Viewing Embedded Powerpoint Slides Without MS Office Installed
October 24, 2013 6:48 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to help a friend (via phone) who is unable to view some content on web pages for her chemistry class. From her description, I'm pretty sure that the content is an embedded Powerpoint slide.

She's getting a message that says she needs MS Office to view the content. She has OpenOffice installed on the laptop, and I'm trying to figure out if she can make that work. Should she be able to right-click on the area of the missing content and then "open with" Impress as needed, or would she have to download files individually to do that. Is it a matter of configuring Chrome or the laptop (Windows 7) to associate the file type with Impress? If she is doomed to having to acquire MS Office, what is to oldest version that is likely to support viewing embedded content?
posted by gimli to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
There's PowerPoint Viewer, btw
posted by XMLicious at 7:04 PM on October 24, 2013

I'm pretty sure you can't embed PPT files in HTML. If you right click on the object and select "Inspect Element", it'll show you the actual ref in the page source to the file it's trying to load. You might be able to download it directly.
posted by mkultra at 7:36 PM on October 24, 2013

Response by poster: Much appreciated, XMLicious, but unfortunately it appears that one of Viewer's limitations is that it won't open embedded content.
posted by gimli at 7:43 PM on October 24, 2013

Here's another thought: IIRC the Google Advanced Search has .ppt as an option for file type; if you can get the file she needs to look at to come up as a search result there should be a Google Docs link that will display it directly in the browser, converted to HTML. (Or, if you fish out the direct link as mkultra suggests, there's probably a Google Docs page you can paste it into directly.)
posted by XMLicious at 7:55 PM on October 24, 2013

Can she download a free trial of MS Office?
posted by radioamy at 9:05 PM on October 24, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, all! Ease of use is paramount here, so it looks like her best solution is to purchase the most recent version of Office, since she's liable to run into more courses that use pages with these embedded slides going forward in her program.
posted by gimli at 7:02 AM on October 25, 2013

Most colleges offer current versions of Microsoft Office dirt cheap (under $50, sometimes significantly) for current students or employee personal use. You might want to call your campus bookstore or IT helpdesk to check before trying to find a cheap old version on ebay.
posted by noloveforned at 11:09 AM on October 25, 2013

Call the school's Helpdesk, they'll likely download it for her and send it by email. Some courses/department requires Office. sucks.
posted by theora55 at 11:20 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is the page is publically accessible, send me the URL and I'll download or make visible whatever is there, and send you/her a PDF or a screenshot.

Professors who don't know their tools really piss me off.

She should complain (nicely, of course) to the professor and ask that future content be posted in an a non-proprietary format.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:22 PM on October 25, 2013

If the page is publically accessible, send me the URL and I'll work out how to open it on one of the Linux boxes I refuse to install MS Office on.
posted by flabdablet at 10:49 AM on October 26, 2013

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