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"PowerPoint can't open the type of file represented by [FILENAME]" or "No text converter is installed for this file type"

You try to open a PowerPoint file or insert slides from a file into an already open presentation and receive an error message similar to one of these.

"No text converter" or "PowerPoint could not open the file." messages when opening or inserting slides

If you see one of these two messages while opening a file or inserting slides from a file, it may be the sign of a completely corrupt file. Try the suggestions in Recovering a corrupt presentation.

PowerPoint files can be corrupted in a variety of ways. See Don't use PowerPoint for anything serious until you've done this for a dose of recommended preventive medicine.

It's also good practice to ZIP PowerPoint files before emailing them, if possible.

But the cause might be much less serious; read on:

PowerPoint can't open the type of file represented by [FILENAME]

PowerPoint 2007 cannot open PowerPoint 95 files. Even if the file was created in PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002 or 2003, if it was saved as a PowerPoint 95 file, PowerPoint 2007 will not be able to open it and you will receive this error message.

To correct the problem, open the file in PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002 or 2003. The choose File | Save As and save the file as a Presentation (*.PPT). Don't just save ... that will simply save the file in its original format.

PowerPoint can't read the outline from [FILENAME]. No text converter is installed for this file type.

You may see this because you're trying to open a PowerPoint 2007 file in an earlier version of PowerPoint.

In that case, either ask the file's author to re-save it in PowerPoint 97-2003 (*.PPT) format or install the compatibility pack, which will let 2003, 2002 and 2000 users open 2007 file formats.

See also

Important: You must install all critical Windows updates and all Office updates before installing the Compatibility Pack. Otherwise it may not install or run correctly. In fact, an incomplete installation of the Compatibility Pack causes this same error message. You may be able to double-click the file to open it, though.

How to update PowerPoint 2003

As mentioned, before you can install the Compatibility Pack, you need to make sure your copy of PowerPoint is up to date.

Note: If you have disabled Online Content, Check for Updates won't work. To re-enable it:

Other reasons you might see these error messages

The file was created in PowerPoint 2002/XP or later and password protected

See PowerPoint 2002 (XP) vs PPT2000/PPT97 incompatibilities
The password protection feature was introduced in PowerPoint 2002 (XP). Earlier versions can't open password-protected files. No Mac versions of PowerPoint can open password protected files.

Possible solutions:

Microsoft has a knowledgebase article, You receive a "PowerPoint can't open the type of file" error message when you open a PowerPoint presentation in a version that is earlier than PowerPoint 2002 that offers a few more details.

The file's on a network drive and is open in a Mac version of PowerPoint

We ran into this problem when we had a file open in Mac PowerPoint X and tried to open it also in PowerPoint 2003 (from the same network shared folder). After we closed the file on the Mac, there was no problem opening it in PowerPoint on the PC.

Only part of the filename appears in the error message

If PowerPoint displays only part of your chosen file for [FILENAME] see Editing the Open action for PPT (and other) files.

Problem with Internet Exporer installation

This one's pretty unlikely these days but just in case:

If you installed Internet Explorer 5 as part of Office 2000 then uninstalled Internet Explorer 5, it may prevent PowerPoint 2000 from opening certain files. To correct the problem, re-install Internet Explorer 5.

We'd guess that installing a later version of Internet Explorer would work as well, but it might be safest to install 5 then upgrade to a later version if desired.

"Can't access [filename]..." error messages

If the message you see is

PPT2003 - Can't access [filename] because the filename is invalid

then please see PPT2003 - Can't access [filename] because the filename is invalid.

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"PowerPoint can't open the type of file represented by [FILENAME]" or "No text converter is installed for this file type"
Last update 07 June, 2011