Remove hidden data and personal information by inspecting presentations

If you plan to share an electronic copy of a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or publish a presentation to the web, it is a good idea to review the presentation for hidden data or personal information that might be stored in the presentation itself or its document properties (metadata (metadata: Data that describes other data. For example, the words in a document are data; the word count is an example of metadata.)). Because this hidden information can reveal details about your organization or about the presentation itself that you might not want to share publicly, you might want to remove this hidden information before you share the presentation with other people.

This article explains how the Document Inspector feature in PowerPoint can help you find and remove hidden data and personal information in your presentations.

In this article


Find and remove hidden data and personal information

You can use the Document Inspector to find and remove hidden data and personal information in PowerPoint presentations that were created in PowerPoint and earlier versions. It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector before you share an electronic copy of your presentation, such as in an email attachment or by publishing it to the Web.

  1. Open the presentation that you want to inspect for hidden data and personal information.
  2. Click the File tab, click Save As, and then type a name in the File name box to save a copy of your original presentation.

 Important   It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector on a copy of your original presentation, because it is not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  1. In the copy of your original presentation, click the File tab, and then click Info.
  2. Under Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then click Inspect Document.
  3. In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the check boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected. For more information about the individual Inspectors, see Information the Document Inspector finds and removes.
  4. Click Inspect.
  5. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box.
  6. Click Remove All next to the inspection results for the types of hidden content that you want to remove from your document.

 Important   

  • If you remove hidden content from your presentation, you might not be able to restore it by clicking Undo.
  • If you want to remove hidden data and personal information from presentations you save in the OpenDocument Presentation (.odp) format, you must run the Document Inspector every time you save the presentation in this format.

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Remove Presentation Notes

  1. Open the presentation that you want to inspect and remove the Presentation Notes.
  2. Click the File tab, click Save As, and then type a name in the File name box to save a copy of your original presentation.

 Important   It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector on a copy of your original presentation, because it is not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  1. In the copy of your original presentation, click the File tab, and then click Info.
  2. Under Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then click Inspect Document.
  3. In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the Presentation Notes check box. For more information about the individual Inspectors, see Information the Document Inspector finds and removes.
  4. Click Inspect.
  5. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box.
  6. Click Remove All next to the inspection results to remove all Presentation Notes.

 Important   

  • If you remove hidden content from your presentation, you might not be able to restore it by clicking Undo.
  • If you want to remove hidden data and personal information from presentations you save in the OpenDocument Presentation (.odp) format, you must run the Document Inspector every time you save the presentation in this format.

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Types of hidden data and personal information

Several types of hidden data and personal information can be saved in a PowerPoint presentation. This information might not be immediately visible when you view the presentation in PowerPoint or as a slide show, but it might be possible for other people to view or retrieve the information from your presentation.

Hidden information can include the data that PowerPoint adds to a presentation to enable you to collaborate on creating the presentation with other people. It can also include information that you deliberately designate as hidden.

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

  • Comments and ink annotations     If you collaborated with other people to create your presentation, your presentation might contain items such as comments or 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.
  • Document properties and personal information     Document properties, also known as metadata (metadata: Data that describes other data. For example, the words in a document are data; the word count is an example of metadata.), include details about your presentation such as author, subject, and title. Document properties also include information that is automatically maintained by Office programs, such as the name of the person who most recently saved a document and the date when a document was created. If you used specific features, your document might also contain additional kinds of personally identifiable information (PII) (personally identifiable information (PII): Any information that can be used to identify a person, such as a name, address, e-mail address, government ID, IP address, or any unique identifier associated with PII in another program.), such as email headers, send-for-review information, routing slips, and file path information for publishing Web pages.
  • Invisible on-slide content     Your presentation might contain objects that are not visible because they are formatted as invisible.
  • Off-slide content     PowerPoint presentations can contain objects that are not immediately visible because they were dragged off the slide into the off-slide area. This off-slide content can include text boxes, clip art, graphics, and tables.
  • Presentation notes     The Notes section of a PowerPoint presentation can contain text that you might not want to share publicly, especially if the notes were written solely for the use of the person who is delivering the presentation.
  • Document server properties     If your presentation was 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.
  • Custom XML data    Presentations can contain custom XML data that is not visible in the document itself. The Document Inspector can find and remove this XML data.

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Information the Document Inspector finds and removes

In PowerPoint, the Document Inspector displays several different Inspectors that enable you to find and remove hidden data and personal information that is specific to PowerPoint presentations. For a list of the different types of hidden data and personal information that the Document Inspector can find and remove from presentations, review the following table.

 Note   If your organization customized the Document Inspector by adding Inspector modules, you might be able to check your presentations for additional types of information.

Inspector name Finds and removes
Comments and Annotations
  • Comments
  • Ink annotations
Document Properties and Personal Information
  • Document properties, including information from the Summary, Statistics, and Custom tabs of the Document Properties dialog box
  • Email headers
  • Routing slips
  • Send-for-review information
  • Document server properties
  • Document Management Policy information
  • Content type information
  • File path for publishing Web pages
Invisible On-Slide Content
  • Objects that are not visible because they are formatted as invisible

 Note   This Inspector does not detect objects that are covered by other objects.

Off-Slide Content
  • Content or objects that are not immediately visible in a presentation because they are located outside the slide area, including:
    • Clip art
    • Text boxes
    • Graphics
    • Tables

 Note   The Document Inspector does not detect or remove off-slide objects with animation effects.

Presentation Notes
  • Text that was added to the Notes section of a presentation

 Note   The Document Inspector cannot remove pictures that are added to the Notes section of a presentation.

Custom XML Data
  • Custom XML data that might be stored within a presentation

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010