PowerPoint: How to Launch a Presentation Automatically as a Slide Show

Microsoft PowerPoint Tips & Tricks, Presentations

PowerPoint show; PowerPoint presentation slide showsOne way to deliver a more professional PowerPoint presentation is to simplify how you present your slide show. Instead of launching your presentation from inside of PowerPoint, which often exposes the inner workings of your presentation to your audience, save it instead as a PowerPoint show which launches automatically as a slide show.

What is a PowerPoint Show?

By default, PowerPoint saves your slide presentation as a PowerPoint presentation file with the .pptx file extension which, when double-clicked, launches PowerPoint. The presentation opens in whatever view was open when you saved it such as the Normal view or Slide Sorter view. If you want your slide show to immediately launch in the Slide Show view, however, you need to save your file as a PowerPoint Show. In this article, find out how to create a PowerPoint slide show file and learn 2 bonus tips.

To Save a PowerPoint Presentation as a PowerPoint Show:

  1. Choose the File tab.
  2. Select Save As.
  3. Pick the Save as type as PowerPoint Show.
  4. Type a name for your slide show in the File name text box (you can use the same name and location as your .pptx/presentation file) and click Save. Your PowerPoint slide show file is saved with a .ppsx extension.

Now, the next time you or anyone else opens your presentation from outside of PowerPoint, your slide show immediately launches in Slide Show view. When you navigate past the last slide, the file automatically closes. To open the file for editing, launch PowerPoint first and open as you would a standard presentation. If you have access to the original presentation, you may prefer to open the .pptx file to edit and save again as a slide show file. Most importantly, make sure to manage your files so you are working with the most current version.

PowerPoint Presentation Tips

BONUS TIP: When I save my presentations as a PowerPoint Show, I save the file to my desktop for easy access during speaking and training engagements. If needed, I can also quickly close and re-open the file without launching PowerPoint and without showing everyone all of my slides. Working with a PowerPoint Show also saves a number of steps because it automatically launches with a simple double-click of the mouse.

To move to a specific slide in a presentation while in the slide show view (as either a presentation or show format), just type the slide number and press [Enter]. To make these moves easier, print out a handout of your presentation which includes slide numbers of each slide for quick navigation. Or, create a simple manual cheat sheet to reference when you want to jump to different slides.

BONUS TIP #2: In addition to saving PowerPoint shows to my desktop, I also add a black slide to the beginning. Although this may not apply to your presentations, I often navigate in and out of my slide show as I am also demonstrating software features and facilitating discussions within my training classes and conference sessions. With a black slide at the start, I can launch the slide show with a neutral, blank slide and then use the keyboard shortcut to type the slide number and press [Enter] to move to a specific slide within the presentation.

Were these PowerPoint tips helpful? Grab your handout of other quick and easy PowerPoint shortcuts and discover more PowerPoint techniques here.

By Dawn Bjork, MCT, MOSM, CVP, The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer, Productivity Speaker, Certified Virtual Presenter

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