How to Track Changes in Powerpoint
With more and more people starting to use Microsoft Powerpoint in the office, it’s only natural that you want to track changes in your presentations as they’re being edited by other people.
But how do you do this, exactly? If you’re not sure, then keep reading to find out how to track changes in PowerPoint presentations and make sure that every change is documented correctly, whether it’s a simple typo fix or an elaborate edit involving charts and graphics.
Track Powerpoint changes online
If you don’t have an Office 365 subscription, track changes with a tool like CloudOutliner. This browser-based app gives you easy access to any Office document for collaborative editing, including PowerPoint presentations.
If you’re using PowerPoint on your desktop computer, it also has a handy add-in feature. Just go to File > Options > Add-Ins and turn on Track Changes Add-In.
Once it’s enabled, your changes will be tracked automatically when people open your presentation—no matter which computer they use or how often they edit it! There is a slight catch, though: People will only see tracked changes if they have updated to Microsoft Office 2016 or later versions of Excel and PowerPoint on their computers.
As long as everyone who opens up your slideshow has at least those two programs, it won’t matter what version of PowerPoint they’re using (so long as it’s 2013 or newer). Another option is to ask anyone who shares your presentation to enable Track Changes so that all edits are tracked automatically.
To do that on a PC, just click Review > Track Changes > Highlight Edits; from there, all edits are tracked until you click Stop Tracking on Track Changes.
On Macs, go to Review > Change Tracking > Show Markup Toolbar; after that new toolbar appears at the top of your screen (but below Slide Master), hit Clear All Overlays, and then Enable Tracking to track all future edits made by others.
Track Changes on Another Computer
One of PowerPoint’s biggest annoyances is that when you open a presentation created by someone else, it makes track changes visible but doesn’t let you work with them. You can solve that problem by saving your copy as a PDF file and editing it on another computer, where you have control over track changes.
To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to File
- Save As
- Select Computer under Save in
- Then enter a name for your file (we used PowerPoint-Edit) and click Save.
- Open PowerPoint and open your PDF copy of your presentation from there.
- Delete any slides with outdated information or text; then type new text on any slides where it’s needed.
When you’re done, go back to your original version of PowerPoint and choose File > Info > Edit Unprotected Slides.
In the box marked Show Unprotected Slides, select All Slides, then click OK. The presentation will open without any track changes showing because they’re only in your PDF copy—the one with editable text fields! Choose File > Info > Protect Presentation (with password), which will add an additional layer of protection to your file so others can’t edit it without knowing its password.
Then close PowerPoint. Your updated slides will now be waiting for you when you reopen your protected files within PowerPoint 2013 or 2016.
Track Changes When you’re Offline
If you’re working on a presentation that’s been shared with you and want to track changes, or if someone else has already made changes before sharing it with you, you’ll need a copy of PowerPoint for Mac.
With PowerPoint for Mac installed on your computer, go ahead and open your presentation file as usual.
Then go to File > Make a Copy…. That will give you an offline copy of your presentation file. Now make any changes that you’d like.
Once those are saved and closed out, return to PowerPoint for Mac and go back into your presentation. You should see your recent changes listed. If you want to compare them side-by-side with another user’s changes, just click Review Mode at the top.
From there, you can use left/right arrows (or swipe) to cycle through each set of changes independently. You can also send comments from here so everyone knows what went into creating these edits (assuming they used PowerPoint for Mac).
Another feature within PowerPoint is Presenter View which allows people to present slides off their screen while giving them control over what appears on their screen during their slide show such as notes or annotations placed on individual slides without having it appear visible to audience members (similar technology is available in Microsoft Word).
It is helpful when preparing presentations where hard copies will not be distributed or shown publicly such as internal meetings.
Track Changes by Sharing the File
One way to track changes in a PowerPoint presentation is by sharing it with another user.
This can be an internal user or someone who works remotely. The process is simple, but you do need Microsoft Office for it to work. While working on your presentation in PowerPoint;
- Open up the File menu and select Info
- Under Track Changes make sure you have Track changes while editing selected
- Then press OK
With that done, you should be able to save your file as a .pptx (Office Open XML) file instead of .ppt (previous version). This will create a shared copy of your presentation where other users can begin working on it with you.
At any time when someone makes a change to your presentation, you’ll see their initials appear on each slide they’ve edited. You’ll also see their initials if they comment on certain text within your slides.
Another benefit of tracking changes in a PowerPoint file is keeping all revisions right next to each other instead of having multiple documents that contain different versions scattered around your computer.
By saving yourself from constantly searching through documents, you’ll be able to focus more attention directly on creating high-quality content rather than being sidetracked with confusing versions and different edits between them.
How do I Show markups in PowerPoint?
The first step is to open your presentation and select View > Show Markup. A pop-up box will appear, which will allow you to make comments and show markup on a slide.
To make comments, highlight any text that you want to add a comment about, then type what you want to say. When you’re done typing, press Enter or Return (on a Mac) or click anywhere else on that slide.
To show markup from others on a slide, click View changes other people made at the top of your screen while looking at your presentation. If no one has commented yet, then you won’t see anything until someone adds notes.
To comment on other people’s comments, select a comment and then press Enter or Return (on a Mac) or click anywhere else on that slide. Type your comment, then press Enter or Return (on a Mac) again when you’re done.
Your new comments will appear below your previous ones. Comments are grouped together by speaker, so you can see everyone’s individual notes. To reply to someone’s note, just start typing.
Track Changes in PowerPoint Teams
You can think of tracking changes as a way of talking with your teammates while they’re reviewing your presentation. When you make a change, you’ll see it show up in red on all reviewers’ screens.
Since these changes are inline, you don’t have to go digging through documents and reopening files; everything is right there on-screen. It’s like having an office conversation—but at a distance. Best of all, PowerPoint automatically saves track-changes versions every time a slide is changed—so it’s easy for you or anyone else on your team to roll back their version if need be.
Here’s how you can get started with tracking changes:
- Open up Office 2016 on a Windows computer (you’ll need Word, Excel and PowerPoint for full capabilities)
- Click File from within any one of them
- From here, click Options followed by Advanced Options down at the bottom
- Scroll down until you see Check for More Formatting Changes When Saving checked off; from here uncheck it (you can save changes later but that’S NOT what we’re doing)
- Then tap OK several times until you’re out of options! Once that has been changed you can now start making edits!
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