Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac FAQ

Microsoft PowerPoint began its life as Presenter and was published for exclusively Macintosh by Forethought, Inc. Microsoft acquired Forethought in 1987 and renamed the app PowerPoint.

PowerPoint 1.0

The first Windows version, PowerPoint 2.0, was launched with the first version of Microsoft Office on May 22, 1990, which was also the release date of Windows 3.0.

Prior to PowerPoint 97 for Windows and 98 for Mac, presentations were completely linear, moving lockstep from one slide to the next. PowerPoint 97 and 98 gave PowerPoint nonlinear capabilities, includes Visual Basic for Applications, and gains transitions and effects.

Mac Version History

Package for PowerPoint 1.0

PowerPoint 1, 1987

Released on April 27, 1987 as Presenter and renamed later that year due to trademark issues, PowerPoint 1 is a 1-bit black-and-white only program that works on all System versions up through 6.0.x. It shipped on two floppy disks, one with the program and the other with sample files. It requires a Mac with at least 512 KB of RAM.

You can download PowerPoint 1.0 from Macintoshgarden.org.

PowerPoint 2 boxPowerPoint 2, 1988

PowerPoint 2, now a full-fledge Microsoft product, shipped in 1988. There’s very little information about it on the Internet. The PC version (1990) requires Windows 3.0.

PowerPoint 3, 1992

1992 saw the arrival of PowerPoint 3, and the Web has almost nothing to say about it. The PC version is for Windows 3.1.

PowerPoint 4, 1994

PowerPoint 4 for Mac splash screen

The Windows world got PowerPoint 4 in 1993, a year ahead of the Mac version. PowerPoint 4 for Mac was part of Office 4.2. This was the least Mac-like version of PowerPoint (and the rest of the Office suite) ever, as Microsoft had this crazy idea that the Mac version of its Office apps had to be as much like the Windows version as possible. This kept many Mac users away from Word 6, Excel 5, and PowerPoint 4.

Microsoft skipped from PowerPoint 4 to PowerPoint 95, also known as version 7, to coordinate with Windows 95. This was fillowed by PowerPoint 97 (a.k.a version 8) as part of Office 97.

PowerPoint 98, 1998

PowerPoint 98 splash screen

After four years at the horrible Windows-like version 4, PowerPoint 8 came to the Mac as PowerPoint 98, part of Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition. This was the first nonlinear version of PowerPoint for Mac and the first to support Visual Basic for Applications.

Office 1998 requires System 7.5 or later (7.5.5 recommended), a PowerPC processor (120 MHz or faster recommended), 16 MB of RAM (32 MB to run more than one Office application), a 640 x 480 8-bit color or 4-bit grayscale display, and a CD-ROM for installation.

PowerPoint 2001, 2000

PowerPoint 2001

Although part of Office 2001, it was released in August 2000. It is also known as PowerPoint 9. This is the last version for the Classic Mac  OS, and it also runs in the OS X Classic Environment. PowerPoint 2001 requires Mac OS 8.0 through 9.2.2, 8.5 or later recommended. Application requires 10 MB of RAM with virtual memory enabled, 17 MB without it. It uses 160 MB of hard drive space and requires a 640 x 480 display with 256 colors or shades of gray or better. CD-ROM required for installation.

PowerPoint Mac v. XPowerPoint v.X, 2002

This is the first version written for OS X – and only OS X. PowerPoint 10 was released in 2002 as part of Office: Mac v. X. Ofice: Mac v. X requires a G3 or better, OS X 10.1 through 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, 128 MB RAM, 196 MB of hard drive space, an 800 x 600 256-color display or better (1024 x 768 with thousands of colors recommended), and CD-ROM for installation.

PowerPoint 2004, 2004

PowerPoint 2004

Office 2004, released on May 11, 2004, was the last version exclusively for PowerPC CPUs, and it will run on Intel Macs using Rosetta. Office 2004 is not compatible with OS X 10.7 Lion or later. Office 2004 requires a 700 MHz or faster G3 or later CPU, OS X 10.2.8 Jaguar through 10.6.8 Snow Leopard (10.3 required for G5, 10.4 for Intel), 256 MB of RAM, 570 MB of hard drive space, a 1024 x 768 monitor supporting thousands of colors or better, and CD-ROM for installation.

PowerPoint 2008, 2008

PowerPoint 2008

As part of Office 2008, released on January 15, 2008, PowerPoint 2008 fully supports Intel-based Macs. It was also the last version to support Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and PowerPC Macs. Office 2008 was the only version to ship as a universal binary for both Intel and PowerPC hardware. Visual Basic for Applications is not supported. It was the first Mac version to ship with support for Microsoft’s Office Open XML format, something PC users got in 2007. This version is also known as PowerPoint 12. (Number 13 was skipped due to superstition.)

Office 2008 requires a 500 MHz G4 CPU or faster, OS X 10.4.9 Tiger or later, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB of hard drive space on an HFS+ formatted volume, a 1024 x 768 display, and a DVD drive for installation.

PowerPoint 2011, 2010

Despite its name, PowerPoint 2011 (a.k.a. version 14) arrived on October 26, 2010. As of July 2014, it is the current Mac version.

It requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.5.8 Leopard or later, 1 GB of RAM, 2.5 GB of hard drive space on an HFS+ formatted volume, a 1280 x 800 or larger display, and a DVD drive for installation. Safari 5 or later is recommended as well.

PowerPoint 2014, anticipated 2014

On the PC side, PowerPoint 2013 is also known as PowerPoint 15. The equivalent Mac version has not yet been released but is widely expected to arrive in 2014. It will almost certainly require OS X 10.7 Lion or something even newer.

Sources/Further Reading

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