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The Compatibility Checker introduced in PowerPoint 2013 helps find potential issues with formatting and features that might occur if you were to open the presentation in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier versions. Such issues can affect the performance of the presentation.

To run the Compatibility Checker:

  1. Open the presentation that you want to check for problems.

  2. Click the File tab, and then click Info.

  3. In PowerPoint 2013, under Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then select Check Compatibility.

    In PowerPoint 2016 or later versions, under Inspect Presentation, click Check for Issues, and then select Check Compatibility.

For example, the Compatibility Checker detects whether a presentation contains any SmartArt graphics, 3-D text or shape effects (such as reflection and glow)—in earlier versions of PowerPoint, these appear as pictures that can't be edited.

As another example, the Compatibility Checker reports if you've embedded a video in your presentation (instead of linking a video). An embedded video appears in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier versions as a picture, but won’t play.

To learn about the messages that the Compatibility Checker returns, see Compatibility Checker.


  • You don’t have to run Compatibility Checker if you’re using PowerPoint 2007 or PowerPoint 2010 to open files created with newer versions. The file formats are the same in those versions of PowerPoint, so there are no compatibility problems.

  • In PowerPoint 95 or earlier versions, you can’t save or open a presentation that was created in PowerPoint 2013 or a newer version.

  • If you frequently save presentations in a PowerPoint 97-2003 format, in the Microsoft PowerPoint Compatibility Checker dialog box, select the Check compatibility when saving in PowerPoint 97-2003 formats check box.

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