Google just added a new feature to everyone’s Gmail accounts that allows you to open PowerPoint files (with the PPT file extension) right there in your email. This isn’t a surprise because it had peaked out about a month ago, but it is nice to finally have it available in my Gmail account.

Now when there is a PowerPoint file attached there will be a new option located between the "View as HTML" and "Download" which says "View as slideshow." This will open up a new window or tab and immediately show you the PowerPoint presentation.

Google PowerPoint Viewer
Click to Enlarge

The navigation buttons are along the top, and in the upper-right corner you’ll notice a drop-down menu to select which slide to view. You can also right-click anywhere in the PowerPoint viewer to change some things like the slide rotation speed. They have, however, removed the embedding option that we previously saw, which is a little disappointing.

I tried this out with several different PowerPoint presentations to see if it would handle some of the more "complex" ones. It worked fairly well, although one of them said that the conversion failed and it wasn’t readable. I also tried to open a PPTX file which is the new Microsoft Office format, but it doesn’t even recognize it as a PowerPoint filetype.

So Google still has some work to do on this feature, but given some time I think they can make it better. Then they’ll need to start working on a way to create the PowerPoint presentations. :)

Source: Google Blogoscoped