Password Protect Your PowerPoint

Password Protect Your PowerPoint

Technology Tips receives questions about technology that are sent to Instructors and students also email with Blackboard related questions. We thought it would be a good idea to start compiling some of these questions and occasionally share the answers in our weekly Tech Tips. 

 Q:  I want to place my PowerPoint lectures on my Blackboard site.   I want my students to be able to download them, but I don’t want them to be able to change the content.  How can I prepare my PowerPoint presentation so it can’t be modified?  

A: Even if you are not uploading PowerPoint presentations to Blackboard, you may be interested in learning how to password protect Office documents.   Why would you care about this tech tip if you aren’t using Blackboard?  You might want to share a draft of a paper or presentation you are working on and don’t want any one to make any changes to your handiwork, whether it is accidental or intentional.   A popular way to create documents that people can’t easily change is to convert them to PDF format using Adobe Acrobat or free PDF software (Cute PDF, PDF995).  However, there are reasons why you might want to make the original document available instead of converting it to PDF.  For example, saving the original slideshow gives people the opportunity to view multimedia you have in the presentation.  It also gives them some choice on how they print and view the slides.   However, we aren’t discounting all the benefits of PDFs, so don’t forget about them entirely.  They’re great for preserving formatting and compressing larger files.   It’s very simple to password protect your PowerPoint presentation. You can also password protect your Word documents using the same steps.  

  1. Go to Tools > Options.  Click on the Security tab.
  2. To prevent unauthorized modification, type in a password under “Password to modify,” then select OK.   
  3. Enter a password.  Re-enter your password to confirm.  Select OK.
  4. Go to File > Save and close PowerPoint.
  5. The ” Password to modify” will allow anyone to open a “read-only” copy of your presentation.  This means no one can make any changes to your documentation unless they know the password.
  6. Note: You can go the extra step and require that people enter a password to OPEN the document.  Simply enter a password under the “Password to confirm” dialog box.  But gee, what top secret document are you working on?
  7. The next time you open the document, the dialog box will say “Enter password to modify, or open read-only. You should instruct the students or colleagues who have access to your document to select “Open read only” when they open your document to prevent confusion.
  8. To remove password protection, simply go back to Tools > Options and the Security Tab and remove the passwords.

These instructions apply to Microsoft Office 2003; if you are using Office 2007 the steps will differ.  See Microsoft’s online demo to learn how to password your Office 2007 documents. 

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