How to Run PowerPoint From the Command Line

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You can open any application on your computer straight from the command line, including Microsoft PowerPoint. Launching a program via the command line provides more options than simply clicking the application's shortcut. For example, you can use command line "switches" to launch PowerPoint with a blank file, a file from an existing template or to open multiple files at once. You could even immediately bring up the Print dialog box on a specific PowerPoint file, all with a single command line entry.

  • Select "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," "Command Prompt" to open the command line.

  • Type the following command, including the quotation marks, to launch PowerPoint 2010:

    "C:\program files\Microsoft office\office14\POWERPNT.exe"

    Change "office14" to "office12" to launch PowerPoint 2007.

  • Type "/B" without the quotation marks after the launch command to open a blank presentation. For example:

    "C:\program files\Microsoft office\office12\POWERPNT.exe" /B

  • Type the following command to launch PowerPoint with a new file based on a specific template:

    "C:\program files\Microsoft office\office12\POWERPNT.exe" /N "C:\path\to\template.potx"

    Change "C:\path\to\template.potx" to the exact path of your template.

  • Type the following command to bring up the Print dialog on a specific file:

    "C:\program files\Microsoft office\office12\POWERPNT.exe" /P "file.pptx"

    Change "file.pptx" to the file you want to print.

  • Type the following command to open a specific PowerPoint file as a slide show:

    "C:\program files\Microsoft office\office12\POWERPNT.exe" /S "file.pptx"

    Change "file.pptx" to the file you want to run as a slide show.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create a shortcut to a specific command line switch by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop or in an Explorer window and choosing "New," "Shortcut." Enter the exact command line entry into the Shortcut box and click "Next." Enter a name for your shortcut and click "Finish."

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