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Inspect Document in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to use PowerPoint 2010’s Inspect Document feature to find and remove confidential or personal information from your presentations.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7

When you create a presentation that you are going to deliver yourself, it rarely matters if you have any content that is invisible to your audience, such invisible content may include your slide notes, comments, document properties. None of these are visible to your audience and you are free to add any information in these areas that will enable you to be better prepared to deliver your slides.

However, if you need to share the same PowerPoint presentation with colleagues, or even publish it online, all unwritten rules about the invisible information change. Most users don't even think twice about all this information simply because of the lack of awareness, but they should because most of this content may include hidden data or personal information that you may not be permitted to share by your company, or even want to share. There may be times that you don't mind sharing this information, but even then, you need to be aware of what exactly you are providing to prying eyes! This information might be stored in the presentation slides or document properties (meta-data). The Inspect Document option in PowerPoint enables you check your presentation for such hidden properties and personal information, and clean whatever information or data you want removed.

Note: It is recommended to create a copy of your presentation before cleaning up the content using the Inspect Document option. You can then share the new copy of your presentation with others, and retain the original copy with yourself just in case you need the information at a later date.

Your PowerPoint presentations can contain the following types of hidden data and personal information:

Category Details
Comments and ink annotations This information can enable other people to see the names of people who worked on your presentation, comments from reviewers, and changes that were made to your presentation. In addition if you used an ink capable device, all your scribbles, doodles, or handwritten notes may be part of the presentation.
Document properties and personal information Document properties, also known as metadata include details about your presentation such as author, subject, and title. If you used specific features, your document might also contain additional kinds of personally identifiable information (PII) such as e-mail headers, send-for-review information, routing slips, and file path information for publishing web pages.
Custom XML data Presentations can contain custom XML data that is not visible in the document itself. The Inspect Document feature can find and remove this XML data.
Invisible on-slide content Your presentation might contain objects that are not visible because they are formatted as invisible in the Selection and Visibility task pane.
Off-slide content PowerPoint presentations can contain objects that are not visible because they were dragged off the slide area into the off-slide area. This off-slide content can include text boxes, clip art, sound files, graphics, and tables.
Presentation notes The Notes section of a presentation can contain text that you might not want to share publicly.
Document server properties If the presentation is saved to a location on a document management server, such as a Document Workspace site or a library based on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, the presentation might contain additional document properties or information related to this server location.

Follow these steps to use the Inspect Document feature to remove hidden data and personal information from your presentation:

  1. Launch PowerPoint, and open any existing presentation for which you want to run the Inspect Document feature. If you made any changes to your slides, do save your presentation before you proceed further. If you do not want to alter your original presentation, save a new copy of your presentation and then proceed.
  2. Access the File menu, and choose the Info option to get to Backstage view, as shown in Figure 1. Thereafter, select the Check for Issues option to bring up a small drop-down menu (see Figure 1 again). From this drop-down menu, select the Inspect Document option, highlighted in red within Figure 1.

    Inspect Document option selected within the Check for Issues drop-down menu
    Figure 1: Inspect Document option selected within the Check for Issues drop-down menu
  3. This opens the Document Inspector dialog box, as shown in Figure 2. Select the check-boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected. At this point of time, you can go ahead and check all boxes, PowerPoint will just find the hidden content at this time and will not remove that content unless you provide your express permission, as we will explore later in this tutorial.

    Document Inspector dialog box
    Figure 2: Document Inspector dialog box
  4. Now, click the Inspect button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2. This will inspect the presentation and display the results within the Document Inspector dialog box as you can see in Figure 3. For any hidden information found, PowerPoint will provide you with options on how you want to deal with the content, do note that any changes you make at this time cannot be undone.

    Document inspection results within the Document Inspector dialog box
    Figure 3: Document inspection results within the Document Inspector dialog box
  5. As you can see in Figure 3, each and every individual inspection result category has a Remove All button next to it. One such button has been highlighted in red within Figure 3. To remove the inspection result of a particular category, just click the Remove All button next to it.
  6. Once done, click the Close button to apply the changes.
  7. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Inspect Document in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Inspect Document in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

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