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How to Track Changes in Your PowerPoint PPT Presentations (Effectively)

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Two sets of eyes are better than one. When you're creating a PowerPoint presentation, it helps to send it out for feedback. Learn how to track changes in PowerPoint.

Track changesTrack changesTrack changes
You can track changes in PowerPoint to elegantly record and review the edits your collaborators make to the presentation.

But as that feedback starts pouring in, it can be hard to manage. You might get many opinions and perspectives. That's why using track changes in PowerPoint is so helpful. It makes it easy to incorporate and combine feedback with just a few clicks!

If you're wondering, "can you track changes on PowerPoint?" the answer is: absolutely! With the help of this feature, feedback feels manageable in PowerPoint review mode. Let's learn how to track changes in PPT in this tutorial.

You'll learn about some of the best PowerPoint templates available on Envato Elements. They'll help you save time and create a better presentation.

Find Top Templates for PowerPoint on Envato Elements

Before we dive into our tutorial on how to track changes in PowerPoint, let me show you another way to streamline the way you create presentations. The secret is: use a template.

If you've never tried out a PowerPoint template, let me promise you this: you've been spending too many hours working in the app. Designing from scratch or using Microsoft's built-in templates is a surefire way to create a boring presentation that takes too long to develop.

That's where Envato Elements comes into play. With one simple subscription, you unlock the creative PowerPoint designs that are easy to customize. Add your content quickly and transform them into your own.

Explore Creative PowerPoint Designs

Envato Elements PowerPoint template libraryEnvato Elements PowerPoint template libraryEnvato Elements PowerPoint template library
On Envato Elements, you'll unlock all the PowerPoint templates for a single flat rate.

Elements is a cost-effective solution because it gives you unlimited downloads. Thousands of PowerPoint templates are all licensed for a single flat fee. Plus, you'll have tons of extras like stock photos and graphics.

What Is Track Changes In PowerPoint? (And Why Should You Use It?)

PowerPoint presentations are often a group effort. Your team may have many perspectives and ideas to improve the presentation. That's why it's essential to get feedback from others!

But it's inefficient to email the presentation back and forth and discuss changes to the presentation via email. You risk missing feedback or creating conflicting versions. 

Changes optionChanges optionChanges option
When you use track changes in PowerPoint, you can select the options to approve as presentation edits.

Luckily, there's a PowerPoint tool that helps. If you're collaborating with others, I recommend using PowerPoint's track changes feature. Using track changes in PowerPoint is the best way to ensure that you incorporate feedback. 

How to Track Changes in PowerPoint

Tracking changes in PowerPoint only takes a few steps! The result makes it easy to compare your original version with a collaborator's copy. Let's learn how.

As we work with the PowerPoint track changes feature, you'll see me working in a great template. I'm going to use Agio from Envato Elements.

1. Save a Copy of Your Presentation

You've already found the perfect collaborator for your PowerPoint. Now, you're ready to send it to them to get their feedback.

To start tracking changes in PowerPoint, you'll need to first save a copy of your presentation. Later, we'll compare the reviewer's copy to our own. Go to the File > Save As menu and choose a location and new filename.

File Save As New NameFile Save As New NameFile Save As New Name
Use the File > Save As menu and give your presentation copy an easy-to-identify filename.

It's best practice to save the original version with an easy-to-identify name. You could add "Original" after the filename, for example. That makes it easier to track changes in the version of your file later as you merge the presentations.

2. Send Your Presentation for Review

It's great to have someone you trust that's willing to review your presentation. Once you've saved a copy, you're ready to send your PowerPoint presentation for review.

There are many ways to share your presentation. You could attach it to an email or use a sharing service like Dropbox. 

For the reviewer, there's no need to provide any special instructions. They make changes, then send it back to you. The feature you'll see in the section below helps automatically identify the differences.

Check out our article below to learn more about how to share presentations online for real-time collaboration. It's a reliable alternative if you use PowerPoint Online, for example.

3. Merge the Presentations

After your reviewer has made tweaks and adjustments, it's time to bring the two versions of the PowerPoint presentation back together. When you merge the two files, PowerPoint shows the differences and let you work through them.

Save the edited presentation somewhere that's easy to find. Then, make sure that you also know the location of your original presentation and open it.

We're ready to merge the presentations. This automatically identifies the changes between the two versions. Go to the Review tab on your presentation, then click Compare.

Compare PresentationsCompare PresentationsCompare Presentations
Use Review > Compare to start comparing the two presentations.

Now, you're ready to merge the presentation. Browse to and find the reviewed version of your presentation. Then click Merge on the file browsing window.

Select and mergeSelect and mergeSelect and merge
Choose Merge on the window to start combining the two presentations.

That's it! PowerPoint works its magic to compare the two presentations and show you the differences.

4. Review Feedback and Changes

Now that the presentations are combined, you're ready to review feedback from your collaborators. Let's learn how to review PowerPoint slides.

First, make sure that you see the Reviewing Pane. On the Review tab, click the Reviewing Pane to see the list of changes.

Now, you'll see any changes to the slide that the reviewer made. It's effortless to see each change in the Revisions panel.

Revisions Slide ChangesRevisions Slide ChangesRevisions Slide Changes
Click each box with a yellow edit icon to review the adjustments applied to the slide.

You can browse the reviewer's changes in one of two ways:

  • Click the icon on the slide to see what changed with each slide element.
  • Or work through each item in the list in the Slide Changes listing by clicking on them.

Click each change to see the notes. Let's learn how to accept or reject the changes.

5. Accept or Reject Changes

After you've identified the changes to your slide, it's time to make some decisions. Should you accept or reject each of the changes your reviewer made to the slide?

As you select a revision, you'll notice yellow checkboxes for each change. To accept a change (or see what it consists of), click the box to see the proposed change.

Accept or reject changeAccept or reject changeAccept or reject change
To use track changes on PPT, check or uncheck boxes to include the edits.

If you don't like the change, it's easy to remove it. Just uncheck the box. You can reject a change by simply doing nothing. Leave a box unchecked, and the edits won't apply to your slide. When you're finished, click End Review on PowerPoint's ribbon.

That's it! Work through each slide, accepting or rejecting changes by checking the boxes. It's so easy to include feedback with the help of this feature. Plus, the boxes make it easy to be selective.

How Should You Use Comments in PowerPoint Review Mode?

Comments work well when you want to explain an idea in full. While PPT track changes is a technical record of what changed in PowerPoint, comments are more explanatory.

It's best to use comments for those occasions where you're providing suggestions or preferences. I tend to make changes for typos and errors directly with revisions. I reserve comments for stylistic suggestions or coaching the presenter. 

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Use the Insert > Comments option on the ribbon to add a comment to your PowerPoint slide.

Both of PowerPoint's features, track changes and comments, have their place in collaborating on a presentation. Check out the quick screencast below to learn more.

Bonus: How to Be a Great Reviewer

Let's say that you're on the receiving end of a presentation review. Maybe a colleague or friend sent you a presentation. You're ready to add your comments.

As you saw in this tutorial, you'll know the reviewer's name or initials when reviewing their changes if the settings have been configured. Most of the time, PowerPoint automatically sets this up using your system settings.

But if not, you'll need to set them yourself. Go to the File > Options > General tab. Then, use the User name and Initials fields to set your personalized signature. 

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Use the File > Options> General menu to set your user name and initials.

This is sure to make your comments and changes more personalized. Lock in these settings and your collaborators are sure to appreciate it.

Master the Art of PowerPoint

The best way to describe PowerPoint is "easy to get started with, difficult to master." That's in part due to the deep set of features built into Microsoft's app.

You've already learned one advanced feature, PowerPoint's track changes option, thanks to this tutorial. Don't stop here! Our resource How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide) is a deep compilation of the top tutorials that many have used to master the app.

Here are three tutorials from our guide that are sure to kickstart your road to mastering Microsoft PowerPoint:

5 Top Templates for PowerPoint on Envato Elements

All these templates work perfectly with track changes on PPT. Let's check out five top PowerPoint templates from Envato Elements:

1. Agio

Agio Creative PowerPoint PresentationAgio Creative PowerPoint PresentationAgio Creative PowerPoint Presentation

Clean and minimal slide designs are the most popular style in 2022. Presenters have caught on to the idea that audiences don't want to be distracted by too many text boxes and images. It's no wonder that templates like Agio are so popular. Use the 70 unique slide designs to show your content, uninterrupted.

2. Fashioned Stylist PowerPoint

Fashioned Stylist PowerPointFashioned Stylist PowerPointFashioned Stylist PowerPoint

Even if you aren't giving a fashion-focused presentation, this template might be a perfect choice. That's because it's focused on modern designs that feel futuristic and hip. Remember, the image placeholders are customizable. Your reviewer might leave content suggestions, but I doubt that you'll see any PPT track changes notes that affect this stunning design!

3. COLINGTON Creative PowerPoint

Colington Creative PowerPointColington Creative PowerPointColington Creative PowerPoint

Colington is a popular PowerPoint template because it focuses on images. Visual slides with plenty of photos are in vogue, and Colington makes the mark entirely.

Don't forget that you could even use track changes on PPT to get suggestions on the perfect image to use. 

4. Self PowerPoint

Self Creative PresentationSelf Creative PresentationSelf Creative Presentation

Bold and minimal, Self uses plenty of white space to help readability. When the content on your slides has "room to breathe," the viewer's eye can flow naturally from one block to another. This template has 30 unique layouts to choose from, each of which is easy to customize to a specific purpose.

5. Magnolia | PowerPoint Template

Magnolia Creative PowerPoint TemplateMagnolia Creative PowerPoint TemplateMagnolia Creative PowerPoint Template

Here's another PowerPoint template option for minimalists. You won't find busy patterns or overly complicated slides inside of Magnolia. Instead, the 37 slides are another example of embodying a "less is more" mentality when you're building a presentation. It also includes editable charts that help you convert data to easy-to-read visuals.

You've just seen a PowerPoint presentation review of some of the top templates available. Now, you're ready to learn how to track changes in PowerPoint.

Use Track Changes on PowerPoint Today

If you found someone willing to give feedback on your presentation, it's worth inviting them in. Why not start using track changes in PowerPoint to take feedback from others?

In this tutorial, you learned how to track changes in PowerPoint. Tracking changes in PowerPoint is sure to help you include feedback and create your best presentation yet. 

Don't forget: there are plenty of templates that are also incredible advantages.

Tap into Envato Elements' unlimited library of the best PowerPoint templates. Start designing today!

Editorial Note: This tutorial has been updated by Sarah Joy to make the information relevant and current. Sarah is a freelance instructor for Tuts+.

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