Save PowerPoint presentations as read only

Ever wondered how to truly make PowerPoint presentations read only? Then this is the post for you. Read on….

One of the most common questions asked about PowerPoint presentations is how to save the presentation as ready only? When a presentation has been finalized you want to share the presentation in such a format that the recipient cannot edit the presentation but should be able to view the presentation.

Solution provided by Microsoft

One of the solutions provided by Microsoft on its Powerpoint support page is to enable the protection of the file and “mark it as final” which can be done from the main submenu called ‘info’.  This would not allow others to edit the PowerPoint presentation.

A disadvantage of using this option is that when the recipient of the PowerPoint presentation will try and opent the file they would see a notification in the status bar screenshot of which is provided below.

PowerPoint status bar screenshot of protected file

However a recipient can click on the ‘edit anyway’ button and they can edit the PowerPoint presentation. Therefore the method defeats the purpose.

Better solution for PowerPoint read only presentation

I find saving the file as a PowerPoint show as a better option. A PowerPoint show file can be opened by double clicking on it and the presentation is shown as a slideshow. If the user does not have PowerPoint installed on their computer they might need to install PowerPoint Show viewer. The best part of the PowerPoint show file is that no one can edit the presentation.

Saving a powerpoint presentation as a read only powerpoint show file

The format that the file is saved in is ppsx. More information on ppsx format can be found here. There is also an interesting discussion on CNET about how to open PPSX files.

PowerPoint has the ability to save presentation files in various formats and information on it can be found here.