Microsoft PowerPoint 4.0

How to open old PowerPoint presentation files

A coworker told me he couldn’t open a couple of PowerPoint presentation files, because they are really old. He said he’s trying to open the presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 with no success. “How old are they?” I asked him. “Pretty old” he said. “Send it over” I told him.

Once I got the files, I realized they are really, really old. 1998 old. Yep.

I also tried to open them, thinking that every newer version of PowerPoint – newer than 1997 – is supposed to open older versions’ files. No luck. The files were created with Power Point 4.0 (Released 1993). When I tried to open the files, all I got was the following error:

PowerPoint can’t open the type of file represented by [filename]

PowerPoint can’t open the type of file represented by [filename]

The problem:

Newer versions of Microsoft PowerPoint (2007, 2010, 2013, Office 365) won’t support and open older versions’ files.

The solution:

This is how to open old PowerPoint presentation files in Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013 and Office 365. Zamzar is a website for file conversion. It allows users to convert files without downloading a software tool, and supports over 1,000 different conversion types.

The process is pretty simple:

1. Go to

2. Select files or URL (where the file is located) to convert.

3. Choose the format to convert to (in our case – convert to ppt (1997-2003).

4. Enter your email address to receive converted files.

5. Click “convert” and wait. Within a couple of minuets (might be more than that) you’ll get an email with a link to download your converted file.

One thought on “How to open old PowerPoint presentation files”

  1. I have pre-2000 aircraft system CDs that didn’t work with PowerPoint Viewer. So I right clicked, chose Open With, and selected PowerPoint, the program. Using that the program ran OK.

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