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How to compress, compact, optimize and shrink PowerPoint presentations

This is unbelievably simple. And I could have figured it out ages ago. But I guess it’s only when you really have a need you set out and find the solution.

We all know about this issue, you sit down and author a PowerPoint presentation. You copy/paste a few cool-looking pictures, and when you’re done, all of a sudden, the resulting PPT is a huge multi-megabyte file.
And we all know the reason right? It’s all those images you’ve pasted. While you shrink their dimensions to fit the slides, they’re really all still there at their original size.

I ran a quick search, and indeed, there’s a super easy solution, even built-in into Microsoft Office XP (2002) onwards:

  1. Click on any picture in your presentation.
  2. You should see the “Pictures Toolbar”. If you don’t, choose the View->Toolbars->Picture option from the menus. Click on the Compress Pictures icon.
  3. You will see the “Compress Pictures Dialog” box. Select All pictures in document. If you are sending the file out for screen viewing and review only, then select the Web/Screen option and both checkboxes Compress pictures and Delete cropped areas of pictures.

Voila. As simple as that!
I ran this super simple procedure on a 10MB file, and the result was a 6MB presentation. What a life saver!
You can read a much longer version over at Microsoft’s Reduce the size of your PowerPoint files page…

Also, don’t forget before sending out any Office document on any file to also run the Microsoft Remove Hidden Data tool – So now your presentation is small, compact, safe and private!


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