One of my favorite and most often-used features in Microsoft Word is Track Changes. For the uninitiated, Track Changes lets the document creator see what changes an editor makes to an original document. Unfortunately, while PowerPoint has a Review tab, it is limited to adding comments — it has no Track Changes feature. So reviewers have to get creative in referencing the original content and then making note of suggested changes using comments.
Workshare Compare for PowerPoint gives you the ability to compare two PowerPoint files and see the differences between them. While it doesn’t track changes while you edit the PowerPoint file, like Word does, it does give you the ability to see the changes that have been made between versions of a presentation.
You can select which version of the slide (either original or modified) you wish to keep right inside Workshare, much like Word’s accept/reject feature. The interface clearly shows which is which, and outlines the changes in the detailed summary at the bottom. The easy-to-use interface takes no effort to figure out, so you can get right to work. I made a quick screencast to show you how it works:
The biggest drawback to Workshare is the cost of a license. (A 14-day free trial is available.) One license of Workshare Compare for PowerPoint retails for
$199$145 per license per user for one year. If you don’t renew the license, the software stops working. (Note: There are two editions of Workshare Compare, one of which is for PowerPoint and the other for comparing PDF and Word documents.)
Personally, I don’t edit PowerPoint presentations enough to justify this cost on an annual basis, and I believe that many people will agree with me. Those who edit and share PowerPoint presentations on a regular basis and frequent presenters will benefit most from the application, but the subscription-based fee may be a barrier.
Have you tried Workshare Compare for PowerPoint? Do you think it is worth the cost?