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

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.


  • PDFs should be downloaded to your computer before printing. Luckily, TpT downloads PDFs to your computer. Be careful if you are emailing the PDF to yourself because printing from an email or browser may shift the margins or fonts and make the pages look wonky.
  • Be sure to use the latest version of Adobe Reader (free) or Adobe Acrobat ($14.99/mo).
  • TpT has rolled out an exciting new platform called Easel by TpT. Easel makes PDFs interactive. For example, you can write on them, add movable pieces and answer boxes, delete/add pages, and more.
  • Only PDFs work with the Easel feature in order to make them interactive. For example, you can add text boxes before assigning pages to students, or delete and rearrange pages.
  • Click here to find out more about TpT Digital Activities.
  • TpT sellers can opt PDF’s in or out of Easel so be sure to look for the “Easel Activity” tag or click on “Easel Activities” on the left-hand toolbar.
  • Below is an example of a PDF resource that has been made specifically for Easel. Easel activities should also have a preview image letting you know that the resource is made for Easel.
Here’s what you will see in a search on TpT. Check the search box for EASEL Activities on the left.

Here’s what you will see when you click on an Easel Activity. Select “Open Digital Activity.”

This is a free Easel Activity! Try it out or watch the preview video to see what’s possible!

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.” Click here to find out more about Boom Cards and what they can do!
  • 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!

2 Responses

  1. Hello! I am just getting started with TPT and your blog has been super helpful – thank you! I have a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to however – I am trying to upload a Jeopardy game that is a power point presentation. It is 53 slides total and when I go to upload it the response is that the file is “not supported” – do you know what I’m doing wrong? I would appreciate any help you can give me! Thank you! Jeannine Cherepy

    1. Hi Jeannine!
      That is strange. There is a max of 4 GB that you can upload on TPT. I wonder if the file is too large or if it’s not saved as a PowerPoint?
      If you check out the TPT help bot, it’s gotten much better over the years at figuring out how to troubleshoot tech issues.
      I hope you’re able to upload it, but feel free to reach out again as well! [email protected]

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