Determine whether a PowerPoint 2010 presentation is compatible with PowerPoint 2003 or earlier

To ensure that you can open your Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 presentation in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier, and to minimize significant losses of functionality and fidelity, you can run the Compatibility Checker in PowerPoint 2010. The Compatibility Checker finds potential compatibility issues between PowerPoint 2010 and earlier versions of PowerPoint, and creates a report to help you resolve any issues.


  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 does not support saving to PowerPoint 95 or earlier file formats.

  • Presentations, templates, and slideshows created in the PowerPoint 2010 file format (.pptx) are compatible with PowerPoint 2007.

  • When you work on a presentation in compatibility mode, where the presentation is saved in PowerPoint 97-2003 file format instead of the new PowerPoint file format (.pptx), the Compatibility Checker runs automatically when you save your presentation. Also, many commands that would create incompatible content are disabled.

As an example of a loss of functionality that can occur, some shape effects in PowerPoint 2010 (such as reflection and glow) appear as pictures in earlier versions of PowerPoint. Also, if you've embedded a video (instead of linking a video), the video will appear as a picture. For more information on other PowerPoint 2010 features and elements that can change, see Features that change when you open a PowerPoint 2010 presentation in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier.

To run the Compatibility Checker, do the following:

  1. In PowerPoint 2010, open the presentation that you want to check for compatibility.

  2. Click the File tab.

  3. Click Info.

  4. To the left of Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then select Check Compatibility.

  5. To learn about the messages that the Compatibility Checker returns, see Compatibility Checker.

Tip: To check your presentation for compatibility every time that you save it in a PowerPoint 97-2003 format, in the Microsoft PowerPoint Compatibility Checker dialog box, select the Check compatibility when saving in PowerPoint 97-2003 formats check box.

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