Office 2011 for Mac: Editing Coauthored PowerPoint Presentations

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

When editing coauthored presentations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, you can switch views, change the content of slides and slide notes. You can work with media, transitions, and animations. You can even work with masters.

Detecting coauthors in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

While collaborating, the status bar at the bottom-left of the window indicates how many people are collaborating and whether any collaborators have saved updates (changes) to the server. Clicking the coauthors button displays a list of coauthors. Clicking the name of a coauthor displays the presence indicator for that author.


When a new coauthor joins the collaboration, his or her name flashes briefly at the coauthor’s button and the number of authors changes.

In addition to the status bar indicators, while in Normal view, the Slides pane displays a badge to the left of the slide preview. If you click the badge, you see who else is editing that particular slide. The badge appears only on slides that were changed by a coauthor, and those changes have not yet been synchronized to your computer.

Synchronizing your changes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

PowerPoint’s Save feature activates the synchronization process. Any coauthor can send changes to the server and at the same time incorporate other coauthor changes as follows:

  • Click the Save button on the Standard toolbar. The Save button has little arrows on it while in coauthoring mode.

  • Press Command-S.

  • Click the Updates Available button located at the bottom-left of the window. Choose Save or Save and Review.

You don’t have to worry about editing the same slide as another coauthor. If more than one coauthor edits the same slide, PowerPoint’s Compare Changes feature will automatically activate so you can accept or reject changes.

Ending an editing session in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

The best way to end a coauthoring session is for each coauthor to save and resolve any conflicts before closing the presentation so that no one has updates waiting. The presentation file is stored on SkyDrive or SharePoint, and of course, any coauthor can save a copy locally on his or her own computer if desired.

If a session terminates abnormally (for example, if a network problem develops and your computer could not synchronize changes you made with the server), that’s covered, too. A small application called Upload Center runs in the background but shows itself if there’s a problem. Upload Center gives you an opportunity to try saving to the server again by clicking OK, or to cancel the attempt to synchronize your changes.