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Reducing the Size of Power Point Presentations

If your Power Point or Word documents are larger than 10Mb, you should try compressing (reducing) its file size. Compressing a file's size can be done in a number of ways. In the following paragraphs, you will find tips and techniques for reducing the size of your files without losing the integrity (look) of your file. NOTE:  Do not scan a document as a .TIF file and import it into a document. This will result in a huge file size.

Compressing Pictures
In Microsoft Office XP, there are several ways to find the "Compress Pictures" feature. On the Picture toolbar:

  • Click the "Compress Picture" button. If you do not see the Picture toolbar, select "Toolbars" from the "View" menu. Click "Picture". Additionally, you can right-click the picture, select "Format Picture", and click "Compress".
  • To compress all pictures in the presentation, click "All pictures in document". Under Change resolution, select how you intend to use your presentation by clicking either "Web/Screen" or "Print".
  • To further reduce file size, select the "Delete cropped areas of pictures" check box. Click "OK".

If you compress pictures or delete the cropped areas, you won't be able to restore your pictures to their original resolution or size. It is a good idea to save the newly compressed version as a different file name, retaining the original file as a backup.

Embedded Objects
When objects are embedded in a Power Point Presentation, they are displayed as a Windows Metafile (.WMF) of the original object. WMFs can include bitmap images, but only as uncompressed BMPs. So, if an embedded object's WMF includes any bitmap data, the PPT file drastically increases in size. Dealing with embedded objects is actually quite easy. If you are finished editing the PPT, simply ungroup the embedded objects and then regroup graphics (or spreadsheets, charts, etc). This will convert the objects to Power Point objects, discarding all the data behind it.

Raster Graphics (scans, photos, screen shots and similar images)
When creating presentations that'll be viewed as a screen show, images should be sized to match the resolution of the computer where they'll be shown. In other words, if the PPT is going to be shown on a laptop with an 800x600 resolution, the full-screen images should be 800x600 pixels; anything bigger than that will make the PPT file needlessly large, will slow down the slideshow, or won't add to the image quality (in most cases). Images that take up less than the full screen can be proportionally smaller in size. Speaking of size, "pixels" is all you really need to know. Ignore DPIs, inch size, and the size at which Power Point inserts images. Simply size your graphics correctly in pixels before importing them. After that, you can scale them to full screen in your presentation, if need be.

Slide Masters
When you check your presentation for oversized images and embedded OLE objects as explained above, check the "Slide and Title Master" and "Notes and Handouts Master", as well as the individual slides. Also check each Notes page in Notes view (graphics on the Notes pages don't appear in the Notes pane in Tri-Pane view in Power Point 2000 and later).

Fast Saves
Additionally, by disabling the "Allow Fast Saves" option, they can help to keep file sizes down and avoid problems with corrupted files.

  • Click on Tools/Options
  • On the Save tab, remove the checkmark next to "Allow Fast Saves"
  • Once disabled, select File/Save As and save it again under a new name

Pasted or Drag/Dropped Graphics
If you paste or drag & drop graphics into PowerPoint, you will get a metafile or embedded OLE object in Power Point. Power Point can't compress these, and in fact, it may have to expand the graphics to their full uncompressed size. Instead, you should save your images as .JPEGs, .JPGs, .PNGs, or other file types. Then use Insert/Picture/From File to import the image into PowerPoint. Once the image is in PowerPoint, it's ok to copy and paste it to other slides within the same or other presentations. In fact, doing this can help keep the file size down.

Clip Gallery Pictures
Images inserted via the Clip Gallery can cause a much larger file size jump than the same images inserted via Insert/Picture/From File. Ungrouping then regrouping the pictures will probably help reduce the file size.

Unseen Elements
On the Slide or Master there may be something causing the file size to increase. Simply select Edit/Select All from the menu bar or press "Ctrl+A". Then you can de-select the elements you want to leave alone. Press "Delete" to remove anything that's left selected; visible or not.

Embedded Fonts
When embedding fonts in presentations, the presentation may grow by as much as the size of the font file. Before embedding the font, check the size of the font file. Some of the new Unicode fonts are enormous! If you think this might be the cause of the file size problem, you should select File/Save As, then:

  • If using Power Point 2000, click Tools and remove the check mark next to "Embed TrueType Fonts". Then give the PPT a new name and click Save.
  • If using Power Point XP or Power Point 2003, click Tools/Save Options and remove the check next to "Embed TrueType Fonts". Click OK and then give the PPT a new name and click Save.
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