To preserve the integrity of your PowerPoint presentation, you may want to try to prevent others from editing it. Depending on the Office version you have, there are a few things you can do to block editing, or at least make it more difficult.
You can use the Restrict Access feature to protect your PPTX file from edits, but this feature is only available for Microsoft 365 for Business or Enterprise, and the feature must be enabled by your organization’s administrator in the Microsoft 365 admin panel. That means if you’re using any version below Microsoft 365 for Business, such as Home or Family, then you won’t have this feature.
If you are subscribed to a version that supports this feature, and if the admin of your organization has enabled it, you can locate “Restrict Access” under File > Info > Protect Presentation.
You can then set the restriction types and file access expiration dates.
Visit Microsoft’s official doc site to learn more about Information Rights Management and how to use this feature.
Making your presentation read-only or marking it as final doesn’t actually make your presentation un-editable. What this does is discourage others from making edits. It’s also good for preventing accidental edits, as it makes you opt-in before you’re able to make any changes to the content.
To make your presentation read-only, or to mark it as final, open your PPTX file and click the “File” tab.
Next, click “Info” in the left-hand pane.
Now, in the Protect Presentation group, click “Protect Presentation.”
Once selected, a drop-down menu will appear. You can choose between these two options to make your presentation read-only:
- Always Open Read-Only: This asks the reader to opt-in to edit the presentation, which prevents accidental edits.
- Mark as Final: This lets the reader know that this is the final version of the presentation.
Selecting either option will prevent the reader from editing the presentation—unless they opt-in to do so by clicking the “Edit Anyway” button in the banner.
While making your presentation read-only serves a purpose, it’s a weak form of protection if you want to truly keep others from editing your content.
PowerPoint has an option that lets you encrypt your presentation and only those with the password can access it. Again, this doesn’t fully protect the content within the presentation, but if only those with the password have access, the chances of the presentation being edited are certainly lower.
Warning: This password isn’t stored anywhere on your local machine. Be sure to store the password somewhere safe. If you forget or lose your password, you won’t be able to access the presentation again.
To password protect your presentation, open PowerPoint, click the “File” tab, click “Info” in the left-hand pane, and then click the “Protect Presentation” option.
Next, click “Encrypt with Password” from the menu that appears.
The Encrypt Document window will appear. Enter your password in the Password text box and then click “OK.”
Reenter the password and then click “OK” again.
Now anyone who tries to open the presentation will need the password to access it.
This method is more secure than simply making your presentation read-only. However, you’re merely preventing people from opening the PPTX file. If they have the password, then they can also edit the presentation’s content. Be careful who you share the password with. If you’re worried the password may have been exposed, change the password immediately.
If you want to deliver your PPTX file to someone, but don’t want them to be able to copy or edit the content (easily, at least), then you can convert the PowerPoint presentation to an image file and send it that way.
Open the PowerPoint presentation, click “File,” and then click “Save As” in the left-hand pane.
Browse to the location you would like to save the file and then, in the “Save As” box, choose the image file type you would like to save the presentation as. You can choose between:
- Animated GIF Format (*.gif)
- JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg)
- PNG Portable Network Graphics Format (*.png)
- TIFF Tag Image File Format (*.tif)
- Scalable Vector Graphics Format (*.svg)
Once you save the presentation as an image, you can send it out to the desired recipients.
At the end of the day, there’s no solid way to 100% protect your presentation. You can kindly ask recipients not to edit the content, password-protect your presentation so only those you want to have access to it can access it, or convert your presentation to an image or PDF, but even with these measures, if someone wants to edit something, they can always find a way.
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