3 File Extension Tips Every Microsoft Office User Should Know

Akshata Shanbhag 11-01-2016

Microsoft Office has long been the go-to program for office productivity, and there are tons of popular tips to help you make the most of MS Office 60 Essential Microsoft Office Keyboard Shortcuts for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Hundreds of keyboard shortcuts are available in Office, but these are the most important ones you should know because they will save you a lot of time. Read More . While you’re soaking those up, don’t forget these three basic tips:


1. Open presentations as slideshows with PPS: PPS stands for PowerPoint Show and saving a presentation in this format allows you to open it as a slideshow directly by double-clicking on the file. This works for .PPSX files also.

You can switch between the PPS and PPT versions any time by changing the file extension from .PPS to .PPT (or vice versa).

2. Compress Excel documents with XLSB: Saving a spreadsheet as XLSB i.e. as an Excel Binary Workbook reduces its size drastically (by 50-75%).

This macro-enabled binary format reduces the saving and loading times for the file as well. It does have a few drawbacks, such as a lack of compatibility with certain older MS Office versions and third-party office suites.


For security reasons, we don’t recommend opening binary files from unknown sources.

3. Increase compatibility of Office files: Are you sharing an Office document with someone, but aren’t sure if their Office version supports Open XML files like DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, etc? Send them the file in the older (pre-2007) default format (XLS, DOC, PPT) for maximum compatibility.

Do you have any lesser-known file extension tips to share with the Microsoft Office users here at MakeUseOf? Feel free to do that in the comments!

Image Credit: file folder with a ppt sign by Thomas Reichhart via Shutterstock

Related topics: Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word.

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  1. Hans de Wolf
    January 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Rename a .docx or .pptx to .zip, and expand the zip archive to get access to the resources in these files (like images).

    • Anonymous
      January 11, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Wow great tip Hans, thanks.

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      January 12, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      That's really useful, Hans. Thank you!