I am often asked how to lock a presentation. The simplest and most secure method is to export the presentation to a PDF and then lock the PDF. While there are many methods with PowerPoint and Keynote softwares for locking a presentation it is important to point out that none are perfect. The fact is that if someone is determined and has the correct tools they will find a way to copy your visuals. To follow are what I consider to be the two simplest PowerPoint methods for protecting your material.
Did you know?
After exporting a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to PDF, you can easily play the PDF in Full Screen mode by simply holding down the CTRL+L keys. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate forward or backward between slides.
Adding a Password to Open the Presentation & to Edit Data
In PowerPoint 2007
Once you have a final version of your presentation, click on the Office button and choose Save As. Click the Tools button and choose General Options on the pop-up menu. (The Tools button is located right to the left of the Save button in the lower right corner of the pop-up window.) Enter a password of your choice in the Password to Open field'. Microsoft cannot retrieve lost passwords, therefore, please make sure to note this password in a safe location.
This feature allows you to grant editing privileges. If you decide to enable this feature make sure to choose different passwords for Opening vs. Editing the presentation, and record these passwords in a safe location in case you need to refer back to them.
Once you are done, click OK. A confirmation window asking you to re-enter the passwords will appear. Enter the same passwords as in the above step and click OK. Then, click on the Save button.
The steps are the same for PowerPoint 2010, except that you would have to click on File tab instead of the Office button.
Marking the Presentation as Final
In PowerPoint 2007
Marking a presentation as Final will render it as a read-only file. When a presentation is marked as final, typing, editing commands and proofing marks are disabled or turned off. Using this tool prevents users of the presentation from inadvertently making changes to the presentation.
Click on the Office button then go to Prepare and click on Mark as Final.
In PowerPoint 2010
Click on the File tab and go to the Info section. Click on the Protect Presentation button and then select Mark as Final. We would recommend that you save the presentation under a new name easily recognizable as the final version.
Similar to marking the presentation as final, changing the property of the presentation to read only will prevent users from making any changes to the file.
Click here to learn more about locking a Keynote presentation.
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