Copyediting in PowerPoint

Editing documents in Word has become routine for most of us. But what about editing in more presentation-based formats like PowerPoint? As of yet, PowerPoint has no “Track Changes” function. However, there are a few tools that can make life more enjoyable for both editors and writers. This post will highlight a few of those tools and how to use them.

 

Making Comments

The ability to insert comments in PowerPoint, as in other applications, allows for a lot of flexibility to ask questions or point out larger issues within the presentation. Use the “New Comment” button, located under the Review tab, to insert a comment. The author must know how to access the comment by looking for the box in the upper left corner.

Clicking on the numbered box in the upper right will open the comment box.

Clicking on the numbered box in the upper right will open the comment box.

Format Painter

When it comes to editing presentations, grammar and spelling are fairly straightforward. But what about a series of textboxes where the formatting doesn’t quite match and you can’t seem to figure out what is different? Format Painter can often solve the problem.

Select the text or text box that has the correct formatting. Click the paint brush icon next to “Format Painter.” Then click on the text or text box that needs to match the original and the correct format will be duplicated.

If you need to apply the format to more than one item, double-click the Format Painter and the format will stay loaded on the brush for multiple applications (until you click it again to put the brush away.)

Creative Commons Image by Dawn McIlvain Stahl

Creative Commons Image by Dawn McIlvain Stahl

Compare function

An editor can make changes, but how can the author keep track of those changes and make decisions about the final version of the presentation? Under the “Review” tab, click the “Compare” button. This function allows you to see the changes made between two versions of the same document. Taking advantage of this tool allows the author of the presentation to see a detailed list of edits and to either accept or reject changes, much the same as the “Track Changes” function in Word. Here’s how:

Step 1 Open the original version of your presentation. Select the “Review” tab and click on “Compare.”

Step 2 Browse and select the edited version of the presentation and click “Open” (or “Merge,” depending on the version of PowerPoint you are working in.)

Step 3 This will open the Revisions pane at the right side of the presentation window. Any changes that have been made to the original slides will be listed under “Slide changes.” You are able to select individual or all changes made to a slide to view the modifications. You can then check the box next to the change to return to the original version and unclick to see the difference between the two versions.

In the same way, you can view individual or all changes made to the presentation in the “Presentation changes” pane directly below. This would include more broad scale changes like inserting a slide.

Step 4 Once you’ve reviewed all the modifications to the document you can either accept or reject the the changes presented. There are options available to accept or reject individual changes, accept or reject all changes made to the current slide, or all changes made to the presentation. When you’ve completed your review, close and save the presentation.

 

The Revisions pane will show what elements have been changed. Clicking on that element, or on the orange box within the slide, will display a checklist of the exact changes.

The Revisions pane will show what elements have been changed. Clicking on that element, or on the orange box within the slide, will display a checklist of the exact changes.

 

Crystal Atamian is an editor and writer for Eagle Eye editing. She can be reached at info@eagleeyeediting.com

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