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Cannot Save File in Microsoft PowerPoint

by CharPatton1 / November 21, 2009 10:30 PM PST

I have a ~31 MB PowerPoint talk for work. I updated it minimally and it opens in Slide Sorter view just fine and appears normal (ie, all slides show up appropriately). However, once open, I cannot save it, either immediately or after making additional changes. Every time I save it I get a dialog box that is defective: it shows the orange PowerPoint logo on the left, and the aqua blue action button on the right, but the rest of the box is blank. I presume the aqua blue button should say ?OK? or something, but it has not text in it. There is no text in the remainder of the box anywhere. If I click the aqua blue button PowerPoint either crashes or the box goes away and nothing happens. If I try ?Save As? PowerPoint always crashes. Weird. I have no idea what to do.

Issue occurs with same file on two different Macs.

Permissions are correct on the file (ie, I have ownership and can read and write).

Microsoft PowerPoint 2008 12.2.3
Apple OS 10.6.2
Hardware: 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB factory installed 1067 MHz DDR3

This file has a lot of work in it, and redoing the talk would be massive. Any suggestions as to how to fix this bug would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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All I can suggest.
by Kees Bakker / November 21, 2009 10:39 PM PST

1. Back to your last good backup. Should be much less work to redo the changes since then to redo everything.
2. http://www.google.com/search?q=repair+powerpoint Beware, McAfee's siteadvisor is giving a lot of yellow and red exclamation marks on the first page already. That doesn't necessarily mean that everything you download is malware, of course, only that you should use something more than the usual precautions.

Kees

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Several things to try if backup is not there.
by macnerd10 / November 22, 2009 3:19 AM PST
In reply to: All I can suggest.

Because the file has a real problem, there is nothing to do but sacrifice some minor tweaks. I have encountered such files before. If the file is open and you are reluctant to quit, go to slide show and copy several slides at a time. Then open a new presentation in the same slide sorter view and copy them there. You may lose the background but it is easy to restore. After you copy everything, try to save that file. Hopefully, it will be OK. If this does not work, quit PPT (you will lose minor tweaks, of course), go to the folder with the file and duplicate it (highlight, and hit command-D). Then experiment with the copy: rename the file avoiding any numbers in the filename, any gaps between words, and make it as short as possible. Then try to open and then save the copy. If this works, fine. If still not, I would trash the Office preferences located in the preference folder in user library. Trash com.microsoft.powerpoint.plist and the whole folder Microsoft down below. I would first move both items to the desktop. Restart PPT and try again with a renamed file only. If everything is OK, locate Custom Dictionary in the Microsoft folder on the desktop and put the file back to the new folder in the original location. Then trash the folder and plist on the desktop.
A radical approach to this problem is to open original file, do all tweaks, and then hit print. In the dialog box click on PDF>save as pdf. You will get a pdf copy as good as the original and that can be easily presented. This way, you will retain all your tweaks and layout of the original slides.
Good luck.

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Thank you!
by CharPatton1 / November 23, 2009 6:49 AM PST

Thanks to Kees Baaker and macnerd10 for their advice. I ended up just working forward from my last backup as you all suggested. I was hoping there would be some "magic" rebuild the file command that everyone used and I was unaware of, but no such luck. The possible corruption fixers you mention look interesting but I didn't have time to play with them.

It may be selection bias since I am required by work to give presentations in PowerPoint rather than Keynote, and hence the number of talks I have is much greater in PowerPoint, but it seems like there is "always" some kind of issue with PowerPoint that requires tons of time to fix, whereas KeyNote just works and I can concentrate on my message, not the computer!

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PDF may be the answer
by macnerd10 / November 23, 2009 7:47 AM PST
In reply to: Thank you!

I see more and more people making presentations from pdf files. They are easy to create (see my post) and are fool-proof, and, what is really important, completely platform-independent. Besides, all you need to present is free Adobe Reader. This is an option, of course, but when the file misbehaves, might be the only easy solution.

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