#266 Copy/Paste vs Inserting Images

I’m guessing that a pretty big percentage of images used in PowerPoint come from the web. And
I’m also guessing that most people may realize that most images on the web have been compressed in some way to provide a balance of quality & small file size.

What I don’t think many people realize is that when you copy & paste images directly from the web into PowerPoint that you lose much of that compression and wind up with a bigger file size than you need to have.

The reason is that whenever a picture is copied to the computer’s clipboard and then pasted into PowerPoint (or Word, etc) the picture is pasted as a bitmap—regardless of the file format of the original picture. Bitmap file sizes are much larger and have less detail which leaves you with a much larger Word or PowerPoint file than necessary, particularly if you have used multiple images this way.

So instead of copying & pasting directly from the web into your document, you should save them first and then Insert them via the Insert menu instead.

I did a quick test with the following results:


File Size (kb)

Copy & Paste


Copy & Paste (Compressed)




Notice that even after using PowerPoint’s option for compressing the pasted images, the file size was still larger than the file using inserted images.

7 thoughts on “#266 Copy/Paste vs Inserting Images

  1. gerg says:

    in powerpoint, click on any picture…. go to format up top, then compress pictures…
    from there options lets you compress all pics in the doc according to whether you want to print, show on screen or email..


  2. Trena says:

    I, too, did not understand the reason for file size getting out of hand so quickly with copying images. I’ll definitely benefit from this tip! Thanks a bunch.


  3. Laura says:

    Thanks Mike,

    Another great tip. I’ve always known that inserting the file resulted in smaller file size but I didn’t know why. Interesting to see that after compression it was still better when inserted.


  4. Andy says:

    But it’s such a pain generating a filename, getting the location, saving the file, then inserting. Do you have any shortcuts with less steps, assuming you don’t want to save the image on your hd?


    • I hear you Andy. I guess it’s personal preference btw convenience and file size depending on what you’re working on. One thing you might try is save them in a folder then if you have both the folder and PowerPoint open you can drag the saved image file directly into PowerPoint. That’s only one more small step from pasting directly from the web. What do you think of that option?


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