Viewing PowerPoint Presentations in Linux

You may have noticed that occasionally, presentations made in Microsoft Office PowerPoint lose a bit of their formatting and functionality when they are played in OpenOffice or KPresentation.

Well, now that won’t be a problem. That is, if you don’t mind using WINE and/or a Microsoft product.

The solution is Microsoft’s Free PowerPoint 2003 Viewer application. Probably intended for Windows users, it works perfectly well with WINE. Just run “wine ppviewer.exe” after you download the installer and wine will handle it.

The neat trick is adding PowerPoint Viewer to your Open With menu. To do this with KDE, open up K Control Center, Click under KDE Components and File Associations. Look under “Applications” and click on “mspowerpoint.” You will need to click “Add” and then type in /usr/bin/wine” to the select program dialog box. Clicking “OK” will update your system configuration, but you are not done yet.

Unfortunantly, the command to use wine to start PowerPoint Viewer is a bit long, and difficult to make into a menu item. It only takes one more step, though. Click “Edit” on the new entry you have made (”wine”). Go to the Application tab. Name it something more descriptive, such as “PowerPoint Viewer (WINE).” Then instruct it to use this command:

/usr/bin/wine “.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Microsoft Office/PowerPoint Viewer/PPTVIEW.EXE”

Click “OK” to update your system configuration. Now when you right-click a PowerPoint file, you can select PowerPoint Viewer from the “Open With” menu. No more messy formatting!

Similar tricks can be used with the Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2007.

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