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Mary, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 667
Experience:  25+ years supporting the Mac graphic arts industry
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How do I repair a PPT file that has the error message The file

Customer Question

How do I repair a PPT file that has the error message:The file may be corrupt, in use, or of a type not recognized by PowerPoint.?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
Hi, I'm Mary and I'll do my best to help you solve your PowerPoint issue.

There are some shareware utilities that claim they can recover these damaged files, but they all run on the Windows platform.

Since your question was posted in the Mac category, I assume you don't use Windows?

Also, what version of Microsoft office are you using and what is your computer's operating system?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am running OS X 10.5.8 and the Microsoft Software is PowerPoint 2004 for Macs.
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
If you are comfortable doing so, I would suggest that you send the file to me and let me try to recover it for you.

As I said, there are various methods we can try on your end, but many either require access to a Windows computer or the need to delete Office prefs. I hesitate to recommend you delete your prefs as that can have the result of wiping out your email settings if you are using Entourage to access your email.

However, if you aren't using Entourage and you don't mind deleting all Office prefs, then we can try that method.

I'm happy to help in whatever way you are most comfortable.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't use Entourage and it may be best to delete the preferences. I am unable to attach the file to an email. I will try again though, just to be sure.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How do you want be to send it to you. I don't see an attachment option here.
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
Since you don't use Entourage, then totally deleting the Office preferences, will (at the worst) delete any document presets or such that you had stored. Definitely not a big deal.

Let's go ahead and delete these prefs files and see what happens with your PPT document.

Open the folder HD / Users / (your username) / Library/ Preferences / Microsoft

Tell me what you see in there, so I am sure to have you delete the right item(s).
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
The best way to send a file to me is:

Go to

Follow the instructions on screen to upload a file.

Once it is uploaded, you will see an area where you can copy the link to the file.

Copy it and paste it into your reply here. I will then be able to download.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
OK I am in the Microsoft file
There I have 36 different choices
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
here is the link:
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the link, I've downloaded the file and will see if I can open it.

Before we start deleting prefs, let's see what I find on my end.

Be right back with you.

Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
Ok, the file is definitely corrupted as I can't open it on my end either. Therefore, going to the trouble of deleting your prefs won't make any difference.

Now I'll see if I can recover it on the Windows platform using one of the utilities I mentioned earlier.

But to explore a different avenue: is this a file you created yourself or did someone send it to you? Or did you possibly download it from a site or copy it from someone else's computer?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I created it myself. I used PowerPoint 2004. I had a desktop crash and recovered the file. The backup that was on the server at school, (I am a teacher), either wouldn't open, like the one I uploaded, or ended up opening up a different ppt that I had downloaded off the internet. I am not sure how or why that happened.
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
Oh ick, not good news. Give me a few minutes to see what I can do but I'm sorry to say, I'm not optimistic.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Cross your fingers and I'll be back with you in a few.
Expert:  Mary replied 6 years ago.
I just wanted to let you know that I've tried to recover your PPT file with every method I had at my disposal.

It is well and truly corrupt - the file recovery utility I downloaded couldn't begin the process to try to salvage even the smallest part of the file.

As well - trying to salvage the text contents of the file by attempting an open in MS Word delivered only gibberish.

I wish I had better news for you, but if you are able to see if you can find the file on the backup at your school (even the one that opened a different file) and can send them to me, I'm more than happy to take another attempt at a recovery.