Can I lock a shape, image or object in PowerPoint? Yes!

New Features  

With PPT Productivity add-in for PowerPoint you can now lock shapes, images or other objects in PowerPoint! Unlocking shapes locked using PPT Productivity plugin is only possible using PPT Productivity. By comparison - Standard PowerPoint is slowly introducing an object locking feature to Office 365, but it can be unlocked easily and does not prevent text editing.

PPT Productivity is a time saving add-in with 100+ features including shape locking. PPT Productivity offers a free 30 day trial.

How to lock objects in PowerPoint?

With PPT Productivity's PowerPoint Shape Locker function you can lock any object, shape, image or placeholder on a slide.  ‘Locking’ the object prevents you (or others!) from accidentally moving it.  With the shape locker feature you can lock a picture in PowerPoint. You can lock a table in PowerPoint. You can lock any object that you can add to the slide. To lock a shape in PowerPoint (or lock an image, object, placeholder or table), first save your file locally, then select the object to lock and click the Shape locker feature on the PPT Productivity ribbon.

PowerPoint Lock Object how to video

How to lock an image in PowerPoint?

PPT Productivity's PowerPoint Shape Locker function also lets you lock an image or picture to your PowerPoint slide.  Before locking the image, make sure you first complete any preparation such as cropping, then click the Shape Locker feature.

Can I lock objects to the Slide Master in PowerPoint?

You can also lock objects to your Master Slide layouts with the ShapeLocker feature for PowerPoint! This means if someone accesses the master slides in a presentation, the shape lock will freeze the object and prevent them from accidentally moving, removing or editing the object. A great example is to lock copyright text in PowerPoint. For example, to make sure the copyright text appears on all slides in a presentation, you can add this to the PowerPoint master slide and lock it into position.

PowerPoint lock object Slide Master how to video

Can I unlock shapes that have been locked?

Yes! Shapes that have been locked in your PowerPoint presentation can be unlocked easily if you are using PPT Productivity Power Tools.

  • Simply select the slide/s containing the locked shape(s) you need to unlock, then click ‘Unlock shapes’ (Found beneath the Lock Shape icon on the PPT Productivity Ribbon).
  • The file will again close momentarily and reopen. Previously locked shapes (on your selected slide(s) will now be unlocked and can be moved and edited like any other shape or object.
  • Note: you need PPT Productivity Power Tools software installed to be able to unlock shapes which have been locked by this feature.

How can I get the PowerPoint Shape Locking functions?

If you are already using PPT Productivity Power Tools, you should see the Shape Locking tool appear on the top ribbon on the PPT Productivity tab in the ‘Shapes’ group.

Screenshot of PowerPoint ribbon showing PPT Productivity shape lock feature
PPT Shape Lock feature

If you can’t see the button, go to the help menu on the PPT Productivity Ribbon and select ‘Check for new software’ to download the latest version of PPT Productivity, then relaunch PowerPoint. Please note – in some organizations, upgrades to the software are controlled by your IT team.  If you’re unsure, contact us and we can confirm what the process is in your organization for accessing updates.

Limitations of the standard PowerPoint lock feature

Microsoft has started introducing a shape locking feature to users on subscription versions of Office as of 2023 (noting that Microsoft has not made the feature available to users who purchased Office outright). The object locking feature Microsoft is introducing in subscription Office has some limitations:

  • More users can unlock the objects if locked with the standard Microsoft feature: PPT Productivity's feature for object locking restricts the unlocking feature - only other PPT Productivity users can unlock objects that were locked using PPT Productivity.
  • The standard object locking feature does not prevent text editing: PPT Productivity's shape locking feature locks the text in a textbox but the standard object locking feature that Microsoft is introducing allows text in textboxes to be edited.

How to lock a shape so others can't edit or change it? Luckily PPT Productivity lets you lock text boxes to prevent text editing (note - if you want to create a locked object with editable text, you can use a single cell table for this option). The PPT Productivity unlock feature can also unlock any objects locked with the standard PowerPoint locking feature.

Can I use PPT Productivity add-in on a Mac?

PPT Productivity add-in for PowerPoint was built for PCs and the team are working on a version for PowerPoint for Mac. But we're happy to tell you that in the interim, you can use a virtual PC solution like Parallels Desktop for Mac and run PPT Productivity on it. This means you can use all PPT Productivity's features including Shape locking on your Mac via a virtual PC.  Learn more about using Parallels Desktop for Mac.

Want to create polished presentations faster? With PPT Productivity, boost your team's productivity with faster formatting, easier editing, collaboration tools and more! If you're not yet using PPT Productivity, download our free 30 day trial today. We offer free one-on-one training and flexible licensing to suit individuals, teams or enterprise.

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