We offer free PowerPoint technical support at PowerPoint Studio, and we get some very interesting questions because of this value-added service.
We have gotten many questions over the last year about one particular topic, that is, how to run a Power Point presentation created on a new(er) version of PowerPoint on a much older version of PowerPoint. Simply put, Power Point is only backwards compatible to a point. If you are doing a presentation that will be running on another computer (say a client’s computer) and they have a much older system of PowerPoint, then your presentation may not run successfully.
This recent call typifies the situation:
It was a quiet Monday morning when I received a rather panic filled call from an ad agency in the Chicago area. They had worked all weekend on a rush Power Point investor presentation that would occur in about an hour. When they sent the Power Point investor presentation to their client it turned out the client could not successfully run the presentation on their computer. It turned out that the client had a very old version of PowerPoint on their system and had not upgraded for years. The presentation sent by the ad agency was deformatting, type was moving around strangely, pictures were not in correct alignment, transitions were not working. In short, the Power Point presentation was a mess. And they had 60 minutes to fix it or no investor presentation.
The ad agency was apoplectic and I knew there was no way to redo a 24 slide investor presentation in 60 minutes. But what I did know was a workaround that would save the day and it would only take minutes to prepare.
I directed the agency to export the Power Point design as a movie file. This would allow the presentation to proceed with the only compromise being that the slide transitions would probably not work. Not a big loss in this case compared to the alternative, that is sitting in a conference room sipping coffee without a presentation.
We tested it out and voila the presentation exported in the correct format and was small enough to email to the client. They tested it on their system and found out that, indeed, the only thing missing were the transitions. I explained that to advance the slides in this movie format they simply had to press the right arrow key. The reverse direction, if needed, the left arrow would provide that.
The result was that the scheduled Power Point investor presentation went ahead as scheduled, looked great (even without transitiions) and the day was saved.