How to reduce the size of your PowerPoint file?

Summary: Several tips you have to learn to compress PowerPoint presentation and reduce the size of PowerPoint file.
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You have a big PowerPoint file of over 20 MB. The presentation file contains a good many of pictures. You need to make it smaller for both slim memory on your PC and easier emailing to others.

To reduce the file size of a big PowerPoint presentation, you can follow these 6 tips:

1. Compress images in the PowerPoint file. First thing comes first: reducing size of slide images. Images, esp. photos larger than 1024 × 768 pixels, may take up a lot of space in PowerPoint. To slim your PowerPoint presentation generally means to compress images in the slides. To reduce image size in your presentation, do the following:
In PowerPoint 2002 and later, use the Compress Pictures tool bar within to reduce the image size of a presentation. Click on the picture for compression to enable the Picture Tools tab. Choose Compress Pictures under the toolbar. Under the Format tab, select Compress Pictures option.

To customize compression settings of your slide pictures, click on the Options button at the bottom left of the dialog box.
  • Under Compression options, you can tick "Automatically perform basic compression on save "and/or" Delete cropped areas of pictures".
  • From Target Output, choose a proper output resolution from the listed 3 options (Resolution for Print, Screen, and Email) for your slide pictures.
  • Then, click OK to save your compression settings.
To apply the compression settings, click OK in the bottom middle of the Compress Pictures dialog box.

For PowerPoint 2000 or earlier, follow these steps to compress a picture:

  • Click on the picture you want to compress. Click Copy on the Edit menu.
  • On the Edit menu, first click Copy, then Paste Special. Select JPG for photos and scans. Alternatively, click PNG for images with large areas of flat color or pictures that contain text or fine details.

Note: It is recommended that you save pictures as a compressed graphic format like JPG, GIF,TIF, WMF before inserting to PowerPoint. Avoid fat graphic formats like BMP.

2. Turn off Fast-saves & Re-save the PowerPoint file

If you use PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003, turn off Fast-saves when enabled in your presentation. Go to the Tools menu -> Options -> Save to uncheck the Allow fast saves check box. This will help remove excess data (e.g. earlier drafts, used images) from your presentation each time you click the Save button.
Furthermore, resave the presentation to reduce the redundant data by fast-saves. Go to File (PowerPoint 2003 or earlier)/Office Button (PowerPoint 2007) -> Save As, and save it again under a new name. Next, click OK.

3. Insert Pictures by hyperlinking to PowerPoint

To use a picture in your PowerPoint presentation, you can insert either by the Hyperlink or the Embed method. For a slim PowerPoint file, you’d better insert a link of a picture rather than the picture itself to your presentation. Coz inserting a picture as linked makes it independent from the presentation file. Do the following to link a picture to PowerPoint:

  • Go to the slide you want to add in a picture, go to Insert -> Picture.
  • In the prompt Insert Picture interface, click on the picture you want to use, click the little down arrow beside the Insert button, and select Link to File.

Note: Always ensure that linked picture files and the PowerPoint presentation are placed in the same folder. Otherwise, the hyperlinked picture will not work when you move to another computer.

4. Avoid big fonts like Unicode in PowerPoint

Font files, especially some new fonts like Unicode, may also increase the size of your PowerPoint presentation. Check the size of font file before you embed it to PowerPoint. Do not embed fonts with big size in your presentation.

5. Do not save your PowerPoint file to a earlier version

Generally, a PowerPoint file is smaller when saved in a later version than an earlier one. When you save your PowerPoint presentation in 2007 (.pptx) to a 97-2003 version (.ppt), it grows in file size.
Meanwhile, if you use PowerPoint 97 or later, do not save the presentation file to PowerPoint 1995 version or earlier. Coz PowerPoint 95 doesn't compresses images.  PowerPoint 97 and later with image compression feature have to uncompress images to make them compatible with PowerPoint 95.

6. Convert the PowerPoint file to smaller flash video

If you are still in trouble after the above trials, you can try to convert the PowerPoint presentation to video that is smaller and easier for distribution and playback across platforms. For easy and efficient video creation out of PowerPoint, you can take a solid conversion app like Moyea PPT to Video Converter. The dedicated PowerPoint to video tool is able to reduce the size of the selected presentation by 10%.
You don’t need to attach the loose PowerPoint file to email. Instead, you email your presentation work with an embed code after uploading it to video hosting sites like YouTube. Then, any recipient, with or without PowerPoint, can have full access to you video slideshow with a media player.

MS PowerPoint is great for authoring a project. However, it has limitations that degrade its magic. Big PowerPoint files are not friendly to web distribution. Following the tips above, you can reduce the size of your presentation to some extent and send your ideas hassle-free.