PowerPoint has useful features that allow others to make changes or leave comments on your presentations. You can even co-author a real-time presentation if you have a Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) subscription. Here’s how to collaborate with other people in PowerPoint.
Share a presentation
Before others can work on a presentation with you, you need to share it with them. To do this, open the presentation you want to share, then click “Share” in the upper right corner.
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A banner will appear in front of your presentation. The first thing to note is the “Share” section. Here you will see the two methods of sharing the presentation and anyone you have shared it with before.
With the “Invite people” sharing method, you can do the following:
- Enter the email addresses of the people you want to collaborate with.
- Leave a note for the recipients.
- Assign read and write or read-only permissions.
- As an additional level of security, choose whether you want recipients to have a Microsoft account.
- Share your presentation.
If you choose the “Get Link” option instead, assign read / write or read-only permissions to the person receiving the link, then click “Create Link”.
Your link will appear.
Once your link is created, you can share it with whoever you want to collaborate on your presentation. Remember that anyone with this link can access your presentation with the privileges you have assigned. So be careful who you share it with.
Collaboration on a presentation
Once you’ve shared your presentation, it’s time to start collaborating. There are several useful tools that make collaboration more efficient. We’ll go over them below, so make sure you take full advantage of them.
Who works where?
PowerPoint shows you who is viewing or editing a presentation, as well as what part they are working on. When someone is working on a presentation with you, you’ll see a thumbnail with that person’s name in the upper right corner.
Click on the thumbnail to see who it is and which slide he or she is editing. If you want to go to this slide, click “Go to location”.
You’ll see the section of the slide the other person is working on.
You can also see where the other person is at all times in the thumbnail view of the slide on the left.
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Leave comments for others
You can also leave comments for other people you collaborate with to read at their convenience. To leave a comment, highlight text or a subject, then click “New Comment” in the menu that appears.
Type your comment in the text box, then click the arrow icon to exit.
The next time that person works on the presentation, they will see a message bubble icon on the slide with the commentary.
To read a comment, click on “Comments” in the upper right corner.
To reply to a comment, simply enter your reply in the text box, then click the arrow icon.
PowerPoint also offers some premium features for collaborators. One of them is real-time chat. Just click on the thumbnail of the person you want to chat with, then select “Chat” from the menu that appears.
It is not, however, a good replacement for comments. No one else can see your conversation, and it is deleted as soon as you close the file.
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Another cool premium feature is Version History. PowerPoint 365 stores each version of your slideshow. This means that you can go back and view, restore and / or download older versions.
To access this functionality, click on “File”, click on “Info” in the pane that appears, then choose “Previous versions”. This option will however be grayed out if you are not a premium subscriber.
Overall, good collaboration on any project comes down to communication. PowerPoint makes this task easier for normal and premium subscribers, although some methods are more streamlined than others.