How to Track Changes in a Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation

Collaborating on PowerPoint presentations is common nowadays. When working in teams, it’s important to be able to track the changes made by others to your presentation. PowerPoint doesn’t have an automatic track changes feature like Word, but you can still compare versions to see edits.

Tracking changes in PowerPoint ensures transparency and helps streamline the collaboration process. This article will walk you through the step-by-step process to track changes in PowerPoint presentations.

Why Track Changes in PowerPoint Presentations

Here are some key reasons why you should track changes in your PPTs:

  • Identify edits/revisions made by others easily
  • Review and accept/reject changes efficiently
  • Maintain clarity on who made what changes
  • Preserve older versions for reference
  • Ensure continuity and avoid duplication of work
  • Maintain transparency in collaborative projects

Step-by-Step Process to Track Changes

Follow these simple steps to track changes in your PowerPoint files:

Step 1: Save a Copy of the Original File

Before you send out the presentation for review, save a copy of the original untouched file either on your local storage or cloud drive. Name it appropriately to distinguish it from the reviewed copy.

Step 2: Share the Presentation for Review

Share the presentation with reviewers via email, cloud link or internal network. Ask them to make revisions or edits in that file itself or save their own separate copy with changes.

Step 3: Open Original and Reviewed Versions

Once you receive the reviewed presentation, open the original file and the reviewed file with changes in separate windows.

Step 4: Compare the Two Files

Go to the Review tab and click on Compare. Select the original file when prompted to merge versions.

Compare versions in PowerPoint

Step 5: Review Changes

The revisions will now be visible in the Revisions pane. Review changes slide-by-slide or select individual changes.

Review changes in PowerPoint file

You can see details like when the change was made and by whom along with the edit itself.

Step 6: Accept/Reject Changes

After reviewing, you can choose to either accept or reject the modifications made by your reviewers.

Accepting changes will merge them into your presentation. Rejecting will undo or discard those changes.

And just like that, you’ve successfully tracked changes in your PowerPoint presentation!

Tips for Effective Change Tracking

Here are some tips to ensure smooth tracking of changes in your PPTs:

  • Communicate expectations on change tracking process with reviewers
  • Name files appropriately with version numbers or dates for clarity
  • Review periodically even during work-in-progress stage
  • Use cloud-based sharing for real-time visibility of changes
  • Compare versions before major milestones or sign-offs

Alternative: Microsoft 365 Version History

Microsoft 365 subscribers also have access to the auto-save feature. This automatically saves versions of the PowerPoint file as you work.

You can view and restore previous versions of your presentation if required. However, it doesn’t visually highlight changes between versions.

Follow these steps to leverage version history:

  1. Click File > Info > Version History
  2. Select version from the right pane
  3. Click Restore to revert to that version

This can help recover content if you forgot to track changes using the Compare feature.

Why PowerPoint Lacks Native Track Changes

PowerPoint doesn’t have an inbuilt track changes feature unlike Microsoft Word. This is because presentations tend to have less text content. Slide decks are more visual in nature.

Since changes in PowerPoint typically encompass slides, objects, formatting, positions, etc tracking them automatically is complicated.

The Compare feature gives users manual control in tracking changes. This allows for transparency even without built-in change tracking.

Key Takeaways

Tracking changes is vital for maintaining clarity and transparency in collaborative presentations. With the Compare feature, you can easily review edits made by others in your PowerPoint files.

Ensure you save original copies, review periodically, communicate expectations and utilize cloud-sharing for seamless tracking. This will streamline the entire review and change management process for your team.

So next time you collaborate on a PowerPoint presentation, make sure to track changes!