Collaborating on RFP responses and other projects can be a struggle, especially when you are working with a large number of stakeholders. Getting comments on your PowerPoint slides is particularly problematic. See if this situation sounds familiar: You email your slide deck to a group of colleagues asking for feedback, hoping to receive written commentary and suggested revisions. What you get back instead are email messages that read “see changes attached.” Now you have a gaggle of files with countless slide alterations of which to try and keep track. The only common element is that each stakeholder expects that his or her revisions will count as the final version.
One way to avoid this situation is to password-protect the content of the PowerPoint, thereby forcing each stakeholder to follow instructions by making suggestions in writing. Here is how:
- Open your PowerPoint file, and choose File | Save As
- In the Save As dialog box, choose General Options… from the Tools menu
- In the General Options dialog box, enter a password in the Password to modify field and click OK. Reenter the password and click OK.
Send this PowerPoint file as an attachment. Do not include the password. In the email, ask for written feedback as you usually would, and mention that the attached file is Read Only. The recipients will be able to view, but not edit, the slides.
For the comment box: What other method do you use to protect your PowerPoint files from editing, and what are the pros and cons of your technique?