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Microsoft PowerPoint
Microsoft PowerPoint Icon
Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 2.png
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 in Windows Vista
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release 12.0.6425.1000 (2007 SP2) / April 28, 2009
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Presentation
License Proprietary
Website Microsoft Office PowerPoint
Microsoft PowerPoint (Mac OS X)
Powerpoint mac 2008 icon.png
Powerpoint mac 2008 mac os x leopard.jpg
Microsoft PowerPoint:Mac 2008 running on Mac OS X 10.5
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release 12.2.3 Build 091001 (2008) / November 10, 2009
Operating system Mac OS X
Type Presentation
License Proprietary
Website Microsoft PowerPoint: Mac 2008

Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program by Microsoft. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite, and runs on Microsoft Windows and Apple's Mac OS X operating system.

PowerPoint is used by business people, educators, students, and trainers. Beginning with Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft revised the branding to emphasize PowerPoint's place within the office suite, calling it Microsoft Office PowerPoint instead of just Microsoft PowerPoint. The current versions are Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010 for Windows and 2008 for Mac.



The first version of PowerPoint was initially developed on 14 August 1984 by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin of Forethought, Inc. of Sunnyvale, California. The original version of this program was created by Dennis Austin and Thomas Rudkin.[1] Originally designed for the Macintosh computer, the initial release was called "Presenter". In 1987, it was renamed to "PowerPoint" due to problems with trademarks, the idea for the name coming from Robert Gaskins.[2] In August of the same year, Forethought was bought by Microsoft for $14 million USD ($26.8 million in present-day terms[3]), and became Microsoft's Graphics Business Unit, which continued to further develop the software.

PowerPoint changed significantly with PowerPoint 97. Prior to PowerPoint 97, presentations were linear, always proceeding from one slide to the next. PowerPoint 97 introduced hyperlinks, which allowed users to jump around during a presentation.

PowerPoint 2000 (and the rest of the Office 2000 suite) introduced a clipboard that could hold multiple objects at once. Another noticeable change was that the Office Assistant, whose frequent unsolicited appearance in PowerPoint 97 had annoyed many users, was changed to be less intrusive.[citation needed]


PowerPoint presentations consist of a number of individual pages or "slides". The "slide" analogy is a reference to the slide projector, a device that has become obsolete with the use of PowerPoint and other presentation software. Slides may contain text, graphics, movies, and other objects, which may be arranged freely on the slide. PowerPoint, however, facilitates the use of a consistent style in a presentation using a template or "Slide Master".

The presentation can be printed, displayed live on a computer, or navigated through at the command of the presenter. For larger audiences the computer display is often projected using a video projector. Slides can also form the basis of webcasts.

PowerPoint provides three types of movements:

  1. Entrance, emphasis, and exit of elements on a slide itself are controlled by what PowerPoint calls Custom Animations
  2. Transitions, on the other hand are movements between slides. These can be animated in a variety of ways
  3. Custom animation can be used to create small story boards by animating pictures to enter, exit or move

Cultural impact

Supporters and critics generally agree[4][5][6] 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 little more sophisticated, and as the application has generally made it easier to produce presentations (even to the point of having an "AutoContent Wizard" (discontinued in PowerPoint 2007) suggesting a structure for a presentation), the difference in needs and desires of presenters and audiences has become more noticeable.

The benefit of PowerPoint is continually debated.[7] 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. Not only is it a useful tool for introductory lectures, but it is also has many functions that allow for review games, especially in the younger grades. There are no compelling results to prove or disprove that PowerPoint is more effective for learner retention than traditional presentation methods.[8] The effect on audiences of poor PowerPoint presentations has been described as PowerPoint hell.

Although powerpoint has the aforementioned benefits, some argue that powerpoint has negatively impacted society. Many large companies and branches of the government use powerpoint as a way to brief employees on important issues that they must make decisions about. Opponents of powerpoint argue that reducing complex issues to bulleted points is detrimental to the decision making process; in other words, because the amount of information in a presentation must be condensed, viewing a powerpoint presentation does not give one enough detailed information to make a truly informed decision.

PowerPoint Viewer

The Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer is a program used to run presentations on computers that don't have Microsoft PowerPoint installed. The Office PowerPoint Viewer is added by default to the same disk or network location that contains one or more presentations you packaged by using the Package for CD feature.

The PowerPoint Viewer is installed by default with a Microsoft Office 2003 installation for use with the Package for CD feature. The PowerPoint Viewer file is also available for download from the Microsoft Office Online Web site.

Presentations password-protected for opening or modifying can be opened by the PowerPoint Viewer. The Package for CD feature allows you to package any password-protected file or set a new password for all packaged presentations. The PowerPoint Viewer prompts you for a password if the file is open password-protected.

The PowerPoint Viewer supports opening presentations created using PowerPoint 97 and later. In addition, it supports all file content except OLE objects and scripting.


Versions for Microsoft Windows include:

  • 1990 PowerPoint 2.0 for Windows 3.0
  • 1992 PowerPoint 3.0 for Windows 3.1
  • 1993 PowerPoint 4.0 (Office 4.x)
  • 1995 PowerPoint for Windows 95 (version 7.0) — (Office 95)
  • 1997 PowerPoint 97 — (Office 97)
  • 1999 PowerPoint 2000 (version 9.0) — (Office 2000)
  • 2001 PowerPoint 2002 (version 10) — (Office XP)
  • 2003 PowerPoint 2003 (version 11) — (Office 2003)
  • 2007 PowerPoint 2007 (version 12) — (Office 2007)
  • 2010 PowerPoint 2010 (version 14) — (Office 2010)
Note: There is no PowerPoint version 5.0 or 6.0, because the Windows 95 version was launched with Word 7.0. All Office 95 products have OLE 2 capacity — moving data automatically from various programs — and PowerPoint 7.0 shows that it was contemporary with Word 7.0.
Note 2: Version number 13 was skipped due to superstition.

Versions for the Mac OS include:

  • 1987 PowerPoint 1.0 for Mac OS classic
  • 1988 PowerPoint 2.0 for Mac OS classic
  • 1992 PowerPoint 3.0 for Mac OS classic
  • 1994 PowerPoint 4.0 for Mac OS classic
  • 1998 PowerPoint 98 (8.0) for Mac OS classic (Office 1998 for Mac)
  • 2000 PowerPoint 2001 (9.0) for Mac OS classic (Office 2001 for Mac)
  • 2002 PowerPoint v. X (10.0) for Mac OS X (Office:Mac v. X)
  • 2004 PowerPoint 2004 (11.0) for Mac OS X Office:Mac 2004
  • 2008 PowerPoint 2008 (12.0) for Mac OS X Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac

Note: There is no PowerPoint 5.0, 6.0 or 7.0 for Mac. There is no version 5.0 or 6.0 because the Windows 95 version was launched with Word 7. All of the Office 95 products have OLE 2 capacity — moving data automatically from various programs — and PowerPoint 7 shows that it was contemporary with Word 7. There was no version 7.0 made for Mac to coincide with either version 7.0 for Windows or PowerPoint 97[9][10].

File formats

PowerPoint Presentation
Filename extension .ppt, .pptx, .pps, or .ppsx
Internet media type application/
Uniform Type Identifier[11]
Developed by Microsoft
Type of format Presentation

The binary format specification has been available from Microsoft on request, but since February 2008 the .ppt format specification can be freely downloaded.[12]

In Microsoft Office 2007 the binary file formats were replaced as the default format by the new XML based Office Open XML formats, which are published as an open standard. Nevertheless, they are not complete as there are binary blobs inside of the XML files, and several pieces of behaviour are not specified but refer to the observed behaviour of specific versions of Microsoft product.

See also


  1. ^ Gaskins, Robert (1984-08-14). Sample Product Proposal: presentation graphics for overhead projection. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  2. ^ Atkinson, Max (19 August 2009). "The problem with PowerPoint". BBC News. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "PowerPoint Presentations: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly". Shkaminski. 
  5. ^ Allan, Jones (2003-08-18). "The use and abuse of PowerPoint in Teaching and Learning in the Life Sciences: A Personal Overview". Bioscience Education. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  6. ^ "The Use of PowerPoint in Teaching Comparative Politics". Technology Source. 
  7. ^ "PowerPoint Is Evil Power Corrupts.PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely.". Wired Issue 11.09. 
  8. ^ Savoy, April (2009-01-30). "Information retention from PowerPoint; and traditional lectures". Computers & Education. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  9. ^ "PowerPoint Tips". Bit Better. 
  10. ^ "Do More on Your Mac". Microsoft. 
  11. ^ System-Declared Uniform Type Identifiers
  12. ^ "Microsoft Office Powerpoint 97 - 2007 Binary File Format Specification (*.ppt)". Microsoft Corporation. 2007. 

External links

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