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How to get Microsoft PowerPoint for Free

Anyron Copeman

When most people think of making digital presentations on a computer, they instantly think of PowerPoint. Microsoft’s software has stood the test of time, and remains the go-to for many people more than 30 years after it was first introduced.

PowerPoint has undergone plenty of changes in that time, but its main purpose remains the same – to help people make great slideshow presentations.

For many years, paying for Office outright was the only way to access Excel. However, that all changed with the release of Office 365 (now Microsoft 365 ), which offered access to all the apps and regular updates in exchange for a monthly fee.

But Microsoft continues to release new standalone versions of Office apps every few years. The latest of these is Office 2021, although this will soon also come under the ‘Microsoft 365’ umbrella. The core functionality of these doesn’t change, though. The three free methods explained in this article are almost certain to stay.

Option 1 – Web version

Accessing Microsoft PowerPoint and other core Office programs is free via the web, and all you’ll need is a Microsoft account.

Head over to Office.com and click ‘Sign in’ to enter your details. If you don’t yet have an account, choose ‘Sign up for the free version of Office’ and follow the instructions.

Microsoft Office homepage

Once that’s complete, you’ll be taken to your main office homepage. From the left pane, choose ‘Create’ then ‘Presentation’ to open a new PowerPoint document.

Microsoft PowerPoint on the web

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

As you can see, there’s also the option to create documents in Word and PowerPoint here, alongside Outlook and a free version of Microsoft Teams. These are all ‘Web Apps’, meaning you can only use them via your browser and not a desktop app. When you work on a file here, it will be saved to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage service. 

In fact, you probably have Google to thank for this software being available in web app form, as its free Docs, Sheets and Slides software and their integration with Google Drive made it difficult for Microsoft to keep asking users to pay. 

Check out our guide to the best cloud storage services to see how both compare to the rest of the competition.

The web version of PowerPoint is a more stripped-back version of the software, so the comparison to Google Slides is more reasonable than the full desktop program. Nonetheless, both services should provide everything a casual user is looking for. 

Option 2 – Use on mobile

Perhaps again in response to Google, Microsoft’s Office mobile applications are completely free and available across modern mobile devices.

You can download the Microsoft PowerPoint app for Android   and   iOS . While Microsoft understandably reserves some premium features for its Office 365 subscription, the mobile apps are still very capable and offer integration with OneDrive.

Microsoft PowerPoint Android app

Option 3 – Check if your school or workplace gets it free

Many employers offer Microsoft 365 apps to their employees free of charge. Even if your work email address ends with the name of the company, it may still be used to sign into a Microsoft account. Of course, you may be working in an office job where Excel and the like are already the defaults.

If your school has signed up to Microsoft 365 Education, all staff and students should be able access Office apps for free. To check, enter your education email address on the Microsoft website .

But if your school isn’t yet signed up and you’re in a position to change that, compare plans and begin the sign-up process here .

Learn more in our separate article: Do students get Office 365 for free?

Option 4 – Pay full price

However, these free options aren’t suitable for everyone. If you need more than just basic PowerPoint functions and the app isn’t available to you via school or work, the only alternative is to pay full price. 

At the time of writing, the cheapest Microsoft 365 subscription is Personal, which $6.99/£5.99 per month or $69.99/£59.99 per year. Stepping up to the Family plan gets 2-6 people access for $9.99/£7.99 per month or $99.99/£79.99 per year. Both offer a one-month free trial. 

Your other option is to pay for Office 2021, the latest standalone release. This is a one-off payment of $149.99 in the US or £119.99 in the UK . Unfortunately, there’s no way to pay for PowerPoint on its own.

Related articles you may like

Author: Anyron Copeman , Senior Staff Writer

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As the resident expert on Windows, Senior Staff Writer Anyron’s main focus is PCs and laptops. Much of the rest of his time is split between smartphones, tablets and audio, with a particular focus on Android devices.

Recent stories by Anyron Copeman:

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How to Get Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Free

You could save $100 a year with these tips.



Microsoft Office 365 app icons on a blue background.

You can use Microsoft Office apps for free. 

Microsoft 365  is the most recent version of the Microsoft Office set of tools, and it includes programs you already use at home, school or work. Some of the programs include Word, Outlook and Powerpoint, and buying a Microsoft 365 membership is still the most popular way to access these tools and more. 

On Jan. 11, Microsoft announced the release of  Microsoft 365 Basic which costs $2 a month, or $20 for a yearly subscription. However, you can snag  Microsoft 365  at no cost under some circumstances.


Microsoft's suite of productivity software consists of classics like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as newer apps like Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint. 

The suite typically costs $20 to $100 a year for subscription access across devices and family members. Microsoft also has a standalone version of Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac , called Office Home and Student 2021 , for a flat $150 -- no subscription required.

Here are the versions of Office 365, Microsoft 365 and their apps that you can find online for free. 

Get Microsoft Office 365 Education free if you're a student or a teacher

If you're a student, teacher or faculty member with an active school email address, you're likely eligible to get access to Office 365 for free through Microsoft, with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Teams, plus other classroom tools.

All you have to do is enter your school email address on this page on Microsoft's website: Office 365 Education . In many cases, you'll be instantly granted access thanks to an automated verification process. If you attend an institution that needs to be verified, it might take up to a month to confirm your eligibility. 

College students can also get Microsoft 365 Personal for $3 a month with a valid school email address.


More Tech Tips

How to get Microsoft Office suite free if you're anyone else

Anyone can get a one-month free trial of Microsoft 365. However, it does require you to enter a credit card number. If you don't cancel your subscription before the month is up, you'll be charged $100 for a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Family (formerly called Office 365 Home). 

The good news is if you don't need the full suite of Microsoft 365 tools, you can access a number of its apps online for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook, Calendar, My Content, Skype, Designer and Clipchamp. Here's how to get them: 

1 . Go to Microsoft365.com .

2 . Click Sign up for the free version of Office under the "Sign in" button.

3 . Log in to your Microsoft account or create one for free . If you already have a Windows, Skype or Xbox Live login, you have an active Microsoft account.

4 . Select the app you want to use and save your work in the cloud with OneDrive.


Use the browser-based version of the Microsoft Word app for free.

So what's the catch for the free version?

You might be saying, "Wait a minute, if I can get all of those apps for free, why pay for Microsoft 365 in the first place?" The functionality of the free apps is limited, so they only run in your web browser and you can only use them while you're actively connected to the internet. They also have fewer features than the full Microsoft 365 versions. 

There are still benefits to the free version, including the ability to share links to your work and collaborate in real time, similar to what the Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) productivity tools allow. If you're looking for basic versions of each of these apps, the free version should work well for you. 

For more productivity coverage, check out what Microsoft 365 Basic offers customers , all of the  best features in Windows 11  and  how to take screenshots in Windows 10 or 11 . You can also take a look at CNET's list of the best Windows laptops .


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How to Use Microsoft's Free PowerPoint Viewers

View, create, and print PowerPoint files without PowerPoint

how to ppt free

You don't need PowerPoint installed on your computer to open or edit a PowerPoint document. There are two Microsoft-approved ways to create, share, edit, print, and open these files, and both are 100 percent free.

Microsoft used to let you open slideshows without PowerPoint with their free viewer tool , but it was restricted to viewing only and is no longer available from their website. What you can use now is either their web-based version or mobile app.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint Online, Office for iPad, PowerPoint for iPad, PowerPoint for iPhone, PowerPoint for Android, and PowerPoint Mobile for Windows phones and tablets.

Microsoft PowerPoint Online

PowerPoint Online is the web version of PowerPoint. It doesn't have all the features as the desktop edition but it still lets you edit existing files, create new ones, share presentations with others, and print off presentations. All of it works from your browser, so you don't have to download or install anything.

This version of PowerPoint is available if you have a Microsoft account (any email address that ends with hotmail.com, outlook.com, live.com , or msn.com ) or a Microsoft 365 work or school account.

The easiest way to view or edit an existing PowerPoint file online is to drag it from your computer and drop it directly on the PowerPoint Online web page, or use the Upload link on that page. You can also save it to your OneDrive account.

PowerPoint Online is compatible with all versions of PowerPoint. You can save a presentation from PowerPoint Online back to your computer in a number of file formats, including images, PDF, PPTX, and ODP.

PowerPoint Mobile Apps

Microsoft also provides PowerPoint to mobile users. There's an app for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows 11/10 devices (mobile, PC, and Surface Hub). The Microsoft 365 app for Android and iOS also includes PowerPoint, along with Word and Excel.

Download For:

Similar to the online PowerPoint viewer, the app has you log in with your Microsoft account so that you can access all the files from your OneDrive account, the ones that are stored on your device, and PowerPoint files saved in other cloud storage services (like Dropbox, Box, and several others).

You can edit directly from the app and use the menu from an open slideshow to save as a new title and to print it off.

Other Free PowerPoint Viewers

The two options described above are Microsoft's free methods for opening PowerPoint files, but third-party programs can be used, too.

Unless you're interested in getting PowerPoint for a limited time only, as part of the Microsoft Office free trial , check out our lists of free presentation software , free online presentation makers , and free Microsoft Office/365 alternatives for some additional choices that won't cost you a dime.

You might be relieved at the variety that's available, especially if you're looking for a way to open and edit PowerPoint files in a program that doesn't resemble Microsoft's software so much.

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Microsoft PowerPoint

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Create and open

Create and open a presentation in powerpoint for the web.

Starting in PowerPoint for the web means your files are automatically saved in OneDrive. This lets you share the files with co-workers and start collaborating immediately. And when you need more functionality, you can work on the presentation together in the PowerPoint desktop app and all of your changes will be saved online.

To convert your Google Slides to PowerPoint, go to File > Download > Microsoft PowerPoint (.pptx). Then open the file in PowerPoint. See more at Get started with Sheets .

Create, open, and name a presentation

Go to powerpoint.office.com .

The app launcher icon in Office 365

Select New blank presentation , open a Recent file, or select one of the themes .

To name the presentation, select the title at the top and type a name.

If you need to rename the presentation, select the title and retype the name.

Create a presentation

Add a slide

Select the slide you want your new slide to follow.

Select Home > New Slide .

Select Layout and the you type want from the drop-down.

Slide Layouts in PowerPoint

When working in PowerPoint for the web, your work is saved every few seconds. You can select File > Save a Copy to create a duplicate copy in another location.

Or choose File > Download As to save a copy to your device.

Use Download a Copy to save the presentation to your computer

When you're online, AutoSave is always on and saves your changes as you work. If at any time you lose your Internet connection or turn it off, any pending changes will sync as soon as you’re back online.

The AutoSave Toggle in Office

Select Tell me what you want to do at the top of the screen.

Type what you want to do.

Select one of the search results.

Tell me

Need more help?

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The PPTX format was developed by Microsoft and has been the default format for PowerPoint files since 2006. Along with similar updates for other Microsoft Office formats, it was designed to replace the older PPT format. The additional X at the end represents the open XML format that makes it easier for users to share and view Microsoft Office files in other programs. Microsoft PowerPoint is used mostly for creating and delivering presentations, which can include text, graphics, animations, embedded video content and interactive elements. It is also commonly used by organisations and students to create reports, which are usually converted into PDF before sharing or publishing. As well as opening in PowerPoint itself, PPTX files will also open in Google Slides, Apple Keynote and LibreOffice. You can also use PowerPoint to save files into the older PPT format, as well as to save PowerPoint slide shows into PPS or PPSX format.

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Microsoft developed the PPT format for PowerPoint, which is mostly used for creating and editing presentations. PPT files normally comprise slides of text, images and animations that can play as timed or manually controlled slideshows. Users can build presentations from scratch or use an online or company corporate template. PowerPoint is the most widely used format for presentations in both educational and work settings. It can also be used for creating reports, which users often save or print as a PDF. Since 2007, PPTX has been Microsoft’s standard file format for PowerPoint. However, even if you have a newer version of the program, you can still use it to open older PPT files, and also to save presentations into PPT format. PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office suite, but some other programs, like LibreOffice, Apple Keynote or Google Slides, can also open both PPT and PPTX files.

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How to Edit a Header and Footer in PowerPoint

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Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese. Read more...

The PowerPoint logo.

Headers and footers in PowerPoint are ideal for displaying descriptive content, such as slide numbers , author info, the date and time, and more. We’ll show you how to easily insert or edit info in a header or footer in PowerPoint.

How to Insert Headers and Footers in PowerPoint

To insert headers and footers in PowerPoint, open your presentation, and then click “Insert.”

how to ppt free

In the “Text” group, click “Header and Footer.”

how to ppt free

When the window opens, you’ll be in the “Slide” tab. You can select any of the following options to add them to your slides:

You might notice that there isn’t an option for a header. This is because headers aren’t actually available on slides, but there’s a simple work-around for this we’ll cover below.

RELATED: How to Add a Header or Footer to a Word Document

After you make your selections, you can see in the “Preview” on the right where they’ll appear on the slide.

You can see where your selections will appear on the slide in the "Preview."

Type the text you want to appear in the footer in the text box under “Footer.” You can select the “Don’t Show on Title Slide” option if you don’t want PowerPoint to add the text to the title slide of your presentation.

 Select the "Don't Show On Title Slide" option.

After you have everything the way you want it, click “Apply” to add your content to the currently selected slide. We clicked “Apply to All” to add our content to all slides in our presentation.

how to ppt free

The content now appears at the bottom of the PowerPoint presentation slides you selected.

Footer text on a slide.

This is difficult to see, though—let’s edit it!

How to Edit Headers and Footers in PowerPoint

There are a couple of ways you can edit headers and footers in PowerPoint. Since each slide in your PowerPoint presentation is likely different, you might only need to edit something on a single slide. If that’s the case, just click the content and edit it as you would any other text in that slide.

You can edit the format of the text, too. Just click and drag your cursor over the text you want to edit to highlight it, and then use the formatting tools in the pop-up menu.

Edit the format of your text in a PowerPoint footer.

If you want to edit the footer on all of your slides, you can do so by going back to Insert > Header and Footer, but the formatting options aren’t available there.

If you want to change the font size and color of the footer text on all slides, select “Slide Master”  in the “Master Views” section under the “View” tab.

how to ppt free

Click the top slide in the left pane.

how to ppt free

Then, highlight and edit the footer text in this slide. We changed our font size to 14 pt., and the color to red.

Highlight and edit the footer text in the master slide.

When you switch back to View > Normal, your changes will appear on all slides.

How to Add a Header in PowerPoint

Adding a header isn’t so much of a hack, as it is just adding a new text box to the top of your slide. You can do this in the Slide Master, so it will then appear on every slide in your presentation.

To do this, navigate to View > Slide Master to open the Slide Master. Select the top slide, go to the “Text” group under the “Insert” tab, and then click “Text Box.”

how to ppt free

Click and dragging your cursor to draw a header text box in the appropriate location, and then type your text.

When you return to View > Normal, your new header box will appear at the top of each slide.

how to ppt free

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Home » Microsoft PowerPoint » PowerPoint 3D

PowerPoint 3D

3D objects are a great way to add some depth and realism to your PowerPoint presentations. They can make your slides more engaging and interactive, and they are easy to insert and manipulate. In this video, I will show you how to find and insert 3D objects from the online library, how to resize, rotate, and position them on your slides, how to apply different effects and animations to them, and how to create your own custom 3D models using Paint 3D. By the end of this video, you will be able to create amazing presentations with 3D objects that will wow your audience.

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