Creating and Opening Presentations

Get Microsoft Office and PowerPoint presentation tips on creating and opening PowerPoint presentations.

Compatibility Mode

Sometimes you may need to work with presentations that were created in earlier versions of PowerPoint, like PowerPoint 2003 or PowerPoint 2000. When you open these types of presentations, they will appear in Compatibility Mode.

Compatibility Mode disables certain features, so you'll only be able to access commands found in the program that was used to create the presentation. For example, if you open a presentation created in PowerPoint 2003, you can only use tabs and commands found in PowerPoint 2003.

In the image below, you can see at the top of the window that the presentation is in Compatibility Mode. This will disable some PowerPoint 2016 features, including newer types of slide transitions.

Compatibility mode

To exit Compatibility Mode, you'll need to convert the presentation to the current version type. However, if you're collaborating with others who only have access to an earlier version of PowerPoint, it's best to leave the presentation in Compatibility Mode so the format will not change.

You can review this support page from Microsoft to learn more about which features are disabled in Compatibility Mode.

To convert a presentation:

If you want access to all PowerPoint 2016 features, you can convert the presentation to the 2016 file format.

Note that converting a file may cause some changes to the original layout of the presentation.

  1. Click the File tab to access Backstage view.
    Clicking the File tab
  2. Locate and select the Convert command.
    Converting the presentation to the newest file type
  3. The Save As dialog box will appear. Select the location where you want to save the presentation, enter a file name, and click Save.
    Saving a new version of the workbook
  4. The presentation will be converted to the newest file type.