PowerPoint Viewer

This entry is part 11 of 35 in the series Green Belt

Gmail now recognizes Microsoft PowerPoint attachments. When you have a message with a PowerPoint attached, Gmail will present a link labeled “View as slideshow” near the attachment. When you click on that Gmail will open a new window and start displaying the slides. In theory, it’s pretty straight forward, but here’s what I found in reality.

First, Gmail does not yet support PowerPoint 2007 files. Also, when I sent a PowerPoint file from my Mac (one that was originally developed on a PC) it did not recognize the file and said it couldn’t convert it despite the fact that it opened up fine on the Windows and Mac machines.

I also noticed using the Gmail web interface with Firefox on Mac, that the file attachment icons on the right, next to the date on the message index, the icons showed up as file types, for example a little PowerPoint icon when a PPT was attached, not paperclips like on Windows (Firefox or Internet Explorer)

Finally, despite the fact that Google does not currently allow you to edit the PowerPoint file, they claim they will have a way to edit PPTs “this summer”. We can only hope.

Quick Tip: If you haven’t already noticed, Gmail increased the file size limit on attachments. You can now attach up to 20MB files, up from the former 10MB. A word of caution, that’s more storage than the typical ISP mailbox. Be careful who you are sending large attachments to, unless of course they are using Gmail.

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