Proofreading your slides is key to making sure you produce a quality presentation. This lesson will cover PowerPoint proofing features, steps to customizing how PowerPoint checks your text and how to add a Mark as Final status to your presentation.
After the Slides Are Done
Your slides are done, and you are not sure what to do next? Well, then it's time to proof and mark as final. The proofing feature in PowerPoint enables you to search for and correct spelling mistakes and some grammatical errors. Once the proofing is complete, you can then add a status to the presentation that declares the document as the final version. Let's begin with the proofing feature.
You should always spell check your presentation. Misspelled words are not only unprofessional but can be a serious distraction to your audience. By default, PowerPoint checks spelling and grammar as you type each character (that's the wavy red and blue underlines). You can also manually check your entire presentation by going to the Review menu and clicking on the Spelling command. PowerPoint will review your entire document, and one at a time, give you the option to address each error.
You can see in the video, PowerPoint found a spelling error and opened a dialogue box highlighting the first mistake it found with suggested corrections (please see the video at 01:01). We can choose to ignore the error, change the word(s), use PowerPoint's suggested fix or add a word to the dictionary. Once the desired fix is selected, PowerPoint moves on to the next error or PowerPoint will prompt you with a message window, which indicates that the spell check is complete.
Before you set out to proof your slides, you might want to consider how your proofing options are configured in PowerPoint. This feature allows you to have more control over how PowerPoint checks your text, such as disabling the feature that checks your text as you type. Some people find this annoying and like to run their check manually, over the entire document at one time. In addition, you can have PowerPoint check for more than just misspelled words. So, let's take a closer look.
If you click on the File menu and select Options, a dialogue box will open giving you different selections for configuring your PowerPoint program to your specific needs, likes and wants. One option is Proofing, where you can decide how PowerPoint will check your text. In this area, you can customize the AutoCorrect feature, choose to ignore upper-case words or ignore words that contain numbers and even choose to flag repeated words. Selections you make in a proofing configuration will determine how PowerPoint will perform the spell check when clicking on the Spelling command.
As most people do, I tend to leave the settings to the PowerPoint default selections. However, I like to add Check grammar with spelling. This feature will help you find and correct contextual spelling errors, such as their vs. they're. However, PowerPoint will not notice all types of grammar errors, so you will still need to proofread your presentation.
Mark as Final
Let's move on to the Mark as Final option. Adding a Mark as Final status to your presentation helps to make sure no additional edits are made. The status is intended as a deterrent and warning but does not completely prevent edits from being made. This is because someone who opens the document can reverse the Mark as Final status and edit the presentation.
Let's see how this works. Start by going to the File menu, select Info and under the Protect Presentation command, click on Mark as Final. Two messages will appear on your screen:
- The first message is to confirm you want to complete your request and let you know that the presentation will be marked as final and then saved.
- The second message gives you more detailed information about the command. You can also choose to not see the message again by selecting the option 'Don't show message again.'
If you click OK to the second message, a Marked as Final message will be added to the ribbon. And notice all the editing commands are hidden:
Editing commands are hidden when the presentation is marked as final.
You can see in the video, if we click on Edit Anyway, the editing commands re-appear (please see the video at 04:14). The Marked as Final status is gone, and we are able to edit the slide.
The ability to add a Marked as Final status is a great feature in PowerPoint, and I use it often. Just keep in mind, if you share the document with someone, this will not completely prevent them from making changes.
So, in this lesson, we learned that PowerPoint can help proof your presentation by running a spell check on the text that you have added to your slides. Some errors are identified with wavy blue or red underlines as you add text. However, you can also run a manual check by going to the Review menu and clicking on the Spelling command. You also learned that by modifying the Proofing options, you have power over how PowerPoint will check your text.
Finally, we learned how to add the status Mark as Final to your presentation. Adding the status hides all editing commands but does not completely prevent someone from making changes. Both of these PowerPoint features will help you produce quality slides for your next presentation.
After you've completed this lesson, you'll have the ability to:
- Recall how to run a spell check on your PowerPoint presentation
- Explain how to customize the Proofing options on PowerPoint
- Discuss the purpose of the Mark as Final command and how to use it