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PowerPoint 2007 bugs / problems

As of its manufacture date, mid-November 2006, PowerPoint 2007 has a few known problems. Some have been addressed in Service Pack 1, released November 2007. Microsoft has released hotfixes to correct some others.

Also see: PowerPoint 2007 Hotfixes and Service Packs

We'll supply workarounds as we learn them and we'll try to update the information here as and when MS releases service packs that improve things.

Changes to presentation are not saved

Some users have reported that they make changes to their presentation and save; then when they re-open the presentation, the changes are not there.

One known cause for this:

Workaround: Either copy the file to your local hard drive before working on it, or be sure to close the preview pane (or preview a different file).

Text box outline no longer affects word wrap

In PowerPoint 2003, the thickness of a text box' outline is included in the calculation that determines whether text will wrap or not.


In PPT 2003, draw a text box, set it to wrap text, add just enough text to fill the text box but not make the text wrap. Now start increasing the text box' outline thickness a little at a time. Sooner or later, the text will wrap.

Do the same thing in 2007. No matter how thick the outline gets, the text will not wrap.

Apparently, PowerPoint 2003 adds half the outline thickness to the margin when deciding whether text should wrap.
PowerPoint 2007 seems to use just the margin.

Bug, Feature, or Innocent Bystander of Change? You decide. I think I prefer the old way; it makes more sense to me for the text to wrap if the outline is getting too close to the text or, more important, is obscuring the text.

In any case, the difference between the two can cause text to wrap differently between the two versions; that's a bug.

Lines stretch to infinity when you try to scale them with Shift key

FIXED in Service Pack 2. See Office 2007 Service Packs.

If you can't install SP2 for some reason, This hotfix is supposed to correct the problem.

Focus jumps to center of slide unexpectedly

When you delete a picture or edit points etc, PowerPoint unexpectedly changes the view to the center of the slide. This is especially annoying when you're working at high zoom levels.

FIXED in Service Pack 2. See Office 2007 Service Packs.

This hotfix is supposed to correct the problem

I'm offered updates to 2003

You may be offered SP3 for Office 2003 even though you have no Office 2003 products installed.
Cause: If Office 2003 Web Components are installed, you'll be offered an SP3 update.

Title Master problems

When you save a 2007 presentation to 97-2003 format, you'd expect that the Title Slide layout would be converted into a Title Master linked to the Slide Master in the 97-2003 format version. It won't be. What you get instead is one Slide Master for each layout you used in 2007. Existing title slides in the 2007 version will look ok when opened in the earlier version but newly added title slides won't look like you expect them to.

Live updates vs missing preview features

The new live upates are great. You can see the effect of changes while you're thinking about making them. Unfortunately, this hasn't been implemented consistently. In some cases you must apply the formatting to see its effect. That's no different from earlier versions, so we won't complain. But in other cases (Line spacing, for example), there's no live update and the Preview button we used to have is gone. That's an unfortunate step backward in usability.

By way of compensation, in other cases you can have multiple formatting dialog boxes open at once rather than having to hop between them.

Missing Org Chart add-in

If you search Help for Org Chart, you may come across a suggestion that you choose Insert, Object and choose the MS Org Chart Add-in. You try that and find that there's no such thing available.

Herb Tyson explains why and what to do about it

[Later updates to Help seem to have eliminated this problem and now offer a direct link to an Org Chart add-in you can download and install]

Links to Excel items may break:

Error message when you try to update a link in a PowerPoint 2007 presentation: "Some linked files were unavailable and can't be updated". By the way, the articles in these links sometimes refer to Excel "binary" files. That just means an Excel 97-2003 format file. In other words, all of the files you ever saved from Excel (or PowerPoint or Word) until now.

FIXED in Service Pack 2. See Office 2007 Service Packs.

MS has published a hotfix for this problem

Internal links may break

If you save your PowerPoint 2007 presentation to PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation format, First/Next/Previous/Last slide links, along with links to slide titles and to custom shows may break:
A hyperlink in a PowerPoint 2007 presentation may take you to the wrong location.

Though the MS pages above may not make this perfectly clear, this will only be an issue if you have enough links to put you over the top of the storage limit of PowerPoint 97-2003 files. Also, since Package for CD backsaves the file as 97-2003 format automatically, be cautious of the number of links in your files if you package for CD.

More about the link storage limitations in PPT 97-2003

Chart templates may crash PowerPoint

PowerPoint (and other Office 2007 apps) may crash when you apply a custom template to your charts:
A 2007 Office program unexpectedly closes when you apply a custom chart template that you created in Excel 2007

The article mentions that this problem occurs under Vista, but there have been reports of it happening under Windows XP also.

Note: this KB article mentions chart templates created in Excel; bear in mind that you're working in Excel whenever you use charts in PowerPoint 2007, so this applies to charts you create while in PowerPoint also.

System Info missing

When you go to the System Info dialog, the Office 2007 system is listed and there may be some information about Word and Excel, there's no information about PowerPoint. [SP1 doesn't change this]

Text may not remain centered

In previous versions, the center point stays fixed; the text box widens equally left and right as more text is added.

In previous versions, several text boxes centered on the same vertical axis would remain centered. Now you must recenter the text box every time the text in it changes.

Note that the same is true of text contained in other shapes.

Saved EMF files show grid lines

When you right-click and choose Save As Picture and pick EMF, the resulting EMF picture may display grid lines.
This happens when you save shapes that have the new enhanced graphics styles applied (soft shadows, glows, etc)

Line thicknesses below 1 point print as 1 point

FIXED in Service Pack 2. See Office 2007 Service Packs.

Line thickness below 1pt all print as though they were 1pt thick.

Repro steps:

Everything from 1pt down prints as though it were the same line thickness.
We tested on both HP PS and non-PS printers and using the Save as PDF add-in.
Same thing in all cases. No discernible difference in thickness from 1 pt down.

Slide number inserted in a Table doesn't update

Slide numbers included in a Table do not update in 2007.
Opening the same presentation in 2003 the Slide Number is updated when it is in a Table.

ActiveX components are always on top

ActiveX components (flash movies, embedded objects) are always placed atop other shapes.

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PowerPoint 2007 bugs / problems
Last update 07 June, 2011