Saving and Sharing

Understand how to save PowerPoint presentations, including using the PowerPoint save as PDF function, in this free lesson.

Introduction

Video: Saving and Sharing Presentations

Launch "Saving and Sharing Presentations" video!Watch the video (4:29).

Whenever you create a new presentation in PowerPoint, you'll need to know how to save in order to access and edit it later. As with previous versions of PowerPoint, you can save files to your computer. If you prefer, you can also save files to the cloud using OneDrive. You can even export and share presentations directly from PowerPoint.

OneDrive was previously called SkyDrive. There's nothing fundamentally different about the way OneDrive works; it's just a new name for an existing service. Over the next few months, you may still see SkyDrive in some Microsoft products.

Save and Save As

PowerPoint offers two ways to save a file: Save and Save As. These options work in similar ways, with a few important differences:

To save a presentation:

It's important to save your presentation whenever you start a new project or make changes to an existing one. Saving early and often can prevent your work from being lost. You'll also need to pay close attention to where you save the presentation so it will be easy to find later.

  1. Locate and select the Save command on the Quick Access toolbar.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the Save command
  2. If you're saving the file for the first time, the Save As pane will appear in Backstage view.
  3. You'll then need to choose where to save the file and give it a file name. To save the presentation to your computer, select Computer, then click Browse. Alternatively, you can click OneDrive to save the file to your OneDrive.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Browse
  4. The Save As dialog box will appear. Select the location where you want to save the presentation.
  5. Enter a file name for the presentation, then click Save.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Saving a presentation
  6. The presentation will be saved. You can click the Save command again to save your changes as you modify the presentation.

You can also access the Save command by pressing Ctrl+S on your keyboard.

Using Save As to make a copy

If you want to save a different version of a presentation while keeping the original, you can create a copy. For example, if you have a file named Client Presentation you could save it as Client Presentation 2 so you'll be able to edit the new file and still refer back to the original version.

To do this, you'll click the Save As command in Backstage view. Just like when saving a file for the first time, you'll need to choose where to save the file and give it a new file name.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Save As

To change the default save location:

If you don't want to use OneDrive, you may be frustrated that OneDrive is selected as the default location when saving. If you find it inconvenient to select Computer each time, you can change the default save location so Computer is selected by default.

  1. Click the File tab to access Backstage view.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking the File tab
  2. Click Options.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Options
  3. The PowerPoint Options dialog box will appear. Select Save, check the box next to Save to Computer by default, then click OK. The default save location will be changed.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Changing the default save location

Using AutoRecover

PowerPoint automatically saves your presentations to a temporary folder while you are working on them. If you forget to save your changes or if PowerPoint crashes, you can restore the file using AutoRecover.

To use AutoRecover:

  1. Open PowerPoint 2013. If autosaved versions of a file are found, the Document Recovery pane will appear.
  2. Click to open an available file. The presentation will be recovered.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013The Document Recovery pane

By default, PowerPoint autosaves every 10 minutes. If you are editing a presentation for less than 10 minutes, PowerPoint may not create an autosaved version.

If you don't see the file you need, you can browse all autosaved files from Backstage view. Just select the File tab, click Manage Versions, then choose Recover Unsaved Presentations.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Recovering an unsaved file

Exporting presentations

By default, PowerPoint presentations are saved in the .pptx file type. However, there may be times when you need to use another file type, such as a PDF or PowerPoint 97-2003 presentation. It's easy to export your presentation from PowerPoint in a variety of file types:

To export a presentation:

In our example, we'll save the presentation as a PowerPoint 97-2003 file.

  1. Click the File tab to access Backstage view.
  2. Click Export, then choose the desired option. In our example, we'll select Change File Type.


    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Change File Type
  3. Select a file type, then click Save As.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Choosing a file type and clicking Save As
  4. The Save As dialog box will appear. Select the location where you want to export the presentation, type a file name, then click Save.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Saving as an PowerPoint 97-2003 presentation

You can also use the Save as type: drop-down menu in the Save As dialog box to save presentations in a variety of file types. Be careful to choose a file type others will be able to open.

Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Choosing a file type from the Save As dialog box

Sharing presentations

PowerPoint 2013 makes it easy to share and collaborate on presentations using OneDrive. In the past, if you wanted to share a file with someone, you could send it as an email attachment. While convenient, this system also creates multiple versions of the same file, which can be difficult to organize.

When you share a presentation from PowerPoint 2013, you're actually giving others access to the exact same file. This lets you and the people you share with edit the same presentation without having to keep track of multiple versions.

In order to share a presentation, it must first be saved to your OneDrive.

To share a presentation:

  1. Click the File tab to access Backstage view, then click Share.
    Screenshot of PowerPoint 2013Clicking Share
  2. The Share pane will appear.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about different ways to share a presentation.

labeled graphic

Publish Slides

Many businesses use Microsoft SharePoint to share files at work. Here, you can publish your slides to a slide library or Microsoft SharePoint location.

Present Online

From here, you can share your presentation online as a live presentation. This may be especially helpful during conference calls.

PowerPoint will generate a link others can open in their web browsers. You can pause to make changes to the presentation and then resume the slide show.

Email

If you have Outlook 2013 installed on your computer, you'll be able to send your presentation as an email attachment directly from PowerPoint.

Keep in mind that sharing a separate copy means you won't be able to collaborate on the same file. We recommend using the Invite People option if you'd prefer to work with only one file.

Post to Social Networks

From here, you can post a link to your presentation on any social network you've connected with your Microsoft account, such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

You'll also have the option to include a personal message and set editing permissions.

Get a Sharing Link

From here, you can obtain a link you can use to share your presentation. For example, you could post the link on your blog or email it to a larger group of people. You'll decide if the link allows people to edit or simply view the presentation.

Invite People

From here, you'll be able to invite others to view or edit the presentation. We recommend using this option most of the time because it gives you the greatest level of control and privacy when sharing a presentation.

This option is selected by default whenever you access the Share pane.

Share Options

This pane will change depending on which sharing method you select. You'll be able to choose various options to control how you share your presentation.

For example, you can decide if the people you share with will have permissions to edit or simply view the document.

Challenge!

  1. Create a new presentation.
  2. Use the Save command to save the presentation to your desktop.
  3. Save the presentation to OneDrive and invite someone else to view it.
  4. Export the presentation as a PDF file.