#221 The Biggest Loser: PowerPoint Edition

Have you ever worked on a presentation where your file size quickly ballooned out of control and you had no idea why? Usually this is due to the images or photos you’ve put on your slides. Your own photographs from your camera are frequently one of the a prime suspects for this problem. (But they certainly aren’t the only one.)

This week we’ll see a super simple trick that will help you shave up to 90% or more off the file size of your PowerPoint presentations. Think of it as Microsoft’s version of the Biggest Loser. Just the other day, I shrank a presentation from over 52MB down to less that 2.5MB using this method.

Note: The following steps apply for PowerPoint 2002/XP and later. If you have PowerPoint 2000 or earlier go the http://aps and get Office XP (AEP folks only-the rest of you are probably already beyond both of these versions.)

The Menu Way:

1. Right-click on any picture in your presentation, and then click Format Picture on the shortcut menu.

2. In the Format dialog box, click the Picture tab, and then click the Compress button.

3. Under Apply to, do one of the following:

Usually, you’ll want to compress all the pictures in your presentation, so select All pictures in document.

4. Under Change resolution, do one of the following:

If your presentation will be used for a screen show, click Web/Screen.

If you plan to distribute your presentation as printed pages, click Print.

Personally, I’ve never been able to see a difference so I always go with Web/Screen which will give a smaller file size.

5. Under Options, select the Compress pictures check box and the Delete cropped areas of pictures check box. (Just be sure you won’t want them back later!)

6. Click OK.

7. If prompted, click Apply in the Compress Pictures dialog box.

PowerPoint compresses the picture or pictures for you automatically.

The Toolbar Way:

You can also use the Compress Pictures button on the Picture compress your pictures.

Here are the steps to do this if you have PowerPoint 2007/2010

Of course, when you create these presentations you are keeping the text off your slides right? Do we need to talk about that too? You and your audience will be MUCH better off if you do! If you’re curious, ask me about my campaign to rid the world of bullet points and text-laden slides.

9 thoughts on “#221 The Biggest Loser: PowerPoint Edition

  1. Laura, you have to pay extra to see the images! LOL! I’ll be looking for a commission check soon. I expect 20% of all revenue generated from the all wowing of clients & friends!8-)


  2. Great tip! I just forwarded the email version of this tip to a friend who had this very problem a couple weeks ago.

    FYI – I can’t see the pictures on this page — but it sounds like everyone else does, so maybe it’s just asetting on my system.

    Thanks for all the great tips Mike — you save me a lot of time wowing my clients & friends. 😉


  3. I have iWork ’08 and don’t see an option like that, but Keynote ’09 apparently does have a Reduce File Size option, which I found at this Apple Help site – http://www.apple.com/findouthow/iwork/#keynote09-reducepresentation

    Reduce the File Size of Your Presentation
    If you add a lot of multimedia content — such as photos and movies — to your presentation, your Keynote document might get very large.

    There’s an easy way to reduce a Keynote document’s file size — by removing the unused parts of the media.

    To reduce the size of a Keynote document:

    Save your document.
    Make sure no media files on the slide canvas are selected, and then choose File > Reduce File Size.
    After you’ve reduced the file size of your Keynote document and then saved it again, you won’t be able to restore the images to a larger size or access the unused parts of your media files. It’s a good idea to back up your presentation before using this feature.

    To learn more, see “Reducing Image File Sizes” and “Reducing the Size of Media Files” in Keynote Help.


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