How to launch directly into a Powerpoint Show…

I have been doing Powerpoint presentations for years (at work and for my Church). I currently draft slides on a weekly basis that is used with my Church’s projection system (that I manage) and have prepared literally hundreds of customized presentations that are anywhere from 50 to 80 slides per presentation. I do not do Powerpoint the way they teach Powerpoint; however, that is another story in itself. What I want to point out to Powerpoint users, which I find for whatever reasons, most users do not know how to save their Powerpoint presentation as a “SHOW”. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I notice that the presenter will start up the Powerpoint software (editor), locate and load the presentation file, then fumble around trying to find the button to launch the actual presentation. All this, many times, is done while the audience is present. To me this does not project a good image of whatever you are about to present; sort of makes you look unprepared. Note:  If you must go that route, an easy way to launch the presentation, from within the Powerpoint software (editor) is just hit the “F5” key…

There is a much easier way… When you save a Powerpoint presentation, it is saved, by default, as a “Presentation” file with the file extension “.ppt”.  When I am preparing or editing my initial draft of the presentation, I will save it as a “Presentation” file (see below).

Presentation File

However, when I am satisfied with my final draft, instead of saving the presentation as a “Presentation” file; I will now save it as a “SHOW” file (see below).  The “SHOW” file will have a “.pps” file extension. I often will type “SHOW” after the filename so that I can readily see that it is a “SHOW” file.  In the end I have (2)-two files; the “Presentation” file and the “Show” file.  This way I also have a backup!

Powerpoint Show File

The advantages of this is huge.  Instead of having to deal with the Powerpoint software (editor), now when I click on my presentation “SHOW” file, it will launch directly into my presentation.  Saving your presentation as a “SHOW” file will have no impact on re-editing or changing the presentation.  If you need to edit the “SHOW” file, you simply launch Powerpoint, load the “SHOW” (.pps) file, make your edits, and then re-save it…


Bookmark and Share


9 thoughts on “How to launch directly into a Powerpoint Show…

Add yours

  1. Rick,
    Great tip. In all my years of using Powerpoint, I never knew about this option. I’ve been known to get stuck in a Powerpoint rut from time-to-time…you know, if something works you stick with it-whether it’s the best way or not.
    I’m using OpenOffice alot now and I can’t wait to see if this tip works there too.
    Thanks again.


    1. Paul,

      I’m still using Powerpoint 2003; primarily due I do not want to pay for 2007 and now 2010. Every week I prepare slides for my Church that I use on the projection system… I have learned alot, by doing! Thanks for dropping by!



  2. Is there a reason that the PPT wouldn’t open to show after saving it as show?

    I have saved it multiply times as a show but it will not open into a show.


      1. Denise,

        Another question to try and help out here; AND, you may already know this… When you save it as a PPS file and you go to launch the that file, make sure you are not trying to load it from Powerpoint. You would have to go into Windows explorer, click on the PPS file and it should open right into your presentation. If you open it in Powerpoint itself, it will not go into the presentation or show mode. Also, this could be a file association issue…



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: