How certain features behave in PowerPoint Online

We designed PowerPoint Online so you can create and share basic presentations in your web browser. You can work simultaneously with others and present your slide show from anywhere. We left the heavy lifting to the desktop PowerPoint program though. If you have desktop PowerPoint installed, you can get to the advanced features by clicking Open in PowerPoint while you’re in PowerPoint Online.

Note: If you are using PowerPoint Online with SharePoint 2010, see Differences between using a presentation in the browser and in PowerPoint.

Opening and saving

Desktop feature

In PowerPoint Online


PowerPoint Online saves your work automatically each time you make a change, so there’s no need for a Save button. However, you can save your presentation locally.

Password protection

Presentations that were protected with a password in desktop PowerPoint can be opened only in the desktop program. To control who can open your presentation, use the Sharing settings in OneDrive or SharePoint library.

Viewing and printing

Desktop feature

In PowerPoint Online


You’ll need a PDF reader to print your slides. Here’s a handy list of (free) supported PDF readers.

Normal View

Use Editing View to create your slides.

Outline, Master, and Slide Sorter Views

These views are only available in desktop PowerPoint.

Reading View

You can flip through slides and show or hide speaker notes.

Presenter View

You need desktop PowerPoint to use Presenter View. Of course, you can still present your slide show in PowerPoint Online.

Slide Show View

You can run your slide shows in a full-screen window. Click each slide or press the spacebar to go to the next slide. Right-click a slide to go back, go to a specific slide, or end the show.

Video and audio

You can play video and audio in Reading View and Slide Show View if you have Silverlight installed. You’ll need Flash for videos that are linked from a website. Keep an eye on the file size, because PowerPoint Online won’t insert large media files. For embedded media, the size limit can be from 50-100MB, and for WAV files the limit is 100KB.

Speaker notes

You can show or hide Speaker Notes, but currently, you can’t print them in PowerPoint Online.


PowerPoint Online doesn’t have built-in zoom, but you can use your browser’s zoom feature to change the size of the content.

Rulers and gridlines

Rulers and gridlines are only available in desktop PowerPoint.

Editing and formatting

Desktop feature

In PowerPoint Online

Create, delete, reorder, or hide slides

You can add, reorder, hide, and delete slides. You can choose a slide layout when you create a new slide.

Copy and Paste

Text pasted in PowerPoint Online keeps the formatting from where you copied it. You can reformat the text after pasting it into the destination presentation. You can copy and paste pictures from one slide to another in the same presentation. However, PowerPoint Online doesn’t support pasting pictures copied from other presentations or applications. Go here to find out how to get around this.

Font size and formatting

You can apply bold, italics, underline, font size, and color, including using Format Painter.

Paragraph formatting

You can align paragraphs left, right, or center; run text right-to-left or left-to-right; increase or decrease indentation; format paragraphs as a bulleted or numbered list.

Format background

You can format the background of one or more slides with color or a picture.

Numbering and bullets

You can apply built-in numbering or bullet formats.

Find and Replace

Find and Replace is not available in PowerPoint Online.


You can choose from a limited gallery of built-in themes when you add a new slide to your presentation. Themes added to a presentation from desktop PowerPoint are preserved in the PowerPoint Online. Modifying themes is not possible in PowerPoint Online.

PowerPoint Online animation effects

There is a limited set of animation effects in PowerPoint Online. Animations added using desktop PowerPoint (that are not available in PowerPoint Online) are preserved and will play in the slide show, but you can’t modify them there.


Only Fade and Push transitions play in PowerPoint Online. Transitions added in desktop PowerPoint are preserved, but can only be played or changed in desktop PowerPoint.

Customize or broadcast slide show

Options for setting up and customizing the slide show, broadcasting the slide show, or setting up monitors are not available in PowerPoint Online.


Multiple authors can work simultaneously in PowerPoint Online. Co-authoring works with PowerPoint 2010 or later and PowerPoint for Mac 2011. For best results, all co-authors should work in either PowerPoint Online or in the desktop application, not a mixture of both.

Check spelling

Red squiggle underline appears under misspelled words. A context menu offers spelling suggestions to choose from.

Inserting things

Desktop feature

In PowerPoint Online


You can insert, edit, and follow text hyperlinks. You can’t add a hyperlink to a picture or shape. Bookmark links work but you can’t edit them in PowerPoint Online. See Add a hyperlink to text.


You can insert tables but you can’t edit them (other than to add or remove rows or delete tables) in PowerPoint Online.

Video and audio

Video and audio content play in Reading View and Slide Show View. You can resize, move, and delete video and audio controls in PowerPoint Online. However, to insert video or audio you’ll need to use desktop PowerPoint.


Insert pictures or clip art stored on your computer or from Bing. You can move and resize pictures, and you can apply picture styles. More sophisticated picture formatting features, such as applying special effects and removing the background are not available in PowerPoint Online. To create screen shots you can use desktop PowerPoint.

Note:  In SharePoint, the ability to insert online pictures is available only if it has been switched on by the SharePoint administrator.

Shapes, drawings, or text boxes

Add a text box or choose from a gallery of shapes. Apply styles, which define fill, outline, and shadow effects. Move, resize, rotate, or order shapes and text boxes in layers, back-to-front. Ungroup shapes to work with them individually.

SmartArt graphics

Insert a SmartArt graphic, switch to a different layout or color scheme, apply Smart Art styles, and edit text.

Charts and equations

You can’t insert these in PowerPoint Online, but if you insert them using desktop PowerPoint, PowerPoint Online displays them as expected.


Not available in PowerPoint Online. If you want to apply WordArt effects to text, tap or click Open in PowerPoint.


Editing and inserting symbols is limited in PowerPoint Online. If the font for displaying a symbol is not available, the symbol is displayed as a placeholder.

Headers and footers

Headers and footers, including date and slide numbers, cannot be inserted, edited, or deleted in PowerPoint Online, but PowerPoint Online displays them as expected. See Add slide numbers or the date and time.

Note: You can add a text box to act as a header or footer.


You can view, edit, print, and share presentations that contain macros, but to run the macros tap or click Open in PowerPoint.

ActiveX controls, embedded OLE objects

You can’t insert or edit these in PowerPoint Online, but they are displayed as expected.

Linked pictures

These are preserved in the presentation but are hidden in Reading View and Slide Show View. They display as placeholders in Editing View.


This feature

In PowerPoint Online

Proofing tools

You can check the spelling of a word and you can set the proofing language.


View comments in Reading View; edit them in Editing View. See Show comments in a presentation and Add comments to a presentation.

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