Lately I have had intermittent difficulties opening and sharing PowerPoint files in WebEx (both Meeting Center and Event Center). When I attempt to use File - Open and Share on my PPT or PPTX file, I receive an error in WebEx:
When I move or shrink the WebEx meeting window, I find a Microsoft PowerPoint error message hidden behind it:
I know that my PC has plenty of available memory. This is a spurious bug that has been reported in a variety of contexts on different forums and help boards. It worked fine with all the same software and same PC configuration just a month ago.
I have found that getting around the problem is simple. Just open the desired PowerPoint file in PowerPoint on your desktop first. Leave PowerPoint open and open the file in WebEx. It works perfectly. You can now close the PowerPoint application and proceed with WebEx as usual.
I have had a 100% success rate opening PowerPoint files this way. I won't even begin to guess what the underlying problem is or whether it affects specific versions of PowerPoint, specific versions of WebEx, specific versions of Windows, or combinations of all three. For what it's worth, I use 64-bit Windows 7, PowerPoint 2016 (with an Office 365 subscription), and WebEx version 31.
When I look at Cisco's Help Central page for "Cross-Platform Known Issues and Limitations (WBS31)" I find this rather unhelpful statement:
- Microsoft Office 2016 is supported in WebEx for Windows or Mac. However, file sharing PowerPoint presentations sometimes causes an error. Also, file sharing multiple PowerPoint presentations at one time may cause the application to stop responding.
So they obviously know there is an issue, but as reported here in the past, Cisco does not seem particularly interested in trying to keep up with PowerPoint for full native support in WebEx. They have basically thrown up their hands and told us to just share our desktop display. Never mind the fact that this results in lessened presenter functionality and occasional display of crosshatch patterns. Sigh.
Oh well, if my workaround helps just one frustrated webinar presenter, I can count this post as part of my holiday gift-giving!