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How to Collaborate on a Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Microsoft PowerPoint logo.

PowerPoint has some useful features that allow others to make edits or leave feedback on your presentations. You can even coauthor a presentation in real time if you have a Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) subscription. Here’s how to collaborate with others in PowerPoint.

Sharing a Presentation

Before others can work on a presentation with you, you have to share it with them. To do so, open the presentation you want to share, and then click “Share” in the top-right corner.

Click "Share" in the presentation.

RELATED: How to Share Things from OneDrive

A banner will appear in front of your presentation. The first thing to note is the “Share” section. Here, you’ll see the two methods for sharing the presentation, and anyone with whom you’ve already shared it.

The "Share" menu in PowerPoint.

With the “Invite People” method of sharing, you can do the following:

  1. Type the email addresses of those with whom you’d like to collaborate.
  2. Leave a note for the recipients.
  3. Assign Read and Write or Read-Only permissions.
  4. As an extra layer of security, select whether you want recipients to have a Microsoft account.
  5. Share your presentation.

The "Invite People to" menu in PowerPoint.

If you choose the “Get a Link” option instead, assign Read/Write or Read-Only permissions to whoever receives the link, and then click “Create Link.”

Click "Create Link."

Your link will appear.

A link to share a PowerPoint presentation.

Once your link has been created, you can share it with whoever you want to collaborate with on your presentation. Keep in mind that anyone who has this link can access your presentation with the privileges you’ve assigned, so be careful who you share it with.

Collaborating on a Presentation

Once you’ve shared your presentation, it’s time to start collaborating. There are several useful tools that make collaboration more efficient. We’ll go over them below, so be sure to take full advantage of them.

Who’s Working Where?

PowerPoint shows you who is currently viewing or editing a presentation, as well as which part of it they’re working on. When someone’s working on a presentation with you, you’ll see a thumbnail with that person’s name in the top-right corner.

Click the thumbnail to see who it is and which slide he or she is editing. If you want to go to that slide, click “Go to Location.”

Click "Go to Location."

You’ll see the section of the slide on which the other person is working.

A title on a slide with an "MG" thumbnail next to it, indicating that person is working on this section.

You can also see where the other person is at any time in the slide thumbnail view on the left.

Thumbnail showing which slide they are working on

RELATED: How to Collaborate on Documents in Real-Time in Office 2016

Leave Comments for Others

You can also leave comments for the other people you’re collaborating with to read at their convenience. To leave a comment, highlight text or an object, and then click “New Comment” in the menu that appears.

Click "New Comment."

Type your comment in the text box, and then click the Arrow icon to leave it.

Type your comment, and then click the Arrow icon.

The next time this person is working on the presentation, she’ll see a Message Bubble icon on the slide that contains the comment.

A Message Bubble icon next to a slide in PowerPoint.

To read a comment, click “Comments” in the top-right corner.

Click "Comments."

To reply to a comment, just type your response in the text box, and then click the Arrow icon.

Type a response to a comment in the text box, and then click the Arrow icon.

Premium Features

PowerPoint also has a few premium features available for collaborators. One of these is real-time chat. Just click the thumbnail of the person you want to chat with, and then select “Chat” from the menu that appears.

This isn’t a good replacement for comments, though. No one else can see your chat, and it’s deleted as soon as you close the file.

RELATED: How to Get Microsoft Office for Free

Another neat premium feature is version history. PowerPoint 365 stores every version of your slideshow. This means you can go back and view, restore, and/or download older versions it.

To access this feature, click “File,” click “Info” in the pane that appears, and then choose “Previous Versions.” This option will be grayed out if you aren’t a premium subscriber, though.

The "Previous Versions" option grayed out in PowerPoint.


Overall, good collaboration on any project boils down to communication. PowerPoint makes this easy for both normal and premium subscribers, although some methods are more streamlined than others.

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer at LINE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
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