What is the Definition of PPT?

Power Point Icon on Flat Color Circle Buttons. Getty Images / Alex Belomlinsky

Did your boss just ask you for a PPT and you have no idea what she means? PPT is often used as a short form for the program Microsoft PowerPoint and for presentations made with it or other presentation software.

Users of the Microsoft PowerPoint program sometimes write that they are creating a PPT presentation rather than write out the word PowerPoint in full. The abbreviation comes from the file extension .ppt added to filenames created using Microsoft PowerPoint.

You will see it written both in capital letters, PPT or in lower case, ppt or a mixture, Ppt. When you see ppt, think PowerPoint or a similar presentation produced by any presentation software.

Examples: Mary emailed to her colleague that she had just created a PPT presentation for the next sales meeting, instead of using the full name of the program, PowerPoint.

File Extension .ppt

Ppt is the file extension used for the program Microsoft PowerPoint. The .ppt at the end of the filename, such as in mypresentation.ppt indicates to your computer that this file was created using PowerPoint. Other presentation software programs may be able to open .ppt files for viewing or for editing. Various file viewers may be able to open it for viewing but not editing.

It can be confusing when you are using an operating system that doesn't show you the file extensions, in which case you have to use other clues that the file is a PowerPoint presentation, spreadsheet, word processing document, or some other kind of file.

The test will be when you open it, as you'll be able to see which program opened up the file.

PPT or PowerPoint as a Synonym for Any Presentation

Microsoft PowerPoint is not the only way to make a slide presentation. However, people may continue to use it as a synonym for any kind of presentation. You may be asked for a PPT or PowerPoint when the program you use is completely different.

What Do They Really Mean When They Say They Want a PPT?

However, you need to be careful and clarify whether it is indeed a .ppt file that is required. If the person requesting to see the PPT can't easily view your presentation in any format other than .ppt you will have a problem. Governmental and public agencies are often sticklers in this regard. If a .ppt is requested, do not submit any other type of file. They can be slow to update software and hardware and may be limited in what they are allowed to run by their IT departments.

For private companies, the same may or may not be true. But due to the large install base of Microsoft Powerpoint, it is often the best bet to convert your file into .ppt if that is what they requested. Otherwise, your intended recipient may not know how to convert it or view it, or it may not be able to be displayed on the presentation device for which it was intended.