I have a couple of slides that are created by a PowerPoint (PP) 2013 on a Windows machine. These slides contain many formulas that I created with the internal formal editor of PP. However, when I open the slides with PP 2011 for Mac, the formulas are not displayed correctly.

Screenshot of the correct formula under windows enter image description here

Screenshot of the same file under mac enter image description here

Is there any way this can be fixed, without converting the formulas to images?

  • Proprietary formats are hard to understand... Don't you have PP 2013 for Mac?
    – Peque
    May 4, 2015 at 12:27
  • Unfortunately, there is no PP 2013 for the Mac. The latest version is PP 2011. Even in the Office 365 suite, there is only the 2011 version included.
    – Michael
    May 5, 2015 at 6:37
  • 1
    Well, if you don't need animations/videos, then maybe you could just export the presentation to a standard format (i.e. PDF) with PP 2013 from the Windows machine. You could also try to open it with other editor such as LibreOffice or Google Drive (I doubt it will work well though).
    – Peque
    May 5, 2015 at 7:21
  • 1
    If you still have a computer with windows, try to save the file with an older format (maybe with ppt instead of pptx, or even with any other format common to both), and then to open it with the Mac.
    – Hastur
    May 5, 2015 at 7:34
  • Judging from the images you've posted, you're getting font substitution. What font does the Windows version tell you it's using for the text and formula? Can you open a new presentation on the Mac side, add some text and select that same font? If not, it's a sure thing that the needed font isn't installed on the Mac system, so some other font's being substituted. May 8, 2015 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of ways to solve this:

The first way (recommended)

Assuming you have a Windows PC with PowerPoint '13 installed you need to save the document in the older compatibility mode for Office 2010 (or PowerPoint 2010). This will ensure compatibility with Office 2011 for Mac (which is actually Office 2010).

The second way

Open Onedrive, Upload your document, edit it in PowerPoint Online, and Download as ODP or Open Document Presentation. Your Mac should now be able to open it and everything should work.

PowerPoint Online

The third, and final way (not recommended)

Use a online conversion tool such as Convert Files. This way is not recommended, as it can screw with the document layout. Convert Files


If you want to know why Office 2011 for Mac is considered Office 2010, the same as XP (released in 2003) is considered released in 2002, it's because MS when releasing OS and Office alike, release the RTM (Release To Manufacturers) in the last months of the previous year with the XP RTM being released in 2002, and Office 2010 RTM betas being released in 2009.

Interestingly, the rest of the world has adopted this (except Apple, who have their own clockwork release dates), E.G. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 was actually released to the public at the end of 2014.

  • Thanks a lot. The recommended way (converting it to an earlier version of PP) did the job. However, there is no option to save it as PP 2010 version. Converting it to Version 97-2003 works, however, slides containing formulas are converted completely to images --> animation gets lost.
    – Michael
    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:15
  • I did also some test with PP 2010. Here we have the same problem as with PP 2013 (Formulas are damaged). So the only way I found is to convert it to Version PP 97-2003 with loosing the animation functionality.
    – Michael
    Jun 8, 2015 at 8:17
  • A question (from another Michael): what should I do if I don't have access to Office 13 on Windows? The PP was saved by my coworker; I have to edit it on my Office 11 on Mac.
    – Michael
    Oct 27, 2016 at 17:07
  • @Michael OneDrive it, and export
    – td512
    Oct 28, 2016 at 8:41

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