PowerPoint 4.0 has been re-engineered from the ground up to resemble and work with the latest applications in Office: Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, and Access 2.0. The integration is so good, you'll have to look twice to make sure you're running PowerPoint and not Word or Excel." Office integration was further underscored in the following version, PowerPoint 95, which was given the version number PowerPoint 7.0 (skipping 5.0 and 6.0) so that all the components of Office would share the same major version number.
Although PowerPoint by this point had become part of the integrated Microsoft Office product, its development remained in Silicon Valley. Succeeding versions of PowerPoint introduced important changes, particularly version 12.0 (2007) which had a very different shared Office "ribbon" user interface, and a new shared Office XML-based file format. This marked the 20th anniversary of PowerPoint, and Microsoft held an event to commemorate that anniversary at its Silicon Valley Campus for the PowerPoint team there. Special guests were Robert Gaskins, Dennis Austin, and Thomas Rudkin, and the featured speaker was Jeff Raikes, all from PowerPoint 1.0 days, 20 years before.
Since then major development of PowerPoint as part of Office has continued. New development techniques (shared across Office) for PowerPoint 2016 have made it possible to ship versions of PowerPoint 2016 for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and web access nearly simultaneously, and to release new features on a nearly-monthly schedule. PowerPoint development is still located in Silicon Valley as of 2017.
In 2010, Jeff Raikes, who had most recently been President of the Business Division of Microsoft (including responsibility for Office), observed: "of course, today we know that PowerPoint is often times the number two—or in some cases even the number one—most-used tool" among the applications in Office.
Sales and market share
PowerPoint's initial sales were about 40,000 copies sold in 1987 (nine months), about 85,000 copies in 1988, and about 100,000 copies in 1989, all for Macintosh. PowerPoint's market share for its first three years was a tiny part of the total presentation market which was dominated by MS-DOS applications, and Microsoft did not develop a PowerPoint version for MS-DOS. After three years, PowerPoint sales were disappointing. Jeff Raikes, who had bought PowerPoint for Microsoft, later recalled:"By 1990, it looked like it wasn't a very smart idea [for Microsoft to have acquired PowerPoint], because not very many people were using PowerPoint."
This began to change when the first version for Windows, PowerPoint 2.0, brought sales up to about 200,000 copies in 1990 and to about 375,000 copies in 1991, with Windows units outselling Macintosh. PowerPoint sold about 1 million copies in 1992, of which about 80 percent were for Windows and about 20 percent for Macintosh, and in 1992 PowerPoint's market share of worldwide presentation graphics software sales was reported as 63 percent. By the last six months of 1992, PowerPoint revenue was running at a rate of over $100 million annually ($211 million in present-day terms).
Sales of PowerPoint 3.0 doubled to about 2 million copies in 1993, of which about 90 percent were for Windows and about 10 percent for Macintosh, and in 1993 PowerPoint's market share of worldwide presentation graphics software sales was reported as 78 percent. In both years, about half of total revenue came from sales outside the U.S.
By 1997 PowerPoint sales had doubled again, to more than 4 million copies annually, representing 85 percent of the world market. Also in 1997, an internal publication from the PowerPoint group said that by then over 20 million copies of PowerPoint were in use, and that total revenues from PowerPoint over its first ten years (1987 to 1996) had already exceeded $1 billion.
Since the late 1990s, PowerPoint's market share of total world presentation software has been estimated at 95 percent by both industry and academic sources.
The earliest version of PowerPoint (1987 for Macintosh) could be used to print black and white pages to be photocopied onto sheets of transparent film for projection from overhead projectors, and to print speaker's notes and audience handouts; the next version (1988 for Macintosh, 1990 for Windows) was extended to also produce color 35mm slides by communicating a file over a modem to a Genigraphics imaging center with slides returned by overnight delivery for projection from slide projectors. PowerPoint was used for planning and preparing a presentation, but not for delivering it (apart from previewing it on a computer screen, or distributing printed paper copies).The operation of PowerPoint changed substantially in its third version (1992 for Windows and Macintosh), when PowerPoint was extended to also deliver a presentation by producing direct video output to digital projectors or large monitors. In 1992 video projection of presentations was rare and expensive, and practically unknown from a laptop computer. Robert Gaskins, one of the creators of PowerPoint, says he publicly demonstrated that use for the first time at a large Microsoft meeting held in Paris on February 25, 1992, by using an unreleased development build of PowerPoint 3.0 running on an early pre-production sample of a powerful new color laptop and feeding a professional auditorium video projector.
By about 2003, ten years later, digital projection had become the dominant mode of use, replacing transparencies and 35mm slides and their projectors. As a result, the meaning of "PowerPoint presentation" narrowed to mean specifically digital projection:
In contemporary operation, PowerPoint is used to create a file (called a "presentation" or "deck") containing a sequence of pages (called "slides" in the app) which usually have a consistent style (from template masters), and which may contain information imported from other apps or created in PowerPoint, including text, bullet lists, tables, charts, drawn shapes, images, audio clips, video clips, animations of elements, and animated transitions between slides, plus attached notes for each slide.
After such a file is created, typical operation is to present it as a slide show using a portable computer, where the presentation file is stored on the computer or available from a network, and the computer's screen shows a "presenter view" with current slide, next slide, speaker's notes for the current slide, and other information. Video is sent from the computer to one or more external digital projectors or monitors, showing only the current slide to the audience, with sequencing controlled by the speaker at the computer. A smartphone remote control built in to PowerPoint for iOS (optionally controlled from Apple Watch) and for Android allows the presenter to control the show from elsewhere in the room.
In addition to a computer slide show projected to a live audience by a speaker, PowerPoint can be used to deliver a presentation in a number of other ways:
- Displayed on the screen of the presentation computer or tablet (for a very small group)
- Printed for distribution as paper documents (in several formats)
- Distributed as files for private viewing, even on computers without PowerPoint
- Packaged for distribution on CD or a network, including linked and embedded data
- Transmited as a live broadcast presentation over the web
- Embeded in a web page or blog
- Shared on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter
- Set up as a self-running unattended display
- Recorded as video/audio (H.264/AAC), to be distributed as for any other video
They found that some of these ways of using PowerPoint could influence the content of presentations, for example when "the slides themselves have to carry more of the substance of the presentation, and thus need considerably more content than they would have if they were intended for projection by a speaker who would orally provide additional details and nuance about content and context."
Jerry Pournelle in 1989 praised PowerPoint for the Macintosh, stating that "if you're in the business of putting on briefings and otherwise making presentations, you might want to seriously contemplate getting a Mac II just so you can use this program; it's that good. Highly recommended". Supporters say that the ease of use of presentation software can save a lot of time for people who otherwise would have used other types of visual aid—hand-drawn or mechanically typeset slides, blackboards or whiteboards, or overhead projections. Ease of use also encourages those who otherwise would not have used visual aids, or would not have given a presentation at all, to make presentations. As PowerPoint's style, animation, and multimedia abilities have become more sophisticated, and as the application has generally made it easier to produce presentations (even to the point of having an "AutoContent Wizard" that was discontinued in PowerPoint 2007, suggesting a structure for a presentation), the difference in needs and desires of presenters and audiences has become more noticeable. Experienced PowerPoint designers point out that the "AutoContent Wizard" caused a glitch which contributed greatly to on-screen freezing of slides. Many designers opt to use the "blank slide layout" in lieu of the other layout choices for this reason. Nevertheless, in normal business use, most presentations created using PowerPoint are based on its default layout and font choices.
The benefit of PowerPoint is continually debated, though most people believe that the benefit may be to present structural presentations to business workers, such as Raytheon Elcan does. Its use in classroom lectures has influenced investigations of PowerPoint's effects on student performance in comparison to lectures based on overhead projectors, traditional lectures, and online lectures. There are no compelling results to prove or disprove that PowerPoint is more effective for learner retention than traditional presentation methods. Statistician and designer Edward Tufte suggests that as PowerPoint on its own has limited ability to present complex tables and graphics, a better approach is to provide the audience with printed data and a written report for them to read at the start of the meeting, before leading them through the report with a talk. He noted that after the Columbia disaster, a report on the accident recommended that PowerPoint should never be used as the sole method for presenting scientific material.
Military excess in the United States
A "PowerPoint Ranger" is a military member who relies heavily on presentation software to the point of excess. Some junior officers spend the majority of their time preparing PowerPoint slides. Because of its usefulness for presenting mission briefings, it has become part of the culture of the military, but is regarded as a poor decision-making tool. As a result, some generals, such as Brigadier-General Herbert McMaster, have banned the use of PowerPoint in their operations. In September 2010, Colonel Lawrence Sellin was fired from his post at the ISAF for publishing a piece critical of the over-dependence of military staffs on the presentation method and bloated bureaucracy.
Musician David Byrne has been using PowerPoint as a medium for art for years, producing a book and DVD and showing at galleries his PowerPoint-based artwork. The expressions "PowerPoint Art" or "pptArt" are used to define a contemporary Italian artistic movement which believes that the corporate world can be a unique and exceptional source of inspiration for the artist.
PowerPoint Viewer is the name for a series of small free application programs to be used on computers without PowerPoint installed, to view, project, or print (but not create or edit) presentations.
The first version was introduced with PowerPoint 3.0 in 1992, to enable electronic presentations to be projected using conference-room computers and to be freely distributed; on Windows, it took advantage of the new feature of embedding TrueType fonts within PowerPoint presentation files to make such distribution easier. The same kind of viewer app was shipped with PowerPoint 3.0 for Macintosh, also in 1992.
Beginning with PowerPoint 2003, a feature called "Package for CD" automatically managed all linked video and audio files plus needed fonts when exporting a presentation to a disk or flash drive or network location, and also included a copy of a revised PowerPoint Viewer application so that the result could be presented on other PCs without installing anything.
The latest version that runs on Windows "was created in conjunction with PowerPoint 2010, but it can also be used to view newer presentations created in PowerPoint 2013 and PowerPoint 2016. ... All transitions, videos and effects appear and behave the same when viewed using PowerPoint Viewer as they do when viewed in PowerPoint 2010." It supports presentations created using PowerPoint 97 and later. The latest version that runs on Macintosh is PowerPoint 98 Viewer for the Classic Mac OS and Classic Environment, for Macs supporting System 7.5 to Mac OS X Tiger (10.4). It can open presentations only from PowerPoint 3.0, 4.0, and 8.0 (PowerPoint 98), although presentations created on Mac can be opened in PowerPoint Viewer on Windows. As of 2017, the latest versions of PowerPoint Viewer for Windows (2010) and for Macintosh (1998) remain available for download.
Since PowerPoint 2013, the recommended replacement for PowerPoint Viewer has been to use any computer with a browser and network access to display any accessible PowerPoint presentation by using the free web app PowerPoint Online.
|Old version||Older version, still supported||Current stable version||Latest preview version||Future release|
|000000001987-04-01-0000April 1987||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 1.0||Macintosh||Shipped by Forethought, Inc.|
|000000001987-10-01-0000October 1987||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 1.01||Macintosh||Relabeled and shipped by Microsoft|
|000000001988-05-01-0000May 1988||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 2.0||Macintosh|
|000000001988-12-01-0000December 1988||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 2.01||Macintosh||Added Genigraphics software and services|
|000000001990-05-01-0000May 1990||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 2.0||Windows||Announced with Windows 3.0, numbered to match contemporary Macintosh version|
|000000001992-05-01-0000May 1992||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 3.0||Windows||Announced with Windows 3.1|
|000000001992-09-01-0000September 1992||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 3.0||Macintosh|
|000000001994-02-01-0000February 1994||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 4.0||Windows|
|000000001994-10-01-0000October 1994||PowerPoint||Old version, no longer supported: 4.0||Macintosh||Native for Power Mac|
|000000001995-07-01-0000July 1995||PowerPoint 95||Old version, no longer supported: 7.0||Windows||Versions 5.0 and 6.0 were skipped on Windows, so all apps in Office 95 were 7.0|
|000000001997-01-01-0000January 1997||PowerPoint 97||Old version, no longer supported: 8.0||Windows|
|000000001998-03-01-0000March 1998||PowerPoint 98||Old version, no longer supported: 8.0||Macintosh||Versions 5.0, 6.0, and 7.0 were skipped on Macintosh, to match Windows|
|000000001999-06-01-0000June 1999||PowerPoint 2000||Old version, no longer supported: 9.0||Windows|
|000000002000-08-01-0000August 2000||PowerPoint 2001||Old version, no longer supported: 9.0||Macintosh|
|000000002001-05-01-0000May 2001||PowerPoint XP||Old version, no longer supported: 10.0||Windows|
|000000002001-11-01-0000November 2001||PowerPoint v. X||Old version, no longer supported: 10.0||Macintosh||For Mac OS X|
|000000002003-10-01-0000October 2003||PowerPoint 2003||Old version, no longer supported: 11.0||Windows|
|000000002004-06-01-0000June 2004||PowerPoint 2004||Old version, no longer supported: 11.0||Macintosh|
|000000002005-05-01-0000May 2005||PowerPoint Mobile||Old version, no longer supported: 11.0||Windows Mobile 5|
|000000002007-01-01-0000January 2007||PowerPoint 2007||Older version, yet still supported: 12.0||Windows|
|000000002007-09-01-0000September 2007||PowerPoint Mobile||Old version, no longer supported: 12.0||Windows Mobile 6|
|000000002008-01-01-0000January 2008||PowerPoint 2008||Old version, no longer supported: 12.0||Macintosh|
|000000002010-06-01-0001June 2010||PowerPoint 2010||Older version, yet still supported: 14.0||Windows||Version 13.0 was skipped for triskaidekaphobia concerns|
|000000002010-06-01-0002June 2010||PowerPoint 2010 Web App||Old version, no longer supported: 14.0||Web|
|000000002010-06-01-0003June 2010||PowerPoint Mobile 2010||Old version, no longer supported: 14.0||Windows Phone 7|
|000000002010-11-01-0000November 2010||PowerPoint 2011||Older version, yet still supported: 14.0||Macintosh||Version 13.0 was skipped for triskaidekaphobia concerns|
|000000002012-04-01-0000April 2012||PowerPoint Mobile 2010||Old version, no longer supported: 14.0||Nokia Symbian|
|000000002012-10-01-0000October 2012||PowerPoint Web App 2013||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||Web|
|000000002012-11-01-0001November 2012||PowerPoint Mobile 2013||Old version, no longer supported: 15.0||Windows Phone 8|
|000000002012-11-01-0002November 2012||PowerPoint RT 2013||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||Windows RT|
|000000002013-01-01-0000January 2013||PowerPoint 2013||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||Windows|
|000000002013-06-01-0000June 2013||PowerPoint Mobile 2013 for iPhone||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||iPhone|
|000000002013-07-01-0000July 2013||PowerPoint Mobile 2013 for Android||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||Android|
|000000002014-02-01-0000February 2014||PowerPoint 2013 Online||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||Web|
|000000002014-03-01-0000March 2014||PowerPoint 2013 for iPad||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||iPad|
|000000002014-11-01-0000November 2014||PowerPoint Mobile 2013 for iOS||Older version, yet still supported: 15.0||iOS|
|000000002015-06-01-0000June 2015||PowerPoint Mobile 2016 for Android||Current stable version: 16.0||Android|
|000000002015-07-01-0001July 2015||PowerPoint 2016 for Macintosh||Current stable version: 15.0||Macintosh||There had been no PowerPoint 2013 for Mac.|
|000000002015-07-01-0002July 2015||PowerPoint Mobile 2016||Current stable version: 16.0||Windows 10 Mobile|
|000000002015-07-01-0003July 2015||PowerPoint Mobile 2016 for iOS||Current stable version: 16.0||iOS|
|000000002015-09-01-0000September 2015||PowerPoint 2016 for Windows||Current stable version: 16.0||Windows|
|000000002017-06-01-0000June 2017||PowerPoint 2016 for Windows Store||Latest preview version of a future release: 16.0||Windows 10 S|
Early versions of PowerPoint, from 1987 through 1995 (versions 1.0 through 7.0), evolved through a sequence of binary file formats, different in each version, as functionality was added. That resulted in a stable binary format (called a .ppt file, like all earlier binary formats) that was shared as the default in PowerPoint 97 through PowerPoint 2003 for Windows, and in PowerPoint 98 through PowerPoint 2004 for Mac (that is, in PowerPoint versions 8.0 through 11.0). The specification document is actively maintained and can be freely downloaded, because, although no longer the default, that binary format can be read and written by some later versions of PowerPoint, including the current PowerPoint 2016. After the stable binary format was adopted, versions of PowerPoint continued to be able to read and write differing file formats from earlier versions. But beginning with PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint 2008 for Mac (PowerPoint version 12.0), this was the only binary format available for saving; PowerPoint 2007 (version 12.0) no longer supported saving to binary file formats used earlier than PowerPoint 97 (version 8.0), ten years before.
Binary filename extensions
- .ppt, PowerPoint 97–2003 binary presentation
- .pps, PowerPoint 97–2003 binary slide show
- .pot, PowerPoint 97–2003 binary template
Binary media types
- .ppt, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
- .pps, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
- .pot, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
Office Open XML (since 2007)
The big change in PowerPoint 2007 and PowerPoint 2008 for Mac (PowerPoint version 12.0) was that the stable binary file format of 97–2003 was replaced as the default by a new zipped XML-based Office Open XML format (.pptx files). Microsoft's explanation of the benefits of the change included: smaller file sizes, up to 75% smaller than comparable binary documents; security, through being able to identify and exclude executable macros and personal data; less chance to be corrupted than binary formats; and easier interoperability for exchanging data among Microsoft and other business applications, all while maintaining backward compatibility.
- .pptx, PowerPoint 2007 XML presentation
- .pptm, PowerPoint 2007 XML macro-enabled presentation
- .ppsx, PowerPoint 2007 XML slide show
- .ppsm, PowerPoint 2007 XML macro-enabled slide show
- .ppam, PowerPoint 2007 XML add-in
- .potx, PowerPoint 2007 XML template
- .potm, PowerPoint 2007 XML macro-enabled template
XML media types
- .pptx, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation
- .pptm, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.presentation.macroEnabled.12
- .ppsx, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.slideshow
- .ppsm, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.slideshow.macroEnabled.12
- .ppam, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.addin.macroEnabled.12
- .potx, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.template
- .potm, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.template.macroEnabled.12
The specification for the new format was published as an open standard, ECMA-376, through Ecma International Technical Committee 45 (TC45). The Ecma 376 stardard was approved in December 2006, and was submitted for standardization through ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34 WG4 in early 2007. The standardization process was contentious. It was approved as ISO/IEC 29500 in early 2008. Copies of the ISO/IEC standard specification are freely available, in two parts. These define two related standards known as "Transitional" and "Strict." The two standards were progressively adopted by PowerPoint: PowerPoint version 12.0 (2007, 2008 for Mac) could read and write Transitional format, but could neither read nor write Strict format. PowerPoint version 14.0 (2010, 2011 for Mac) could read and write Transitional, and also read but not write Strict. PowerPoint version 15.0 and later (beginning 2013, 2016 for Mac) can read and write both Transitional and Strict formats. The reason for the two variants was explained by Microsoft:
The PowerPoint .pptx file format (called "PresentationML" for Presentation Markup Language) contains separate structures for all the complex parts of a PowerPoint presentation. The specification documents run to over six thousand pages. Because of the widespread use of PowerPoint, the standardized file formats are considered important for the long-term access to digital documents in library collections and archives, according to the U.S. Library of Congress.
PowerPoint 2013 and PowerPoint 2016 provide options to set default saving to ISO/IEC 29500 Strict format, but the initial default setting remains Transitional, for compatibility with legacy features incorporating binary data in existing documents. PowerPoint 2013 or PowerPoint 2016 will both open and save files in the former binary format (.ppt), for compatibility with older versions of the program (but not versions older than PowerPoint 97). In saving to older formats, these versions of PowerPoint will check to assure that no features have been introduced into the presentation which are incompatible with the older formats.
PowerPoint 2013 and 2016 will also save a presentation in many other file formats, including PDF format, MPEG-4 or WMV video, as a sequence of single-picture files (using image formats including GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and some older formats), and as a single presentation file in which all slides are replaced with pictures. PowerPoint will both open and save files in OpenDocument Presentation format (ODP) for compatibility.
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