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If you want to discourage others from making edits to your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or let them know the file you sent is the final version, you can do so by making it read-only. Here’s how it’s done.

Note: While making your PowerPoint presentation read-only is a good deterrent from having others edit your content, it’s easy to unlock a read-only presentation. It’s by no means un-editable.

Open the presentation┬áthat you want to make read-only, then click the “File” tab.

File tab in PowerPoint

Next, in the left-hand pane, select “Info.”

Info option in left-hand tab

You’ll now see a “Protect Presentation” section, which lets you (to an extent) protect against any editing of your presentation. Click “Protect Presentation.”

Protect presentation option

Once selected, a drop-down menu will appear with these four options:

  • Always Open Read-Only:┬áThis asks the reader to opt-in to edit the presentation. This prevents accidental edits.
  • Encrypt with Password:┬áThis┬ápassword protects your presentation.
  • Add a Digital Signature:┬áThis adds an invisible digital signature to your presentation.
  • Mark as Final:┬áThis lets the reader know that this is the final version of the presentation.

Protect presentation drop-down menu

All of these options are good for protecting the integrity of your Microsoft PowerPoint, but the two we’ll need here to make the presentation read-only are (1) Always Open Read-Only and (2) Mark as Final.

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Selecting either option will prevent the reader from editing the presentation–unless they opt-in to do so.

If you chose the Always Open Read-Only option, the reader will see this message when opening the presentation:

“To prevent accidental changes, the author has set this file to open as read-only.”

Read-only note

If you chose the Mark as Final option, the reader will see this message:

“An author has marked this presentation as final to discourage editing.”

Mark as final note

In either case, your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation is now set to read-only. However, in both cases, all the reader has to do to edit the presentation is click the “Edit Anyway” button.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall 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 based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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