Work together on PowerPoint presentations

Work together on PowerPoint presentations

When you save your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365, you can collaborate on a presentation at the same time with your colleagues.

In order to work on a presentation at the same time, all authors need to be using PowerPoint 2013 or later (on Windows), PowerPoint 2016 for Mac or later, or PowerPoint Online.

Share your presentation with others and collaborate on it at the same time

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation, and choose Share in the top-right corner of the ribbon when you're ready to collaborate.

    Share
  2. In the Invite people box, enter the email address of the person you'd like to share the presentation with. If you already have the person's contact info stored, you can just enter the name. The drop-down list lets you determine whether your invitees can edit the file or only can view the file.

    Shows the Share pane dialog in PowerPoint
  3. Click Share. If your file has already been saved to the cloud, an email invitation will be sent to your invitees. If you haven't saved your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365, PowerPoint prompts you to do so now. After you do that, the email invitation will be sent.

    If you haven't saved your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint, PowerPoint prompts you to do so.

See where others are working in your shared presentation

  1. Open the presentation and start working in it.

    If someone else is viewing or working in the presentation, their thumbnail picture appears in the top-right corner of the ribbon. PowerPoint alerts you when people enter or leave your presentation.

    People and chat
  2. You'll also see the name of anyone viewing or editing the presentation in the Share pane. There's an indicator—on the thumbnail of the slide and in the actual slide—that shows where someone is working in the presentation. Hover over or select that indicator to find out who is editing.

    Shows the icon indicating someone else is collaborating on a slide in PowerPoint 2016

    (For accessibility, PowerPoint also allows you to turn on automatic display of the editor's name. Turn it on by doing File > Options > Advanced > Display > Show presence flags for selected items.)

    Shows icon showing someone working on a section of a slide in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
  3. When you’re done working, save your file.

    When other authors have made changes, you’ll see the following when you save.

    Shows the Synced changes message in PowerPoint

    If your updates and other authors’ updates don't conflict, they'll be merged automatically, and you don’t need to do anything else.

Notifications when you open a changed file

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Office 365 Subscribers only.

After other people make changes to a shared presentation file, PowerPoint for Office 365 notifies you when you re-open the file. A small banner tells you who has made changes to your presentation while you were away.

PowerPoint for Office 365 shows you who made changes to your shared file while you were away

Tracking changes: Revisions by others are highlighted

PowerPoint for Office 365 automatically keeps track of changes made in online documents.

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Office 365 Subscribers only.

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  1. When you re-open a changed presentation (or are in a file being actively edited by someone else), changed slides are highlighted in turquoise in the thumbnail pane. A tooltip says, "Slide has unread changes."

    Revision highlighting in the thumbnail pane of PowerPoint
  2. Select a thumbnail to look at the full-size slide. You'll see the changed portion of the slide outlined in turquoise. An accompanying notation tells you who made the change, and when.

    (There are some cases where a revised slide is highlighted, but the kind of change that has been made isn't outlined on the individual slide. Examples of such changes include: Changes in the Notes pane, deletion of a shape, addition of a comment, and animation changes.)

    Revision highlighting notation about who made a change and when it was done

What determines whether changes are highlighted:

  • This feature works on shared documents stored in OneDrive and SharePoint.

  • Changes are highlighted only when the person who makes the change is using PowerPoint Online, or PowerPoint for Office 365—at least version 1707 of the Monthly Channel or version 1803 of the Semi-Annual Channel. Find your Office version

  • Changes aren't highlighted if revision data has been turned off for the document in the Trust Center Privacy Options:

    If the privacy options aren't turned on, a user's name (and the time when she or he last made edits to an object) are stored in the presentation to support this revision-highlighting feature. Use Document Inspector to remove that info, if necessary. (See the article Remove hidden data and personal information by inspecting documents, presentations, or workbooks for guidance on using Document Inspector.)

    If the privacy options are turned on, then this revision highlighting feature is turned off, meaning that no personal data (user names and times mentioned above) is stored.

    To make revision highlighting possible, data about the read/unread status of individual slides is stored separately by PowerPoint. Where that data is stored depends on which version and channel of PowerPoint you are using. We're shifting towards storing it in an online Microsoft service designed to save user settings, but we haven't entirely completed the shift yet.

    The following table lists each relevant version of PowerPoint and where it stores the read/unread status data about each person who opens the file:

    For this version number (or later)

    The status data is stored in

    PowerPoint for Office 365 in the Monthly Channel

    between 1707 and 1710

    On PC disk, under the path:

    %appdata%\Microsoft\PowerPoint\SlideViewState

    This location is protected by the Windows Users folder; if you want to, you can manually delete the files that record your own read/unread status.

    PowerPoint for Office 365 in the Monthly Channel

    1711

    Microsoft Online service

    PowerPoint for Office 365 in the Semi-Annual Channel

    1803

    Microsoft Online service

    PowerPoint for Office 365 for Mac

    16.11

    Microsoft Online service

    PowerPoint for Android

    16.0.9001.2077

    Microsoft Online service

    PowerPoint for iOS

    2.9.108.0

    Microsoft Online service

    PowerPoint Mobile

    17.8827

    Microsoft Online service

    Find your Office version

  • Changes aren't highlighted if the file is encrypted or password-protected.

  • Changes aren't highlighted if the file is in .odp format or the older PowerPoint .ppt or .pps format.

Communicate with Chat or Comments

Choose Comments comments to make or view comments. Also, you can reply to or resolve comments and then mark them as complete. See Add comments for more information.

(Office 365 only) You can instantly chat with other people who are working in a presentation stored on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online. Choose the Chat button Button for group chat in PowerPoint 2016 to start a group chat with everyone working in the document.

Gray menu bar with Chat button highlighted

  • The chat history isn't preserved, so if you close the document and reopen it later, you'll be starting fresh with an empty chat. If you need more persistent discussion, consider using Comments instead.

  • If another person opens the file to edit it, they can join the chat, too, but they won't see any history of the chat from before they opened the file. They'll only see new messages as of the time they opened it.

See previous versions of the file

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Office 365 Subscribers only.

Office preserves prior versions of your SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business files while you’re working on them.

To open the list of the prior versions of a file, select the file name in the title bar of the app window, then select Version History.

Select the file name in the title bar to gain access to the file's Version History

Version History is for viewing, not editing. You can see any prior version of a file.

To open a prior version:

  • In the Version History pane on the right, select Open version in one of the version-history items.

    A read-only copy of that version is opened in a separate PowerPoint window.

Resolve conflicting changes

If there are conflicting changes, a visual comparison between your changes and the conflicting changes from one of your collaborators will pop up when you select Save. You can choose the changes you'd like to keep.

Shows conflicting changes dialog in PowerPoint

Only changes made by others that directly conflict with changes you've made will show up in the comparison. Non-conflicting changes are merged automatically into your presentation when you save, and you'll see them in the My Changes view.

  1. Choose either My Changes or Changes by Others.

  2. If there is more than one conflict to resolve, do one of the following:

    • Choose Next to keep resolving conflicts. Choose Previous to revisit an earlier conflict.

    • If you'd like to choose the same set of changes for all the remaining conflicts, select the Do this for remaining conflicts check box.

      Shows check box to "Do this for remaining conflicts" in PowerPoint

  3. When you're done resolving conflicts, choose Done.

Share a presentation and co-author

  1. Create a draft of the presentation, and then save it to a shared location, such as OneDrive or SharePoint.

  2. Open and start working on the presentation.

    Note:  If someone else is working on the presentation, you’ll see a Co-authoring icon People icon and a number in the status bar that tell you how many people are working on the presentation. Click the Co-authoring icon People icon to see who is working on the presentation (as shown below).

    Two people are co-authoring

  3. When you’re done working, click File > Save.

    If you’re the only one working on the presentation, the file will save and you’re done. If your updates and other authors’ updates do not conflict, they will merge automatically, and you don’t need to do anything else.

Resolve changes made by other people

If others are working on the same presentation, you many encounter one of the following error messages:

  • When other authors have made changes, you’ll see the following:

    Review changes or upload now

  • If the changes you and other authors have made conflict with one another, this message appears:

    Resolve Conflicts

Here's how to resolve changes made by other people:

  1. On the Merge tab, click Show Changes, and then do one of the following:

    • To view only conflicting updates, click Show Only Conflicts.

      Show only conflicts

    • To view all changes, click Show All Changes.

  2. To accept or reject changes, do one or both of the following:

    For conflicting changes:

    • To accept a conflicting change, check the box next to the conflicting change icon Conflicting change icon (shown below).

      Select check box to accecpt conflicting change

    • To reject a conflicting change, do nothing. Boxes that aren’t checked won’t be added to the presentation.

    For standard changes:

    • To accept a standard change, do nothing.

      Select the checkbox to accept standard changes made by others

    • To reject a standard change, clear the box.

  3. When you’re done reviewing changes, select Close Merge View.

    After you select Close Merge View, all changes will be applied and uploaded to the server.

    Note: After you select Close Merge View, you can't go back and view flagged changes.

Share your presentation with others and collaborate on it at the same time

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation, and at the top-right corner of the ribbon, select Share Share button and then select Invite People.

  2. Enter the email address of the person you'd like to share the presentation with. If you already have the person's contact info stored, you can just enter the name. The control at the top lets you determine whether your invitees can edit the file or only can view the file.

  3. Click Share. If your file has already been saved to the cloud, an email invitation will be sent to your invitees. If you haven't saved your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365, PowerPoint prompts you to do so now. After you do that, the email invitation will be sent.

    If you haven't saved your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint, PowerPoint prompts you to do so.

See where others are working in your shared presentation

  1. Open the presentation and start working in it.

    If someone else is viewing or working in the presentation, their thumbnail picture appears in the top-right corner of the ribbon. PowerPoint alerts you when people enter or leave your presentation.

    People and chat
  2. You'll also see the name of anyone viewing or editing the presentation in the Share pane. There's an indicator—on the thumbnail of the slide and in the actual slide—that shows where someone is working in the presentation. Hover over or select that indicator to find out who is editing.

    Presence indicator in the slide thumbnail pane

    (For accessibility, PowerPoint also allows you to turn on automatic display of the editor's name. Turn it on by selecting PowerPoint > Preferences > View > Show presence flags for selected items.)

    Shows icon showing someone working on a section of a slide in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
  3. When you’re done working, save your file.

    If your updates and other authors’ updates don't conflict, they'll be merged automatically, and you don’t need to do anything else.

Notifications when you open a changed file

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Office 365 Subscribers only.

After other people make changes to a shared presentation file, PowerPoint for Office 365 for Mac notifies you when you re-open the file. A small banner tells you who has made changes to your presentation while you were away.

PowerPoint for Office 365 shows you who made changes to your shared file while you were away

Tracking changes: Revisions by others are highlighted

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Office 365 Subscribers only.

PowerPoint for Office 365 for Mac automatically keeps track of changes made in online documents.

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Office 365 Subscribers only.

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.
  1. When you re-open a changed presentation (or are in a file being actively edited by someone else), changed slides are highlighted in turquoise in the thumbnail pane. A tooltip says, "Slide has unread changes."

    Revision highlighting in the thumbnail pane of PowerPoint
  2. Select a thumbnail to look at the full-size slide. You'll see the changed portion of the slide outlined in turquoise. An accompanying notation tells you who made the change, and when.

    (There are some cases where a revised slide is highlighted, but the kind of change that has been made isn't outlined on the individual slide. Examples of such changes include: Changes in the Notes pane, deletion of a shape, addition of a comment, and animation changes.)

    Revision highlighting notation about who made a change and when it was done

What determines whether changes are highlighted:

  • This feature works on shared documents stored in OneDrive and SharePoint.

  • Changes are highlighted only when the person who makes the change is using PowerPoint Online, or PowerPoint for Office 365 for Mac—at least version 16.11. Find your Office version

  • Changes aren't highlighted if the file is encrypted or password-protected.

  • Changes aren't highlighted if the file is in .odp format or the older PowerPoint .ppt or .pps format.

Communicate by using Comments

At the right end of the toolbar ribbon, select Comments Comments button to see all comments currently in the presentation.

You can add a new comment or reply to or resolve existing comments.

(Office 365 only) Tag a colleague in a comment by using the @-sign followed by the person's name. That person receives an email message with a link to your comment. Clicking the link brings them into the document and into the conversation.

(Office 365 only) You can Chat with someone who's editing the file at the same time as you. To get started, click the chat icon Two speech bubbles, one on top of the other near the top right of the screen.

Gray menu bar with Chat button highlighted

See previous versions of the file

This is a subscriber-only feature This feature is available to Office 365 Subscribers only.

Office preserves prior versions of your SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business files while you’re working on them.

To open the list of the prior versions of a file, select the file name in the title bar of the app window, then select Browse Version History.

Version History is for viewing, not editing. You can see any prior version of a file.

To open a prior version:

  • In the Version History pane on the right, select Open Version in one of the version-history items.

    A read-only copy of that version is opened in a separate PowerPoint window.

You can copy content from a prior version. You can also Save A Copy of a prior version so that you can edit it separately from the file you're currently working on.

Share a presentation with others

  1. At the right end of the toolbar ribbon, click Share The Share button

  2. In the Send a link dialog box, enter the names or email addresses of the folks you want to share the presentation with.

    Add a message to your colleagues if you like.

  3. Click Send.

See where others are working in your shared presentation

When multiple people work in a file at the same time, indicators show you where they are:

  • In the pane on the left side, a presence icon Presence indicator appears next to a slide thumbnail if someone is editing that slide. Point your mouse at the icon to see who the person is.

  • In the main slide pane, a presence icon shows you when someone is editing a particular element on the slide.

See revisions made by other people

When you open a presentation that someone else has changed, PowerPoint tells you in two ways:

  • A While You Were Away message appears on the right side of the window.

    PowerPoint for Office 365 shows you who made changes to your shared file while you were away
  • In the slide thumbnail pane on the left, slides that have been revised are highlighted with a turquoise background.

    Revision highlighting in the thumbnail pane of PowerPoint

    When you open that slide, you'll also see a turquoise outline around the revised slide element.

Confer by using Comments or Chat

At the right end of the toolbar ribbon, select Comments The Comments button to see all comments currently in the presentation.

You can add a new comment or reply to or resolve existing comments.

Tag a colleague in a comment by using the @-sign followed by the person's name. That person receives an email message with a link to your comment. Clicking the link brings them into the document and into the conversation.

You can Chat with someone who's editing the file at the same time as you. To get started, click the chat button Chat button near the top right of the screen.

Chat button next to notification about who else is currently editing

See previous versions of the file

Office preserves prior versions of your SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business files while you’re working on them.

Use File > Info > View and restore previous versions to open the list of the prior versions of a file.

Version History is for viewing, not editing. You can see any prior version of a file. You can copy content from a prior version. You can also Save A Copy of a prior version so that you can edit it separately from the file you're currently working on.

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