How to keep dates/times from showing up in PowerPoint comments?
January 8, 2019 9:48 AM   Subscribe

I am working on an PowerPoint 2016 document in which I have inserted a large number of comments. I noticed that each comment shows the exact date and time I posted it, but I would like to remove this information - partly for privacy reasons, partly so my client does not know how slow (and ADD-addled) I work. Is there a way to go about doing this? (I tried Googling the answer with no luck)

Thank you in advance!
posted by CottonCandyCapers to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
If you edit the comment does it update the time? Because I would sweep through all of them if so...
posted by DarlingBri at 9:53 AM on January 8

You can do this by diving into the XML of the unzipped pptx file( PowerPoint files are actually a collection of extremely complex XML documents) but I do not know where exactly the comments live.
posted by rockindata at 10:31 AM on January 8 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm testing the XML now! It looks like it should work. Here's an overview of how to get in there.

Editing the XML files works for me on PCs, but not on my Mac.

Once you've gotten into the XML data by creating a zip file, then opening it as that overview describes, there is a Comments folder.

Each comment has an individual XML file that includes the date edited in this format: "dt="2019-01-08T08:47:22.848" You should be able to edit that to a more desirable date/time. You can also experiment with deleting this.

All of this should be first done on a duplicated test file of the PowerPoint before doing it consistently. And only you can determine if all this effort is worth it :). Plus, honestly, if I were you I would be concerned about messing with the XML this much.

I can tell you, sometimes I worry about the same exact thing with my comment timestamps with my clients, and I really don't think they care as long as the work is getting done.
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 10:40 AM on January 8

Previously on removing timestamps in comments in MS Word 2016. I figure it must be a similar process.
posted by homesickness at 10:44 AM on January 8

I apologize in advance for not exactly answering your question, but I recommend you just own your late-night-random-time datestamps. The client probably won’t notice, and if they do, they won’t care or think any differently of you. They care about your work product, not your process. I’ve worried about this too but ultimately it’s better for my mental health when I just own it.
posted by samthemander at 10:30 PM on January 8

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