Google Presentations and Tolkien Lectures

I spent a good couple of hours this afternoon building the next couple of lectures for my Tolkien class. It’s been interesting. Partly because it’s Tolkien, of course, but also because I’m doing the slides using Google Presentations instead of PowerPoint. I’d frankly grown tired of being forced to remember my thumbdrive every day; better to just have the slides sitting in my GMe cloud (I should trademark that).

Anyway, I have to admit that I’m pretty impressed with Presentations overall. Not as fancy as PowerPoint, but for my needs it’s almost entirely adequate.

Except, well, there’s a couple of things I don’t like. Foremost among them are the sharing options. I can’t seem to figure out a way to save a presentation such that folks can’t just open the thing up and copy my notes out of it.

Here’s the situation. A number of my students would like to have access to the slides at home, mostly for personal studying, though a few want to pass them along to family and friends who are trying to follow along with my class from a distance. (By the way, that doesn’t ever seem to happen much when I teach Chaucer.) I have no problem with such a thing on principle, but at the same time I don’t want people to take what are essentially my lecture notes and then redistribute them as if they were their own.

What I need is a “locked down” slide presentation, and Google Presentations just doesn’t seem to have it.

So sorry, students and back-home-followers. No distributing of slides unless someone can show me a solution.


  1. Can't you just put a copyright notice at the bottom?

  2. Sure. But the problem is that I can't find any way that the document isn't fully editable by anyone in the world. So a person would just delete that line. It boggles my mind that there isn't a way to manage an entirely read only doc, but I haven't figured it out yet.

  3. It’s pretty manual, but other folks have worked around this problem. You can make a copy of the original presentation and strip out the notes, then publish that copy in view only mode.

  4. I’ll try that again, Gabe, thanks.

    Maybe I didn’t do something right last time, but it seems like that still allowed people to edit the slides at will. Even in “View Only” mode they had the option to save the presentation in their own Google Docs and then do whatever they wanted with it.

    I can’t stop folks from pausing at each slide and recopying it, but I’d prefer that they can’t just cut and paste ’em.

  5. So basically you’re wanting to be able to publish a presentation that doesn’t have the “create a copy” option, right? Yeah, I can’t figure out a way for that, either…. Hmmm….

  6. Try this.

    When making a document go up to the top right-hand corner where it says “Share”. Click the drop-don arrow and hi “Invite people”. this will bring up a small box, click on the title that says “Invite people”. Then you can type e-mails into the box and choose the View only option.

    Hope this helps.

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