Microsoft PowerPoint

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Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft Office PowerPoint (2018-present)
Screenshot from PowerPoint 2013
Screenshot of the creation of a title slide in PowerPoint
Basic data

developer Microsoft Corporation
Current  version PowerPoint 2019 (October 8, 2019; Windows),
PowerPoint 2019 (macOS)
operating system Windows , macOS , iOS , Android , Windows Phone (the latter three as part of the Office Mobile suite) and, since January, also as a single application for tablets (preview version)
category Presentation program
License Proprietary
German speaking Yes
PowerPoint website

Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program from Microsoft .

PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft 365 subscription and is available in the desktop version for Windows and macOS , as well as in the mobile version as an app for Android and iOS . The current version for both operating systems is Microsoft PowerPoint 2019 .


The program was developed by Forethought in Sunnyvale since 1984 and was called Presenter during this phase . The first version appeared in April 1987 for Apple Macintosh computers (with 512 KB RAM ). Microsoft acquired the rights to the program through its acquisition of Forethought for $ 14 million on July 31, 1987. Version 2.0, published in May 1988, supported colors for the first time and was localized into several national languages. The German language version was available from December 8, 1988.

With the introduction of Windows 3.0 , version 2.0 of PowerPoint for Windows was shipped on May 22, 1990.


PowerPoint is the most widely used presentation program . In 2001, Ian Parker wrote that PowerPoint is installed on around 250 million computers. The number of daily PowerPoint presentations was given by Microsoft as 30 million in the same year. Edward Tufte estimates that up to 100 billion slides are created annually. In LaPorte et al. It is stated that 95 percent of all presentations are created with PowerPoint.


PowerPoint 3 for Windows (1992)

PowerPoint is a page-oriented program. There are extensive design options for the individual pages, also known as slides. They range from simple text slides to slides with graphics, tables and diagrams to slides with multimedia content such as film and sound. Graphics can be created in PowerPoint itself with various drawing tools and also inserted in the form of images (in the formats PNG , JPG , GIF , TIF , BMP , EMF , SVG ) or pictograms (currently 863 graphics supplied in SVG format). It is also possible to integrate audio (for example in the formats MP3 , M4A , WMA and WAV ) and video files (for example in the formats MP4 , WMV , AVI , and MPG ).

After showing presentations with the help of video projectors (beamers) or large-screen monitors increasingly replaced the use of classic slides on overhead projectors , the animation options in PowerPoint also play a major role (version 2002 for Windows and vX for Mac OS significantly expanded). Texts and images can be integrated into the individual slides with many different animations. The change between the individual foils can be done with foil transition effects.

A special slide show view enables only the content of the slide to be projected onto the screen, while the current and next slide and notes are displayed on the monitor as an overview (so-called presenter view ). This was introduced with the 2004 version in the Mac version after Office vX pursued another concept for the presentation view. There, the slide currently displayed on the monitor in the normal PowerPoint user interface was transferred to the projector as a full screen, which had the advantage that adjustments to the slide could be transferred to the projector immediately. With the 2004 version this was no longer possible.

Office implementation

PowerPoint is sold both individually and as part of the various Microsoft Office packages . With each new release of the Office packages , a new version of PowerPoint is released with the same name.

Programming and automation

PowerPoint can be automated and expanded using VBA (Windows / Mac OS except PowerPoint 2008) and AppleScript (Mac OS only). The concept of VBA is up for revision with the XP successors. VBA support for the Mac was dropped in PowerPoint 2008, but was reintroduced in PowerPoint 2011. In addition, the Windows version can be automated by external programs via .NET interfaces, so-called “Interop” class libraries exist for this purpose.

Display of presentations

To view the presentations, PowerPoint must be available. The free PowerPoint Viewer can also be used under Windows, not Macintosh . This can run up to version 2003 from CD, the PowerPoint Viewer 2007 must be installed.

However, it is often also possible to view and edit PowerPoint presentations with LibreOffice , Apache OpenOffice or Keynote . However, not all new functions of the respective PowerPoint versions are always supported.

File formats

After Microsoft previously used the proprietary, not openly documented format .ppt , since PowerPoint 2007 and 2008 the presentations have been saved in the Office Open XML format ( .pptx ) by default . The presentations created can also be output as websites (*. Html ) or as individual slides in the most popular graphic formats .

In addition to the standard presentation format ( .ppt or .pptx and .pptm for files with macros, the latter only for Windows), the slide show format ( .pps or .ppsx ) is often used, which is used to display the presentation immediately in full-screen mode . There is no difference in content between the two formats; the same information is saved. To view the presentations, either the full version of the program or the free PowerPoint Viewer for Windows must be available on the computer.

Alternatively, the Windows version of PowerPoint 2003 or later can be used to create a presentation CD with the Package for CD option . All files linked to the presentation are combined. An option allows you to burn an autostart file and the PowerPoint Viewer onto the CD. This can be run from the CD and does not have to be installed on the target computer.

For old versions there is the “Pack & Go” function , with which a packed file is copied and unpacked on the target computer. The packed file has the file extension .ppz and is compressed in ZIP format.

If PowerPoint is automated with the help of VBA , these macros are either saved within the individual presentation file or can supplement the functions of PowerPoint as an add-in (file extension .ppa or .ppax ) for all presentations.

Templates with the masters contained therein are used to standardize the appearance of presentations, for example to comply with a corporate design . They have the file extension .pot or .potx or .potm .


The first iOS app for PowerPoint was launched on December 17, 2014 with version number 1.4. It is possible to create or edit complete presentations with the app, which is optimized for both the iPhone and the iPad . With the Microsoft cloud service OneDrive , presentations can be saved online and can thus be accessed from all devices. It is also possible to create a new presentation only locally or to save an existing one.

With version 1.6 also has iCloud coupled. The first application for the Apple Watch appeared on April 21, 2015 . It became possible to control the presentation from the wrist. If the app is connected to an Apple TV device via Bluetooth or WiFi , presentations can be displayed in the speaker view on the playback device and presented on the connected screen (TV set or projector). By swiping to the right you can change the individual slides and you can draw directly on the slides with your finger.


Problems with graphics can arise when creating presentations on Mac and playing them on Windows . This is due to the incompatible TIFF format , which is used as the standard format on Mac, but is not supported in the Windows version. At the moment there doesn't seem to be any solution to this problem other than avoiding drag and drop when inserting images into presentations.


similar products

Web links

Commons : Microsoft PowerPoint  album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Compare Microsoft Office products. Retrieved October 11, 2017 (Swiss Standard German).
  2. ^ A b Ian Parker: Annals of Business: Absolute Powerpoint . In: The New Yorker , May 28, 2001
  3. Henning Behme: 25 years of PowerPoint . In: iX - magazine for professional information technology . No. 05/2012
  4. ^ Edward Tufte: The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint
  5. Ronald E. LaPorte, Faina Linkov, Tony Villasenor, Francois Sauer, Carlos Gamboa, Mita Lovalekar, Eugene Shubnikov, Akira Sekikawa & Eun Ryoung Sa: Papyrus to PowerPoint (P 2 P): metamorphosis of scientific communication. In: BMJ . Vol. 325, December 21, 2002, doi: 10.1136 / bmj.325.7378.1478
  6. wird-252c6fa0-a4bc-41be-ac82- b77c9773f9dc
  9. QuickTime and a TIFF (or JPEG) decompressor are needed to see this picture . The PowerPoint FAQ