PowerPoint 2016: Inspecting and Protecting Presentations

Before sharing your PowerPoint presentation, it’s important to inspect it for any private information you may want to remove. PowerPoint 2016 provides several useful tools for inspecting presentations and protecting sensitive content.

Inspect Presentations for Hidden Personal Information

When you create or edit a PowerPoint presentation, some personal information like your name, initials, and company name can get automatically added to the document’s properties and metadata.

The Document Inspector tool allows you to easily find and remove any hidden personal information before sharing the presentation with others:

  • On the File tab, click Info
  • Click Check for Issues > Inspect Document
  • Select the types of hidden data to inspect
  • Click Inspect to scan the presentation
  • Review the results – any found issues will be flagged
  • Click Remove All to delete the information

Running the Document Inspector ensures you don’t accidentally share private details when distributing your presentation.

Check Presentations for Compatibility Issues

Before sending your PowerPoint file to colleagues or customers, it’s a good idea to use the Check for Issues tool to catch any compatibility problems.

This inspects the presentation for the following:

  • Unsupported features – Animations, slide transitions, or media formats that older PowerPoint versions may not support
  • Font issues – Missing fonts that could cause text formatting problems
  • Media linking issues – Broken links to external media files
  • Compatibility checker – Scans for elements that prior PowerPoint releases can’t display properly

Fixing these problems ensures your presentation looks as intended when viewed by others.

Mark Presentations as Final

You can discourage further edits to your PowerPoint files by marking them as final:

  • On the File tab, click Info
  • Select Protect Presentation > Mark as Final

This adds “[Final]” to the title and prevents accidental changes. Recipients can still modify it if needed, but it signals that you consider the presentation complete.

Restrict Editing Access

To lock down your presentation and prevent people from making changes, use the Restrict Access option:

  • On the File tab, click Info
  • Select Protect Presentation > Restrict Access
  • Set editing restrictions and a password

Restrict Access blocks recipients from making edits to the presentation unless they enter the password you specify.

Inspect Presentations in Protected View

When you open presentations from an internet download or untrusted source, PowerPoint opens them in Protected View mode by default. This sandboxes the file to prevent potential viruses or malware from infecting your computer.

In Protected View, you can inspect the presentation but can’t edit it. Click Enable Editing on the ribbon to interact with the file normally.

Save Backups Before Inspecting

Some Document Inspector changes like removing personal information can be permanent. Before running it, use Save As to create a backup copy of your original presentation. This gives you an untouched version to revert to if needed.

Final Presentation Tips

  • Spell check your slides
  • Use slide notes for talking points
  • Add slide numbers for easy reference
  • Print handouts with 6 slides per page
  • Test the presentation timing
  • Remove unused slides

Following these best practices for inspecting and protecting PowerPoint presentations helps ensure sensitive information stays private. It also guarantees compatibility across different platforms and PowerPoint versions.

More Resources

Here are some additional tips for securing PowerPoint presentations:

Following PowerPoint best practices for security, collaboration, and quality control ensures your presentations make a professional impression every time.