Bit of a funny one, this. Over the years, I’ve bemoaned the fact that I’ve not been able to open PowerPoint files from the mid 1990s and earlier. This has never really been critical; key slides continued to migrate into newer versions of presentations (now regrettably commonly termed slide decks in US corporate vernacular) and survive to this day like a well maintained classic car.
However, I am occasionally curious about files from that era but they do not open with current (or the previous two versions) of PowerPoint on my Mac. (As an aside, PowerPoint on the Mac pre-dates its launch for Windows). I think they are older than the ‘1997-2003’ file format which will still open today.
Every year or two, I explore this again but fail – until yesterday.
I have been preparing for a talk, given today in Utrecht at the Jaarbeurs conference complex, returning to a venue I came to a few times in the mid 1990s when Dutch optometry was developing quickly and there were lots of CET meetings and speaking invitations for those of us working in the contact lens area.
I found a presentation from September 1, 1997 which I gave at the same venue and thought it would be fun to look at the talk and see what it looked like (and include the opening slide in today’s talk under the guise of ‘I’ve been coming here a long time’ sortathing).
After yet more Google searching on the topic, I fluked on some information which – remarkably – worked. It turns out it’s easy and requires the use of the Zamzar conversion site. Here is the recipe:
Duplicate the file (for safety) and edit the suffix to .pps
Go to zamzar.com and upload file.
Choose PPT (1997-2003) as the desired file format.
Wait for e-mail from zamzar.com
Download new file