Changes in PowerPoint 2010 (for IT pros)


Applies to: Office 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2012-04-05

Banner stating end of support date for Office 2010 with link to more info

IT Pros can learn about the new, changed, and deprecated features of Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and how these changes can impact migration plans. If you plan to migrate from PowerPoint 2003, we suggest that you review Changes in Office PowerPoint 2007 (

In this article:

  • What’s new

  • What’s changed

  • What’s removed

  • Migration considerations

What’s new

This section highlights new features in PowerPoint 2010.

Fluent UI

The PowerPoint 2010 user interface is updated from the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface (UI) that was introduced in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The Microsoft Office Fluent UI is designed to make it easier for people to find and use the full range of features that Office applications provide, and to preserve an uncluttered workspace. For more information about the Fluent UI, see the resources in Microsoft Office Fluent User Interface Resource Center (

The ribbon

The ribbon, part of the Fluent UI, was designed to optimize key PowerPoint presentation scenarios to make them easier to use. The ribbon provides quicker access to all the commands in PowerPoint 2010 and allows for easier future additions and customizations. You can also customize the ribbon. For example, you can create custom tabs and custom groups to contain frequently used commands. To help maximize the editing of your presentation space on the page, the ribbon can also be hidden while writing.

Backstage view

The Microsoft Office Backstage is now part of the Fluent UI and a companion feature to the ribbon. The Backstage view, which can be accessed from the File tab, helps you find frequently used features for managing your PowerPoint presentation files. (The File tab replaces the Microsoft Office Button and File menu that were used in earlier release of Microsoft Office.) The Backstage view is used to manage files and the data about the files, such as creating and saving files, inspecting for hidden metadata or personal information, and setting file options.

File format

The PowerPoint 2010 file format enables new features such as sharing on the Web, linked presentation co-authoring, and versioning. PowerPoint 2010 will continue to work on Office PowerPoint 2007 presentations.

Protected View

Files from a potentially unsafe location (such as the Internet or an e-mail attachment) or files that contain active content (such as macros, data connections, or ActiveX controls) are validated and can open in Protected View. When you open files in Protected View mode, the editing functions are disabled. You can open and edit files from trusted sources by clicking Enable Editing. You can also explore data about the files in the Backstage view.

Collaboration and sharing features

PowerPoint 2010 supports co-authoring functionality. Co-authoring functionality simplifies collaboration by enabling multiple users to work productively on the same presentation without intruding on one another’s work or locking one another out. Office 2010 offers co-authoring functionality for PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Word 2010, and Microsoft OneNote 2010 documents on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. New co-authoring functionality is also supported in Microsoft Excel Web App and Microsoft OneNote Web App. The changes are as follows:

  • New content is automatically highlighted.

  • Author information for any added or shared content is identified by a color-coded bar showing the author’s initials.

  • Version support lets users see when and by whom changes were made to a presentation, and automatically highlights changes relative to earlier versions of the presentation.

  • Faster synchronization of pages so that changes are displayed to all authors in near real-time.

Presentations to live and virtual audiences

PowerPoint 2010 has a remote slide show capability that lets you present a slide show over the Web or a network connection to virtual attendees or live attendees, or both. Some common broadcast scenarios are as follows:

  • Ad hoc one-on-one broadcast.

  • Invite multiple viewers to view a presentation remotely at any time.

  • Present a slide show to both live and remote attendees at the same time in the context of a training session, meeting, or conference call.

Working with text and objects

PowerPoint 2010 provides improved editing tools with a new set of Photo Effects that enable you to transform your images.

  • Video and audio editing

  • Graphics, transitions, and animations

  • Help and translation

What’s changed

This section summarizes the changes in PowerPoint 2010.

Arrange Group

The Arrange Group is now the Arrange menu.

Insert a shape

Previously, Drawing Tools (on the Format tab) automatically display when you insert a shape on a slide. This is no longer the case. The tab appears, but it does not open automatically. You can double-click the shape to bring up the tools.

Selection pane

The Selection pane is a feature that lists all objects in a presentation. In PowerPoint 2010 it is now located on the Arrange menu on the Home tab.

What’s removed

This section provides information about removed features in PowerPoint 2010.

Maximum sound file size

The audio/video link and embed feature has replaced the maximum sound file size embed feature. In Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, this appears in two locations: 1) as Max Sound File Size (KB) in Sound Tools | Options | Sound Options and 2) Link sounds with file size greater than in PowerPoint Options. This feature was necessary before because you were only able to embed of .wav files less than a certain size, as specified at one of the two places. In PowerPoint 2010, you can embed any file of any size so that these two features are no longer necessary.

The functionality is still there, but only as part of the new audio/video insertion behavior. The feature itself is deprecated.

You will not see Max Sound File Size (KB) in the ribbon and Link sounds with file size greater than in PowerPoint Options. Instead, the audio/video link and embed feature will replace this functionality. You will be able to do the same thing with fewer limitations and also do it directly when a media file is inserted.

In PowerPoint 2010, the user can choose whether to embed any file directly by using the Insert dialog box. Therefore, Max Sound File Size and Link sounds with files size greater than boxes are no longer needed. You can embed any file kind of any size instead of being limited to .wav files less than 50 MB.

Save as Web Page

The entry points for Save as Web Page have been removed.

Migration considerations

This section provides information about features and changes that administrators should consider when migrating from Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 to Microsoft PowerPoint 2010.

PowerPoint Presentation Files (.ppt/.pptx)

The default file format for presentations created in PowerPoint 2010 has not changed from PowerPoint 2007, which is an XML-enabled file format. PowerPoint 2010 does not support saving to PowerPoint 95 (or earlier) file formats, nor Pack and Go Wizard (.ppz) files. For more information about new file formats in Office 2010, see File Formats that are supported in PowerPoint 2010 (\&clcid=0x409).

To ensure that a presentation in PowerPoint 2010 can be viewed in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier versions, you can run the Compatibility Checker in PowerPoint 2010. The Compatibility Checker finds potential compatibility issues between PowerPoint 2010 and earlier versions of PowerPoint, and creates a report to help you resolve any issues.

With all the new media capabilities, photo effects, graphics, and formatting capabilities in PowerPoint 2010, knowing how they will translate when the file is opened in an earlier version is important. For example, the new photo effects are stored in the file in such a way that when you open the file in PowerPoint 2007, the photos that use the new effects look exactly as they did in PowerPoint 2010. However you cannot modify the effect if you return to PowerPoint 2007.

The new slide transitions are mapped to a PowerPoint 2007 transition when the presentation is viewed in PowerPoint 2007, and any improved slide transitions revert to the original look in PowerPoint 2007. Embedded videos will work to view in PowerPoint 2007, because PowerPoint 2007 Service Pack 2 was updated to include support for embedded videos. However, if you applied some PowerPoint 2010 effects to the video in PowerPoint 2010, such as crop it to a shape, apply 3-D to it, layer shapes, or apply a duotone, it will return to a default video and play without the special effects.

For information about formatting compatibility with PowerPoint 2003 or earlier versions, see Features that change when you open a PowerPoint 2010 presentation in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier (\&clcid=0x409).

Storing or sharing files

PowerPoint 2010 supports exporting files to all previous file formats that were found in PowerPoint 2007 and OpenDocumentation Presentations. In the Microsoft Office Backstage view, there is a quick-click sharing capability to send a presentation via e-mail as an attachment, as a link to the presentation on a Web server, or as a .pdf or .xps copy. You can also share the presentation via an instant message, in the Presentation Window, via Internet Fax, by publishing to Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products or any specific location, or packaging it for a CD.

Presentation security

In Office PowerPoint 2007, new security features were introduced to help ensure that a presentation was safely managed after it left the user’s hands. In PowerPoint 2010, the permissions can still be set, but now through the Backstage view. Security features include the following:

  • Prevent unintended changes to a final version of a document by using the Mark as Final command.

  • Provide assurance as to the authenticity, integrity, and origin of the presentation by adding a digital signature.

  • Assign permissions that prevent other users from copying, printing, or editing the presentation by selecting the access level specific to their requirements.

  • Manage document properties through the Backstage view.

PowerPoint Viewer

The Viewer is not included with an installation of Office. Therefore, for users who require viewing a PPT/PPTX presentation offline, a new PowerPoint Viewer is available online. The Viewer lets you view presentations created in Microsoft PowerPoint 2000, PowerPoint 2002, PowerPoint 2003, PowerPoint 2007, and PowerPoint 2010. The Viewer also supports opening password-protected PowerPoint presentations.

The Viewer cannot be installed side-by-side with 64-bit Microsoft Office, and cannot open files created in PowerPoint 95 or earlier versions. Support is limited to Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Windows 2000 and Windows 98 are not supported. Unlike previous viewers, users will have the option to use Reading mode or Full Screen Slide Show mode.

Macro recorder

The macro recorder, used to automate frequent tasks, is not available in PowerPoint 2010. Instead, you can use Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to create or configure macros. If you create a macro in a version of PowerPoint earlier than PowerPoint 2007 by using the macro reader, use VBA to configure the macro.

If you want to access developer controls, write code, or create macros, do the following to display the Developer tab:

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Select Options.

  3. In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, click Customize Ribbon.

  4. In Customize the Ribbon, in the Main Tabs list, select the Developer tab, click Add, and then click OK.

VBA settings migration

In Office 2010, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) 6.0 was updated to VBA 7.0. VBA 7.0 settings were reset to their defaults after migration instead of automatically repopulating. This occurred because the registry settings for VBA are in a different hive in Office 2010, as shown in the following table.

Version Registry subkey

Office 2000 through Office 2007


Office 2010


To correct this problem, copy the VBA 6.0 registry keys from the 6.0 hive to the 7.0 hive.

For more information, see User registry settings to migrate to Office 2010 and Compatibility Between the 32-bit and 64-bit Versions of Office 2010 (