How to Open and Edit a PowerPoint Presentation Online for Free

There are generally two types of people. Historically, you’ve been someone who often creates and edits presentations in Microsoft’s PowerPoint app, or you’re not. For years, Microsoft has offered Desktop versions of PowerPoint in standalone packages for $129. In addition, purchasing a copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student for $139 also includes PowerPoint. No matter the price, purchasing PowerPoint has always been a necessity for anyone working at school or in the office.

A third group of people who do not fit into these previous categories has emerged in the last few years. Sometimes they need to look at the PowerPoint presentations they’ve submitted. They are often asked to speak and need a visual aid that aligns with their subject. It’s hard to convince these users to buy software for $129 that they will rarely use. For these people, Microsoft created PowerPoint Online for Office Online.

Office Online is unlike anything you’ve seen in the company before. There is no charge to use PowerPoint in Office Online. You sign in to the web app with a compatible browser and your Microsoft Account,

Here’s how to open, create and edit a PowerPoint Presentation for free using Office Online.

Start by opening your Because it’s a web application, Office Online lives inside your browser, just like websites and email clients. We’re using Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer in this example, but we don’t feel limited. Office Online runs in Google’s Chrome Web Browser, Apple’s Safari Web Browser, and Mozilla’s Firefox Web Browser.

Set route to

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Office Online has web versions of Outlook, Word, OneNote, and Excel. All of these disparate parts are linked by OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage tool. If you have Microsoft Office 2013, OneDrive by default acts as a storage for your documents, notebooks, spreadsheets and presentations. You probably don’t use it, but that’s okay as we’ll get into OneDrive more in a moment. Click on the application.

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Welcome to PowerPoint Online. Now click the Sign In with a Microsoft Account button if available. These are accounts created for you with Xbox One, Xbox 360,, Hotmail, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. You will also want to use the Microsoft Account you use in other Microsoft products you own. If you don’t have an Outlook account, no problem. Just sign up using the link below the buttons before continuing.

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You can immediately start creating a new PowerPoint presentation online, on the right side of your screen. You can choose from dozens of templates, each with its own personality and customization options. You can choose any template you want and it will render just fine in PowerPoint 2013. Creating PowerPoint presentations in newer applications is always cumbersome, but it’s also quite doable. Watch for any errors after downloading your new presentation

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Rename your presentation by clicking its name in the title bar.

Saving Your Presentation from PowerPoint Online

There is no Save button in PowerPoint Online because it is always saved for you in the background. Once you have completed your presentation, click the option to download it.

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Then click on it. Again, PowerPoint Online has saved a copy of your presentation in your OneDrive storage folder in case of an emergency. There you can open it and edit it anywhere with a web browser or a copy of Office 2013. Additionally, there are free PowerPoint apps on Android, Windows Phone, iPad, and iPhone.

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Opening a Presentation in PowerPoint Online

Most of PowerPoint Online is pretty straightforward and easy to use. What isn’t immediately obvious is that Office Online apps rely a little too heavily on OneDrive.

Simply put, there is no way to directly upload a PowerPoint Presentation to Office Online. Instead, you’re stuck uploading your previously made PowerPoint presentation to OneDrive before it opens. Here’s how to open a presentation you’ve already created in PowerPoint Online.

Click the button in the upper left corner of your screen. Click on it now.

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Recent Documents shows presentations you may have already uploaded to OneDrive. Ignore this if your presentation is not in service. Tap or click More in OneDrive instead.

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Welcome to OneDrive. Don’t worry, PowerPoint Online is still available in a second tab. Click the button at the top of OneDrive or drag your document from your Desktop to the window.

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Wait for the download to finish.

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Go to the location of the document and double-click to open it.

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Again, the same rules apply to opening pre-made presentations in PowerPoint Online. If it’s a very old presentation, some of your formatting might not be translated, or you might notice some fields. Be sure to look at your presentation after you open it.

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Good luck with Office Online and PowerPoint Online.

Moyens Staff
Moyens I/O Staff has motivated you, giving you tips on technology, personal development, lifestyle and strategies that will help you.