“Why Won’t This PowerPoint Work In Slides?” TpT Resource Cross-Compatibility

by | Advice for new teachers, Distance Learning

Several years ago, TeachersPayTeachers mostly consisted of PowerPoint and PDF resources. Today, so many more formats have been listed that compatibility between resources can get confusing. For instance, there are some features in PowerPoint that won’t work in Google Slides and vice versa. I hope the following information saves you some time and helps with making purchases that best fit your needs!


  • PPT sounds and videos won’t work in Google Slides.
  • PPT animations and triggers won’t work in Google Slides.
  • You can’t move objects in presentation mode (must be in edit mode).
  • You can view PPT images/slides on Google Slides and the movable pieces will still work:
    • Download the PowerPoint you want to use.
    • Open Google Drive and upload the PowerPoint.
    • When you select the PowerPoint, it will open in Slides.

Google Slides

  • Will not play PowerPoint sound, videos, or animations.
  • Students can only manipulate objects in edit mode. Objects won’t move in presentation mode.
  • When assigning Google Slides through Google Classroom, select “make a copy for each student” in the dropdown menu if you’d like students to interact with it. If you select “students can edit file,” 1 student can change the presentation for everyone!
  • You can save Google Slides as PowerPoint files: File > Download As > Microsoft PowerPoint
  • When moving objects, you must click, drag, and drop. Objects will not move in one fluid motion as they do with Boom Cards. The object will stay in its original spot until you release or “drop” it. Alternatively, you can select an object and move it with the arrow keys.
  • This tip comes from Sally’s Sea of Songs: when dragging and dropping objects on an iPad, you must tap the object first to select it, then drag it.
  • You have to manually undo changes made because Slides saves the game in real-time. To speed this process up, you can hold down CTRL+Z to undo moves that have been made during the current session. Then your file should look like it did when you first opened it. You can also re-download the game from TpT which will include any updates the seller has made after your initial download.


***I will be updating this section soon. TpT recently replaced their digital activities tool with a new feature called, Easel, which works in a very similar way.***

  • PDFs should be downloaded to your computer before printing, otherwise, it may incorrectly print things like margins and fonts. In other words, don’t print the file from a web browser.
  • Be sure to use the latest version of Adobe Reader or Acrobat.
  • Only PDFs work with the TpT Digital Activity feature in order to make them interactive. For example, you can add text boxes before assigning pages to students, or delete and rearrange pages.
  • PDFs are not always suitable for use as a TpT Digital Activity. For example, coloring pages wouldn’t work because there is no tool for students to color online through TpT Digital.
  • Click here to find out more about TpT Digital Activities.
  • TpT sellers can opt PDF’s in or out of TpT Digital so be sure to look for the “TpT Digital Activity Included” label.
  • Below is an example of a PDF resource that is part of TpT Digital Activities. Look for the message on the right-hand side and the newly added thumbnail above the preview button.
Where to check if a PDF is compatible with TpT Digital

Who Can Help?

  • Product descriptions – make sure to read the description before purchasing. Some resources may contain YouTube links. If your school blocks YouTube, Google, or any other platform, you don’t want to waste your money.
  • TpT’s Help Center – they will have the experts you need to help troubleshoot most issues.
  • Boom Learning’s Help Desk – contact Boom for help with Boom Cards. They also have a helpful Facebook group called “Teaching with Boom Cards.”
  • The resource creator – most sellers include their email address in their resources in case you have questions or find errors.
  • TpT Q&A – leave a question on the creator’s TpT page. You can also go to the specific resource and click on “Q&A.” Your question may have already been asked and answered there. It’s also a good idea to check out the Q&A before purchasing a resource.
  • YouTube – teachers have been very generous with their knowledge by sharing tutorials on just about everything.
Location of a resource’s Q&A

I hope these tips come in handy if you are trying to decide which type of resource to choose. Cross-compatibility can be frustrating during hybrid and virtual teaching, and no one wants to regret buying a resource that doesn’t function as expected!

Digital Learning



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