Office challenge: How can you keep others from changing a PowerPoint presentation?

This week's challenge reveals the quickest way to start Word's Macro Recorder and then gives you a chance to test your PowerPoint expertise.

Recently, a colleague was embarrassed when halfway through a presentation, he found a few changes he hadn't made! He had shipped the presentation to his company contact, who took care of setting up the room and equipment. He had checked the equipment and everything worked fine. However, it never occurred to him that someone might have actually changed the presentation. He was fortunate: The changes were subtle, and he actually liked them. But the surprise in the middle of the presentation unnerved him. He stumbled for an awkward second or two before he recovered. Nobody in the audience noticed, but it was unpleasant for him. What would you do to protect your presentation from unexpected changes like these? Last week we asked: What's the quickest way to enable the Macro Recorder in Word? If you know this one, you know how easy it is; if you don't know it, you might be surprised. The quickest way to launch the Macro Recorder is to double-click the REC indicator on the Status bar (at the bottom of the window). Recording your keystrokes is just a double-click away! The problem is that a lot of people ignore the Status bar. That's unfortunate, because it hosts several good shortcuts. Along with REC,  there are three toggle indicators:
  • TRK toggles the Track Changes feature.
  • EXT toggles the extended selection mode.
  • OVR toggles overtype mode.
In addition, if you double-click any of the indicators on the left, from Page to Col, Word will display the Go To tab in the Find And Replace dialog box. This isn't any more efficient than pressing [F5], but some systems disable or usurp the function keys. If you're supporting or working with one of these systems, double-clicking the indicators on the Status bar is a welcome alternative. Double-click the Language indicator to display the Language dialog box. Ultimitloozer was the first to respond with the REC indicator on the Status bar. Happymedia_dz also had the right answer and included instructions for displaying the indicator in Word 2007. Thank you both! What's challenging you this week? Leave a comment and perhaps someone will have the right solution for you.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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