Free Download of Microsoft PowerPoint
What can you do if you do not have access to PowerPoint, but you need to view a PowerPoint file -- a .ppt or .pps file?
You actually have three fantastic, free download options available to you.
1. Download free PowerPoint 97
Viewer - This is a direct link to the Microsoft PowerPoint 97 download site, which will let you view PowerPoint 95, 97, 2000, and 2002 presentations. It's free, and with a quick internet connection, you can download and install this program in a matter of minutes. You'll be viewing your PowerPoint presentation in no time! The only downside is that you can't EDIT the files with this program, or create your own PowerPoint presentations with this free download. But this is a quick, easy, and free option for viewing files.
2. Download free PowerPoint 2003
(and then some!) - In addition to offering the free viewer, Microsoft also offers a free 60-day trial of its Office Suite, which includes PowerPoint 2003, Excel 2003, Word 2003, and Outlook 2003. The upside is that this download is completely free. The downsides are that the download is only good for 60 days, and you should probably only attempt the download if you have a broadband connection (this will be a huge file!). You have 60 days to view, create, and edit PowerPoint files -- as well as test out three other popular Microsoft programs.
3. Download OpenOffice to get Impress
(and then some!) OpenOffice is open source -- so it's free. It contains Impress - which will let you create, view, open, and edit PowerPoint files. It also contains Writer - which will (among other things) let you create, view, open, and edit Word and WordPerfect files. And if that wasn't enough, you also get CALC - an advanced spreadsheet program -- and you guessed it -- this will allow you to open and edit and create Excel files. OpenOffice is very user friendly and versatile. If you can use PowerPoint, you'll have no problem using Impress, and you might even find features within Impress that blow PowerPoint away -- for example, I absolutely love the ability to save my presentation as a PDF file with speaker's notes.
And other than these three free download options, you can also order a free 60 day trial Microsoft Office suite CD
directly from the Microsoft site. This isn't exactly free: you'll probably have to pay a nominal fee for shipping and handling. And you won't have the instant gratification that a download provides you -- you'll have to wait to get that CD in the mail. And once again, the trial is only good for 60 days.
My pick? If you're in a hurry and you only need to view the files, go ahead and download option 1: the free PowerPoint viewer
. But if you need to create, edit, and view PowerPoint files for the long term, you can't go wrong with OpenOffice
. Free, easy, and powerful -- what's not to like?