In Microsoft word, you can turn on “Track Changes” which will keep track of all the changes in the document. But, Microsoft PowerPoint lacks this feature. Although it is not as simple as with Microsoft Word, there is another way of keeping track of all the changes in your PowerPoint.
Keep in mind that the Office 365 version of PowerPoint has the feature to check the version history. In fact, alternatives to PowerPoint like Google Slides and Keynote also provide this feature.
Nevertheless, you can follow this guide on how to track changes on PowerPoint.
How to Track Changes In Powerpoint for Windows?
PowerPoint has a “compare” feature which lets you merge two different presentations, and look at the changes.
Working in a team can be complicated if you can’t keep track of the changes made. The “compare” feature makes it much easier to receive and send team reviews. The feature also makes it easier for you to consider all the inputs from your team members. Or maybe, you just want to keep track of different versions of your PowerPoint presentation for yourself.
You can follow these steps to use the compare feature.
Save the Original File
You need to save your original presentation so you can compare it with the other versions after you’ve made changes. You might want to name the original copy as “file_name_original”. Don’t make changes to the original file.
You can simply do this by going to the File tab and selecting Save File As.
Save Another Copy
Copy the original file and paste it somewhere. Rename this copy as a Revision version. You can make changes here. Or, you can provide this file to your team members so they review it and add comments.
Provide the Copy to Your Team Members for Review
If you’re working alone, you can start making changes to the copy of your presentation. If you’re working with a team, you can send a copy to your team members. They can edit the presentation and add comments.
If you’re wondering how you can send the presentation to your friends, you can do it within PowerPoint itself. To share the PowerPoint presentation, you can click on the “share” option on the top-right of your screen. If you haven’t used OneDrive, you might need to sign in.
You can share the file using OneDrive (cloud) or you can select the option to attach a copy. Put in the email address of a person you want to share it with. You can also put in multiple emails. Then, click on Share. An email invitation will be sent to the people.
After changes have been made to your presentation, you need to open the original file again. Go to the Review ribbon in and select Compare. A new window will be opened where you need to go to the file location of the edited copy.
Merge With the Edited File
Select your edited presentation and click on Merge.
Check All the Changes
A tab named Revisions will appear where you’ll be able to see all the changes made. When you click on the changes, you will be able to accept or reject the changes. You also have the option to accept all changes to the slide or accept all changes to the presentation.
Your teammates can also have added comments to your presentation. You can add other comments, reply to them and delete them. To view the comments, you need to click on the Review ribbon and then select “Show comments”.
To add a new comment, select “New Comment.” When you hover over a comment, you will see a close icon that will delete the comment.
Select “End review”
Once you’ve accepted or declined all the changes to your presentation, you can select “End review.”
In this way, you can edit your PowerPoint presentation while keeping track of the changes. However, there is no option to use the “compare” feature in macOS.
How to Track Changes In PowerPoint For Mac?
The Compare feature is only available on PowerPoint 2011 for macOS. This makes it much harder to track changes on a mac.
You can just use Keynote which is Apple’s version of Powerpoint. Keynote gives you access to version history. Keynote is also compatible with PowerPoint. In addition to this, Keynote is actually free for mac users.
But if you prefer to go the more challenging way and still use PowerPoint, you can follow these steps to track your changes:
Save the Original File
Go to the File menu on your menu bar and select Save As. Or you can press Command + Shift + S.
Name the file as “filename Original”. Don’t make changes to this file.
Make Changes in a Copy of the File
Go to Finder and open the enclosing folder of your presentation. Right-click on the file and select “duplicate”.
Name the file as “filename_Edited.” You can make changes to this file.
Put Them Side by Side
Open both the files and resize them such that you can see them both side by side.
Use Slide Sorter View
Go to the View ribbon and select Slide sorter on both your files. This will make it easier for you to notice changes and review them. Once you review all the big changes switch back to the normal view.
Look for the Changes
In normal view, go through each of the slides and review the changes. This is bound to take much time and effort but there is no other way of doing this.
Why Doesn’t Powerpoint Have Version History?
Microsoft does not give access to version history in PowerPoint. This makes it challenging to keep track of changes, especially on a mac because it doesn’t even have a Compare feature. It might be a marketing strategy for Microsoft.
The version history is available on the Office 365 version of PowerPoint. And they still have the Track Changes feature on Microsoft Word. So, it is hard to decipher why Microsoft doesn’t give access to version history on PowerPoint.
Can I Recover Unsaved Powerpoint?
There are a few ways to recover unsaved PowerPoint. The easiest way to recover a PowerPoint presentation is through the app itself.
Here are the steps:
- Go to the File tab and select Open.
- Click on “Recover Unsaved Presentations” at the bottom of the screen.
- If you have any unsaved files, they will be recovered.