Microsoft PowerPoint is the name of a proprietary commercial software

presentation program developed by Microsoft. It was officially launched on May
22, 1990 as a part of the Microsoft Office suite, and runs on Microsoft Windows
and Apple's Mac OS X operating system. The current versions are Microsoft
Office PowerPoint 2010 for Windows and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2011 for

PowerPoint presentations consist of a number of individual pages or "slides". The
"slide" analogy is a reference to the slide projector. A better analogy would be the
"foils" (or transparencies/plastic sheets) that are shown with an overhead projector,
although they are in decline now. Slides may contain text, graphics, sound, movies,
and other objects, which may be arranged freely. The presentation can be printed,
displayed live on a computer, or navigated through at the command of the
presenter. For larger audiences the computer display is often projected using
a video projector. Slides can also form the basis of webcasts.
PowerPoint provides three types of movements:
1. Entrance, emphasis, and exit of elements on a slide itself are controlled by
what PowerPoint calls Custom Animations.
2. Transitions, on the other hand, are movements between slides. These can be
animated in a variety of ways.
3. Custom animation can be used to create small story boards by animating
pictures to enter, exit or move.

Cultural impact
Supporters say that the ease of use of presentation software can save a lot of time
for people who otherwise would have used other types of visual aid—hand-drawn
or mechanically typeset slides, blackboards or whiteboards, or overhead
projections. Ease of use also encourages those who otherwise would not have used
visual aids, or would not have given a presentation at all, to make presentations. As
PowerPoint's style, animation, and multimediaabilities have become more
sophisticated, and as the application has generally made it easier to produce
presentations (even to the point of having an "AutoContent Wizard" that was
discontinued in PowerPoint 2007, suggesting a structure for a presentation), the
difference in needs and desires of presenters and audiences has become more
The benefit of PowerPoint is continually debated, though most people believe that
the benefit may be to present structural presentations to business workers, such as
Raytheon Elcan does.
Its use in classroom lectures has influenced investigations
of PowerPoint’s effects on student performance in comparison to lectures based on
overhead projectors, traditional lectures, and online lectures. Not only is it a useful
tool for introductory lectures, but it also has many functions that allow for review
games, especially in the younger grades. There are no compelling results to prove
or disprove that PowerPoint is more effective for learner retention than traditional
presentation methods.
The effect on audiences of poor PowerPoint presentations
has been described as PowerPoint hell.
Although PowerPoint has the aforementioned benefits, some argue that
PowerPoint has negatively affected society. The terms "Death by PowerPoint"
and "PowerPoint Hell" refer to the poor use of the software. Many large
companies and branches of the government use PowerPoint as a way to brief
employees on important issues that they must make decisions about. Opponents of
PowerPoint argue that reducing complex issues to bulleted points is detrimental to
the decision making process; in other words, because the amount of information in
a presentation must be condensed, viewing a PowerPoint presentation does not
give one enough detailed information to make a truly informed decision.
A frequently cited example is Edward Tufte's analysis of PowerPoint slides
prepared for briefing NASA officials concerning possible damage to the Space
Shuttle Columbia during its final launch.
Tufte argues that the slides, prepared
by the Boeing Corporation, had the effect of oversimplifying the situation, and
provided false assurance that the ultimately fatal damage to the shuttle was only
minimal. Tufte argued:
 The most critical information was consigned to the lowest level of importance
in the outline style.
 The low resolution of the slides encouraged the use of acronyms and
undescriptive pronouns instead of specific, descriptive terms and language.
 PowerPoint's limited font styling obscured proper notation of key scientific
Tufte concluded that:
The language, spirit, and presentation tool of the pitch culture had penetrated
throughout the NASA organization, even into the most serious technical analysis,
the survival of the shuttle.

A review of Tufte's book, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint can be read online.

Similar criticisms appeared in the Report of the Columbia Accident Investigation
Board ("Engineering by Viewgraphs" v.1, p.191).

Clifford Nass, who studies the "social-psychological aspects of human-interactive
media interaction" at Stanford University, noted how can PowerPoint presentations
can mask the thought process: "PowerPoint gives you the outcome, but it removes
the process."

Death by PowerPoint
“Death by PowerPoint” is a criticism of slide-based presentations referring to a
state of boredom and fatigue induced by information overload during presentations
such as those created by the Microsoft application PowerPoint.
The phrase was first coined by Angela R. Garber.
Further criticisms of the
cognitive effects of PowerPoint have been expounded by others, for
example, Edward Tufte (2006)
and Kalyuga et al. (1991).
Wright (2009)
suggests PowerPoint is a convenient prop for poor speakers, it can reduce
complicated messages to simple bullet points and it elevates style over substance;
and that these three things contribute to its popularity.
It can also be called
“PowerPoint Poisoning”—a term originated by Scott Adams of Dilbert fame.
Some presenters opt to combine a PowerPoint presentation with the display of 'live'
2 or 3 dimensional materials using a connectedVisualizer. This switching between
media can help to reduce the likelihood of 'Death by PowerPoint' occurring during
a presentation.
The Anti PowerPoint Party (founded in May 2011) is a Swiss political party
dedicated to decrease professional use of PowerPoint and other presentation
software, which the party claims "causes national-economic damage amounting to
2.1 billion CHF" and lowers the quality of a presentation in "95% of the cases".
The party advocates flip charts as an alternative to presentation software.
“PowerPoint hell” is the tedium some people report on sitting
through PowerPoint visual presentations that are too long and complex, making
excessive use of the software’s features and when the presenter just reads from the
Retired Marine Colonel Thomas X. Hammes says that this effect, which he calls
“hypnotizing chickens”, is useful when the goal is to avoid divulging information,
as in military press briefings.

Add-on tools like YawnBuster and PowerMockup help reduce boredom from
PowerPoint presentations by making them more interactive. A presenter can add
interactivities to the presentation which increase the audience involvement.

Military excess
A “PowerPoint Ranger” is a military member who relies heavily on presentation
software to the point of excess. Some junior officers spend the majority of their
time preparing PowerPoint slides.
Because of its usefulness for
presenting mission briefings, it has become part of the culture of the
but is regarded as a poor decision-making tool.
As a result some
generals, such as Brigadier-General Herbert McMaster, have banned the use of
PowerPoint in their operations.
In September 2010, Colonel Lawrence Sellin
was fired from his post at the ISAF for publishing a piece critical of the over-
dependence of military staffs on the presentation method and bloated

PowerPoint Viewer
Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer is a program used to run presentations on
computers that do not have PowerPoint installed. Office PowerPoint Viewer is
added by default to the same disk or network location that contains one or more
presentations packaged by using the Package for CD feature.
PowerPoint Viewer is installed by default with a Microsoft Office 2003 installation
for use with the Package for CD feature. The PowerPoint Viewer file is also
available for download from the Microsoft Office Online Web site.
Presentations password-protected for opening or modifying can be opened by
PowerPoint Viewer. The Package for CD feature allows packaging any password-
protected file or setting a new password for all packaged presentations. PowerPoint
Viewer prompts for a password if the file is open password-protected.
PowerPoint Viewer supports opening presentations created using PowerPoint 97
and later. In addition, it supports all file content except OLE objects and scripting.
PowerPoint Viewer is currently only available for computers running on Microsoft
Versions for Microsoft Windows include:
 1990 PowerPoint 2.0 for Windows 3.0
 1992 PowerPoint 3.0 for Windows 3.1
 1993 PowerPoint 4.0 (Office 4.x)
 1995 PowerPoint for Windows 95 (version 7.0; Office 95)
 1997 PowerPoint 97 (version 8.0; Office 97)
 1999 PowerPoint 2000 (version 9.0; Office 2000)
 2001 PowerPoint 2002 (version 10; Office XP)
 2003 Office PowerPoint 2003 (version 11; Office 2003)
 2007 Office PowerPoint 2007 (version 12; Office 2007)
 2010 PowerPoint 2010 (version 14; Office 2010)
 2013 PowerPoint 2013 (version 15; Office 2013)
Note: There is no PowerPoint version 5.0 or 6.0, because the Windows 95
version was launched with Word 7.0. All Office 95 products have OLE 2
capacity—moving data automatically from various programs—and
PowerPoint 7.0 shows that it was contemporary with Word 7.0.
Versions for the Mac OS include:
 1987 PowerPoint 1.0 for Mac OS classic
 1988 PowerPoint 2.0 for Mac OS classic
 1992 PowerPoint 3.0 for Mac OS classic
 1994 PowerPoint 4.0 for Mac OS classic
 1998 PowerPoint 98 (8.0) for Mac OS classic (Office 1998 for Mac)
 2000 PowerPoint 2001 (9.0) for Mac OS classic (Office 2001 for Mac)
 2002 PowerPoint v. X (10.0) for Mac OS X (Office:Mac v. X)
 2004 PowerPoint 2004 (11.0) for Mac OS X Office:Mac 2004
 2008 PowerPoint 2008 (12.0) for Mac OS X Microsoft Office 2008 for
 2010 PowerPoint 2011 (14.0) for Mac OS X Microsoft Office 2011 for
 2013 PowerPoint 2014 (15.0) for Mac OS X (coming soon)
Note: There is no PowerPoint 5.0, 6.0 or 7.0 for Mac. There is no version
5.0 or 6.0 because the Windows 95 version was launched with Word 7. All
of the Office 95 products have OLE 2 capacity—moving data automatically
from various programs—and PowerPoint 7shows that it was contemporary
with Word 7. There was no version 7.0 made for Mac to coincide with either
version 7.0 for Windows or PowerPoint 97.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
In PowerPoint 2011, several key features have been added. Screen
Capturing allows for taking a screen capture and adding it into the
document. It is now possible to remove background images, and there are
additional special effects that can be used with pictures, such as 'Pencil
effects'. Additional transitions are also available. However, the ability to
apply certain text effects directly onto existing text, as seen in Microsoft
Word is not available; a separate WordArt text box is still required.
File formats
PowerPoint Presentation
.ppt, .pptx, .pps, or .ppsx
Internet media
Developed by Microsoft
Type of format Presentation

The binary format specification has been available from Microsoft on request, but
since February 2008 the .ppt format specification can be freely downloaded.

In Microsoft Office 2007 the binary file formats were replaced as the default
format by the new XML based Office Open XML formats, which are published as
an open standard. Nevertheless, they are not complete as there are binary
blobs inside of the XML files, and several pieces of behaviour are not specified but
refer to the observed behaviour of specific versions of Microsoft product.