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Protect Your Slides in PowerPoint 2013

Today, anybody can easily access and share millions of presentations online, whether for personal or commercial use. This is great if you want your file to be shared everywhere, but this isn’t so great when you’re aiming to keep your deck confidential. If you want to keep your PowerPoint presentation solely your intellectual property, you need to set your file’s privacy and viewing permissions properly.

Did you know that anyone can just copy or edit your content whenever they have access to your file? Luckily, this can be avoided with PowerPoint 2013’s file security options, allowing you to protect your slides for good. Here are several ways to protect your presentation from unauthorized access and unwanted changes:

1. Click on the File tab on the ribbon. This leads you to the Backstage View window.

powerpoint privacy

2. While in the Backstage View, click on Info in the menu.


3. Choose Protect Presentation. This will reveal three options you can choose from:

protect presentation

a. Mark as Final: Marking a presentation as final gives you a read-only copy of your PowerPoint. A dialog box will prompt you to accept the changes.


When you try to open a PowerPoint file marked as final, a thin yellow ribbon will appear with a warning. Next to this is a button that says Edit Anyway. Clicking on this button will make the file editable again.


b. Encrypt with Password: Click this if you want to set a secure password for your presentation. A dialog box will prompt you to set a password for your file. Take note that the program cannot recover lost passwords.


c. Digital Signature: Adding a digital signature establishes your identity and assures people viewing the file that the presentation is your own. To create a digital signature, you need to send the following to Microsoft:

a. Signing certificate and a public key
b. Certificate Authority


In Short: It’s Easy to Protect Your PowerPoint

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Protecting your PowerPoint file keeps your presentation from being edited or viewed by random individuals. If your deck contains confidential or sensitive information, don’t take any risks. Use any of the three options to give yourself some peace of mind and maintain your creative ownership.

Just one thing: Remember your passwords when you choose to encrypt your PowerPoint files. The program cannot retrieve the password when you lose or forget the password you set for it.

A digital signature makes your work appear more authentic and is an excellent way for you to leave your stamp of ownership on your file. The requirements for a digital signature will take more time and effort on your part, but it will be worth it for the extra security it gives.



Bajaj, Geetesh. “PowerPoint 2013 Tutorials – File Menu and Backstage View.” Indezine. January 9, 2013. www.indezine.com/products/powerpoint/learn/interface/file-menu-backstage-view-ppt2013.html
“Add or Remove Protection in Your Document, Workbook, or Presentation.” n.d. Office Support. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-or-remove-protection-in-your-document-workbook-or-presentation-05084cc3-300d-4c1a-8416-38d3e37d6826#__toc311701333
“Digital Signatures and Certificates.” Office Support. n.d. www.support.office.com/en-us/article/Digital-signatures-and-certificates-8186cd15-e7ac-4a16-8597-22bd163e8e96
“Protecting Your Presentation.” GCF LearnFree. n.d. www.gcflearnfree.org/powerpoint2013/28.2

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