How to auto-play PowerPoint

Open up a presentation in PowerPoint and it appears first in editing mode, ready for you to make changes or to launch the slideshow as required. If you'd like the presentation to start playing immediately, save the file as a standalone PowerPoint Show. Not only does this autoplay the presentation when launched, it can be viewed on any computer whether or not PowerPoint is installed, making it more convenient to access for people you need to share your work with.

Launch PowerPoint and open the file you wish to work with by clicking or tapping "Open Other Presentations," locating the presentation and choosing "Open."

Select "Transitions" and then use the options under the Advance Slide heading to configure the slideshow timings. Tick the "After" box and enter a time to advance slides automatically; tick the "On Mouse Click" box to enable the viewer to advance slides manually as well as or instead of the automatic timings.

Select and configure each of your slides in turn by clicking or tapping them in the navigation pane on the left. Pressing "Ctrl+A" on the keyboard with one slide selected enables you to highlight all the slides in the presentation and configure them together.

Choose "File" then "Save as" to save the presentation as a standalone show. Choose a location on your computer or on SkyDrive if you have connected a Microsoft ID. When the Save As dialog appears, enter a filename and choose "PowerPoint Show (*.ppsx)" from the Save as type drop-down menu. Click or tap "Save."

Double-click or double-tap on the saved file to launch it from your computer, and the presentation automatically begins playing using the timings you've specified. The file can be attached to an email or uploaded to the Web to be shared with others, if required.


You can also create a video from your PowerPoint presentation if this suits your needs better. To do this, choose "File" then "Export," then select "Create a Video." Several options appear for setting the quality of the outputted video, and you can change the slide timings if required. Click or tap "Create Video" to complete the export process.

Once a file is saved in the .ppsx format, you can open and edit it as normal through the "File" menu in PowerPoint. You can configure every aspect of the presentation in the same way as a normal PowerPoint file. Use the "Set Up Slide Show" option on the Slide Show tab to set whether the presentation runs full-screen or in a window, for example.

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About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.