PowerPoint Tips: Protect Your PowerPoint File from Changes

By Ellen Finkelstein

Many people need to protect PowerPoint files from changes. There are several reasons for this:

  • To send presentations for review only (but not editing)

  • To maintain ownership of the creative content

  • For legal reasons (for example, if the content has been approved by legal and financial counsel and may not be changed)

  • To provide presentations for others to deliver but not modify

  • You can choose from a number of techniques, depending on your situation. Sometimes, you need to maintain animation for example; other times, you just need static slides. Here are some methods you can use.

    Convert to images

    If you don’t have animation, you can convert the entire presentation to images, so that each slide contains an image of the original slide. Of course, people could still remove slides or images, but this method is easy and is often used for review and maintaining creative ownership. It also allows you to protect some slides and not others. This is useful if you want to allow people to change some of the slides. Follow these steps:

  • Choose File> Save As. (In 2007, Office button> Save As.)

  • In the Save As dialog box, click the Save as Type drop-down box and choose the JPG or PNG option. You can change the file name if you want or keep the default name.

  • Click Save.

  • At the dialog box asking if you want to export every slide or the current slide, click Every Slide.


  • click Every Slide

    click Every Slide

  • Click OK at the dialog box that tells you were the image files were saved. PowerPoint creates a subfolder for them.


  • dialog box that tells you were the image files were saved

    dialog box that tells you were the image files were saved

  • Create a new presentation. You now need to insert the images, and there’s a shortcut, the Photo Album feature. Choose Insert> Picture> New Photo Album. (In 2007, choose Insert tab> Illustrations group> Photo Album drop-down arrow> New Photo Album.)

  • In the Photo Album dialog box, click the File/Disk button. Choose the images you created earlier and click Open. (You can press Shift and click the first, then the last image you saved earlier to select them all.)


  • the Photo Album dialog box

    the Photo Album dialog box

  • You’ll return to the Photo Album dialog box. In the Album Layout section, choose the Picture Layout you want. Usually, you’ll choose Fit to Slide or 1 Picture. Click Create.

  • PowerPoint inserts one image on each slide and creates a title slide, which you can then delete. Save the presentation.

  • PowerPoint 2010 makes this easier. Choose File> Save As. In the Save As dialog box, click the Save as Type drop-down list and choose PowerPoint Picture Presentation (*.pptx). That’s all there is to it!

    Convert to PDF

    Another commonly-used method is to convert the presentation to PDF format. You lose all animation, but people can’t change any of the slides, or even delete any. Some options:

  • Adobe Acrobat

  • A free PDF creator (such as PDF995 or PrimoPDF)

  • Prep4PDF

  • An add-in from Microsoft (for PowerPoint 2007 only). If you use the add-in, you can then choose Office button> Save As> PDF or XPS

  • In PowerPoint 2010, choose File>Save & Send> Create PDF/XPS Document>Create PDF/XPS.


  • Article continued here

    This excerpt is shared with permission from ellenfinkelstein.com.

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