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I am setting up an old PC on which I have installed Ubuntu 9.10. For viewing powerpoint slides, I first installed the pptview package . This doesn't always seem to work well; in the first example I tried the slide text was almost unreadable. man pptview indicates that the package is based on PowerPoint Viewer 97 which seems very old to me.

Therefore, I decided to try the newer Powerpoint Viewer 2007. This should work with Wine. The downloaded microsoft installer appears to work okay under wine. However if I try to launch the pptview.exe installed in my .wine folder, I only get this output:

fixme:heap:HeapSetInformation 0x110000 1 (nil) 0

AFAIK this fixme message is harmless and not an indication of a real error. However, nothing happens after that. pptview.exe is not launched. I've also tried updating to wine-1.1.32 but that didn't make any difference.

Any ideas?

edit: OpenOffice requires too much memory. This PC only has 256MB. It does work, but it takes a long time to launch and brings the PC to a crawl. I also figured I would see less compatibility issues if I use Microsoft's own powerpoint viewer under wine.

edit: The WineHQ Bugzilla has an old issue for this, but it is not marked as confirmed. Apparently it works in some environments but not for others.

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Is there some reason you don't want to open these files in OpenOffice? – DaveParillo Nov 13 '09 at 2:09

Your appdb link mentions

What does not work: Opening .pptx

Also, the lone comment mentions

Use to crash, because it needed t2embed.dll, get it,copy it to .wine/drive_c/windows/system32. works just fine

You can also try a native PPTViewer for Linux, available from here

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I'm not testing with a pptx file, so that's not the issue. I did miss that comment, and will try to copy t2embeded.dll. – wcoenen Nov 13 '09 at 14:58
You can also try a native PPTViewer for Linux, available from – Sathya Nov 13 '09 at 17:13
That's not a linux native viewer. It's the regular windows pptview.exe. You still run it under wine. – DaveParillo Nov 13 '09 at 18:08
Really ? I found deb packages of it, but can't download currently, hence posted. – Sathya Nov 13 '09 at 19:01
I copied t2embed.dll to .wine/drive_c/windows/system32 but this didn't make any difference – wcoenen Nov 15 '09 at 0:07

Use OpenOffice. The Impress product should open your file.



  1. If you want to give wine pptview another try converting the ppt to 2003 format first.
  2. Try lowering OO's memory burden on your system:
    • Reduce the number of undo buffers:
      • Open any OpenOffice program, go to Tools -> Options.
      • Click the "Memory" button.
      • Under "Undo", set "number of steps" to any desired setting.
    • You can also reduce the object cache. See this linux journal article for more tips.
  3. There's a blog post that discusses a free Java-based ppt viewer, but I've never used it.
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OpenOffice requires too much memory. This PC only has 256MB. It does work, but it takes a long time to launch and brings the PC to a crawl. – wcoenen Nov 13 '09 at 14:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It turns out the office 2007 pptview.exe does not work under wine if ubuntu is configured with another language than English. Under the default language, it works fine.

As a work-around on the command line, you can launch wine with the default language like this:

LANG="" wine ~/.wine/<path to application>
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So just 'cause you updated powerpoint doesn't mean the pptview program is going to take that into account. This is on the order of expecting a '73 Ford to use a '93 Ford Engine just because you've put the '93 Ford engine in the back seat of the '73 Ford. And PLEASE don't misinterpret this to infer that Microsoft products are anywhere near as good as Ford products.

share|improve this answer
I just wanted to try a newer powerpoint viewer, because it would probably handle recently created powerpoint files better. Seems reasonable, no? I'm not sure what you're getting at. The car analogy makes no sense at all to me. – wcoenen Nov 13 '09 at 14:54
(I am not the one who downvoted btw) – wcoenen Nov 13 '09 at 14:59
Well I guess microsoft-bashing will get one downvoted. Cest la vie. My badly-crafted car analogy was trying to point out - pptview is an ubuntu package, which won't start working better just 'cause you've installed something newer under wine. I'm glad you've determined the heart of the problem (nonstandard LANG) but I'll add... it's also easy to fix your other problem - just buy more RAM. – pbr Nov 19 '09 at 15:23

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