How to lock an object, image, or text in PowerPoint?

When working with a presentation, sometimes you may need to use a PowerPoint lock object, lock slide, text, or lock graphic in a specific area of the slide. The locked object cannot be edited, nor can its size and shape, its position on the slide (lock image to a place on PowerPoint or lock an image from moving), or format settings. This is a useful way to protect important information from accidental deletion. But, unfortunately, the lock object function is not currently available in PowerPoint. That’s why you need to use additional plug-ins or non-standard methods to lock it.

powerpoint lock object

How to lock an image, object, or text using the OfficeOne Shape Locker plugin?

There are several plugins and extensions for PowerPoint that allow you to lock objects and images on a slide. The simplest one is OfficeOne Shape Locker.

 

How to use OfficeOne Shape Locker

  1. Go to the OfficeOne Shape Locker plugin download page. 
    OfficeOne Shape Locker for PowerPoint

    OfficeOne Shape Locker for PowerPoint

  2. Download and install the plugin on your computer. You may need to give permission to install software downloaded from the Internet to your computer.
  3. Select an object or several objects, open the “Design” tab, and click the “Lock Shapes” button.

 

OfficeOne Shape Plugin lock on PowerPoint options menu

Plugin lock: OfficeOne Shape on PowerPoint options menu

OfficeOne Shape Locker supports the following versions of PowerPoint: Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 (32-bit, 64-bit), Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 (32-bit, 64-bit), Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 (32-bit, 64-bit), Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007.

OfficeOne Shape Locker supports the following versions of Windows: Microsoft Windows 10 (32-bit, 64-bit), Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32-bit, 64-bit), Microsoft Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit), Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP.

 

Advantages of the plugin

  • A very simple solution that solves the task.
  • Not a big size of the plugin program itself.
  • Does not add any extra functions and does not show any advertising.
  • Has a lot of options that allow you to lock individual functions and settings.
  • It is free.

 

Disadvantages of OfficeOne Shape Locker plugin:

  • Does not work on MAC operating system computers.
  • Very often there are installation problems that make it impossible to use the plugin.
  • In some cases, the locked objects in a PowerPoint presentation stop being locked if the presentation is run on a computer without the OfficeOne Shape Locker plugin installed.

 

How to lock background, object, or text using PowerPoint master slides?

This method is good if you do not need to lock a big number of objects or lock drawing mode in PowerPoint, because you have to create a separate master slide for each slide with lockable objects. If you have many such slides, it will make it harder to find the slide you want to edit.

slide with locked object and background in powerpoint

 

In what cases I recommend this method

  • If you need to lock in important and/or repeated information that is present on all slides of your presentation. For example, you could have your company logo or social media links on each slide. It is also the only right way to lock the background of the presentation.
  • When the number of slides with the locked information does not exceed 10 slides.

 

Instructions

  1. Select the slide with the objects you want to lock. Open the tab with the selection of the master slide to be used on the current slide. Notice the names of the current master slide. 
    Select the slide with the objects you want to lock

    Select the slide with the objects you want to lock

  2. Go to the master slides editing mode. To do this, select the tab “View” > “Slide Master” in the top menu. Find the slide you are using and make a copy of it. 
    Find the master slide and copy it

    Find the master slide and copy it 

    Copy master slide

    Copy master slide

  3. Exit the master slide editing mode. Find the slide with the objects you want to lock. Select these objects and choose the “Cut” function. You can find the “Cut” button in the top menu of the “Home” tab or use the context-sensitive menu (right-click). You can also use the Command+X/ CTRL+X hotkeys. 
    Cut objects you want to lock

    Cut objects you want to lock

  4. Go to the slide master and select the copy of the slide you created earlier. Paste the objects using the “Paste” function. The button is located in the top menu of the “Home” tab, in the context-sensitive menu or using the Command+V/ CTRL+V hotkeys. Exit the master slide editing mode. 
    Paste the objects you want lock in master slide

    Paste the objects you want lock in master slide

  5. Go to the slide where the objects were located earlier. Select the new master slide layout created during previous steps in the top menu, section slide setup, and apply it. Now the objects are locked on the slide and you can edit them only by using master slides. 
    Use master slide with locked object in PowerPoint content slide

    Use master slide with locked object in PowerPoint content slide

  6. Unlock objects. To edit or unlock objects you need to go into the master slide editing mode and make the necessary edits.

This is a great method for fixing a logo or background because this method not only locks the object into a specific area and protects it from accidental editing or deletion, but also allows you to use the same master slide multiple times on multiple content slides.

 

Video tutorial

In this video tutorial, I show you how to quickly lock an object to a slide using master slides.

 

How to lock image, object, or text using a transparent layer in PowerPoint?

This method is a good way to lock elements in PowerPoint and protect objects when presenting a presentation. Of course, it cannot fully “protect” the elements and text object PowerPoint from accidental deletion or editing, but it can serve as an “extra” border.

 

In which cases I recommend this method:

  • When you need to “forbid” clicking on objects with links when showing a presentation.
  • When you need to alert your colleagues to objects that you don’t want to be changed or deleted.
  • If you work with a lot of objects on a slide and thus want to make an additional “barrier” for yourself against accidental moves or deletion.

 

Instructions

  1. Choose the objects you want to lock. If there are several of them, group them together. 
    Choose the objects you want to lock and group

    Choose the objects you want to lock and group

  2. Create a rectangle shape. To do this, in the top menu select “Home” > “Shapes” > “Rectangle”. Draw a rectangle that is larger than the working area of the slide.
    Create a rectangle shape

    Create a rectangle shape

    You can use scaling and set the scale of the working area to 10%. This will make it easier to set the maximum size of the rectangle shape. 
  3. Right-click on the rectangle and open the context-sensitive menu and choose “Format Shape”.
    Format Shape menu

    Format Shape menu

    In the “Shape Options” menu, choose the transparency setting and set it to 100%.
    Choose the transparency setting 100%

    Choose the transparency setting 100%

    Now all the objects you have moved to the background with “Send Back” will be unavailable to you by mouse click. Every time you click on an object, you will choose the top transparent layer. 
    Send Back objects

    Send Back objects

  4. To make changes on the objects you have locked, just move the transparent rectangle layer to the background or remove it.

 

Video tutorial

This is a quick tutorial on how to use the transparent layer method.

Tip: If you’re working on a presentation with your colleagues, make a note that you’re using a transparent layer outside the workspace or in your notes for the slide. 

I used a transparent layer

I used a transparent layer

 

Conclusion

All of the methods suggested are not perfect solutions to this problem. Each of them has significant disadvantages and can only partially solve the problem of locking objects, layers, or pictures in PowerPoint. Let’s hope that Microsoft will be able to implement in the near future the feature of locking objects in the default version of PowerPoint, especially since in competing software this feature is available with a click.

 

This post uses an image from the Storyset

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