Make the switch to PowerPoint 2013

A first look at PowerPoint 2013

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In this video, take an in-depth look at PowerPoint 2013: from starting it up, to saving your file. Also, learn how to convert your .ppt file to a .pptx file.

Use files between versions

PowerPoint 2003 files should open and run in 2013. Files created in 2013, but saved in the 2003 format, then opened in 2003, may look different. And any features unique to 2013, such as the Vortex transition, won’t work in PowerPoint 2003.

Convert files

Convert a PowerPoint 2003 file to PowerPoint 2013

  1. Click FILE > Info > Convert.

  2. Click OK to close the message.

    Convert a PowerPoint 2013 file to PowerPoint 2003

  3. Click FILE > Info > Check for Issues > Check Compatibility.

  4. Make any changes, then click OK to close the compatibility checker.

  5. Click FILE > Save As, click a location, and in the Save As dialog, open the Save as type list and click PowerPoint 97-2003.

When you open PowerPoint 2013 for the first time, this is what you see.

It’s a little different from the blank presentation you saw when you opened PowerPoint 2003.

In this version, you start by choosing what you want to do.

You can choose a Template or Theme and create a new presentation, or open an existing presentation here.

Let’s see what happens when we open a PowerPoint 2003 presentation.

It looks about the same, and it works about the same too. All the basic tools and features you were used to are still here.

You can insert new slides, type titles and bullets, the same way you did before. The commands are just organized differently.

You used to select a menu item; then click a command. Now you select a tab on the ribbon, and click a command.

By default, the HOME tab is selected when you first open PowerPoint.

And if you just want to get up to speed fast, this is where you’ll find most of what you need.

For example, let’s select this text and change the font color and the size.

Notice that you can move the mouse over a size and see a preview before you select it.

Of course, in PowerPoint, you often need visuals, and charts are usually the way to go.

In PowerPoint 2003, you clicked the Insert menu or you clicked the Chart button.

In PowerPoint 2013, you go to the INSERT tab. This is where you go to insert anything: a table, picture, or a data chart.

What about charts that are not based on data? That’s where SmartArt comes in handy.

SmartArt lets you insert text-based charts like Lists, Processes, and org charts.

When it comes time to save your presentation, you can use the Save command, up here. Or, you can use the familiar keyboard shortcut Ctrl+S.

Hmm. What’s that? This is the Compatibility Checker.

It appeared because we are saving a .ppt file that was created in PowerPoint 2003.

And it is warning us that this new org chart we inserted, will not be editable in earlier versions of PowerPoint.

Click Continue to save the file anyway.

And let’s see how the file looks in PowerPoint 2003. Sure enough, we cannot edit the text in this chart. But other than that, everything is fine.

So, let’s take a closer look at that message. It comes up every time we save the file.

You can clear this checkbox to make the message go away.

But, as you can see up here, you are running in Compatibility Mode, because PowerPoint is saving the file in the old ppt format.

PowerPoint will essentially work the same as it always has.

But in Compatibility Mode, you’ll miss out on a few new features. For example, if I switch over to a pptx file, I have lots of choices for slide transitions. Like this one, Vortex.

But if I go back to the .ppt file in Compatibility Mode, I don’t have as many transitions to choose from, and I certainly don’t have Vortex.

So, if you don’t need to open the file in PowerPoint 2003, the best thing to do is convert it to the new pptx format.

And here’s how to do that.

Click the FILE tab to go to the backstage. Click Info, then click Convert.

We get the Save As dialog box asking where we want to save the converted file.

Click Save to save it in the same folder as the old file.

Now, we have two files: one with a ppt extension that is compatible with PowerPoint 2003, and one with a pptx extension that is formatted for PowerPoint 2013.

Let’s leave the older file and continue working on the pptx file.

And see, we now have more transitions, and most importantly, Vortex.

We’ll get into Compatibility Mode in more detail in the final video.

So, you are well on the way to switch to PowerPoint 2013. Now, stick around and we’ll do more.

In the next video, you’ll get an idea of how things are organized in PowerPoint 2013.

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