To help ensure that a presentation created in newer versions of PowerPoint functions correctly when viewed in powerpoint versions earlier than 2007, turn on compatibility mode. Compatibility mode helps ensure you can work with an older presentation format (.ppt) in powerpoint 2007 or later.

You don’t need compatibility mode to work with presentations created in powerpoint 2007 or later. All newer versions use the same file format (.pptx).

Turn on compatibility mode

When you create a powerpoint presentation that will be used in a version older than powerpoint 2007, you can turn on compatibility mode by saving it as a powerpoint 97-2003 format (.ppt) file.

  1. In powerpoint, go to File > Save As, and then browse to a location where you want to save the file.

  2. In the Save as type box, click powerpoint 97-2003 Presentation.

  3. In the File name box, type a name for the presentation.

  4. Click Save.

    You can view, edit, and save the presentation in compatibility mode, but some features from newer versions of powerpoint are not available.

    Note:  Compatibility mode is automatically turned on when you open a powerpoint 97-2003 (.ppt) file format in powerpoint 2016 or powerpoint 2013.

Turn on compatibility mode for all presentations

To ensure that all presentations you create can function correctly in powerpoint 2003 or earlier, set powerpoint to save all presentations in the powerpoint 97-2003 (.ppt) format.

  1. Go to File > Options.

  2. In the powerpoint Options dialog box, click Save.

  3. Under Save Presentations, at Save Files in this format, click the list arrow and then select powerpoint Presentation 97-2003.

Turn off compatibility mode

You can turn off compatibility mode by saving the presentation as (.pptx) format.

  1. Open the presentation that was created in an earlier version of powerpoint.

  2. Go to File > Save As, and then browse to a location where you want to save the file.

  3. In the Save as type box, click powerpoint Presentation (*.pptx).

  4. In the File name box, type a name for the presentation.

  5. Click Save.

Presentation components that behave differently in compatibility mode

powerpoint 2003 and earlier versions used a different file format (.ppt) than powerpoint 2007 and newer versions (.pptx). Because of this, some features are not supported in versions newer than powerpoint 2003. If you used any of the following features making a presentation in powerpoint 97-2003, they are permanently lost if you save the presentation in newer versions of powerpoint.

  • Presentation broadcast

  • Microsoft Script Editor

  • Publish and subscribe

  • Send for review

The following is a list of presentation components that behave differently or are not available when you work in compatibility mode.

powerpoint component

Behavior in compatibility mode


Diagrams converted to images cannot be edited unless you convert them to SmartArt graphics or shapes. For more information, see Convert a diagram created in a previous Microsoft Office version to a SmartArt graphic or shapes.

Drop shadows

Soft, outer shadows are converted to hard shadows that you can edit.

Gradient outlines on shapes or text


Heading and body fonts

Heading and body fonts are converted to static formatting. If you then reopen the file in powerpoint 2007 and use a different style, heading and body fonts do not automatically change.

Levels of indentation

Some indentation levels are unavailable.

Multiple columns of text


Shapes in placeholders


Strikethrough and double-strikethrough on text




Text effects, such as shadow, reflection, and glow



Some themes cause shapes and placeholders to change to images.

WordArt Quick Styles


Having trouble?

If you’re having a problem with powerpoint that’s not resolved here, please contact us for technical support.

See Also

Convert a presentation from a previous powerpoint version to powerpoint 2013 or later

Share powerpoint 2013 files with users of earlier versions

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