Compress Your Microsoft PowerPoint Decks and Make Them Smaller

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated July 5, 2018

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Windows)

Microsoft PowerPoint files can become quite large, particularly if you have added a lot of images in your slide decks and inserted video or audio. Starting in PowerPoint 2010, audio and video is copied into PowerPoint by default rather than linked which can result in inflated file sizes.

There are many strategies you can use to reduce the size of your PowerPoint files. Before trying any of these techniques, save a copy of the PowerPoint file with a new name and work in the copy.

Recommended article: How to Make a Picture Transparent in PowerPoint (and Maintain Aspect Ratio)

If you are a keyboard user, you may want to check out our article No Mouse? Using Keyboard Only Navigation in Microsoft Office.

To view file size in PowerPoint:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Info. In the Properties area, file size is listed beside Size.

Microsoft PowerPoint File Info screen.

Once you’ve completed the strategies below, close and save the PowerPoint file, reopen it and check the file size again.

1. Insert pictures instead of copying and pasting

It’s best to insert pictures, rather than copying and pasting (or dragging and dropping) into the PowerPoint file. When you copy and paste (or drag and drop) an image into a presentation, it can lose compression, change file type and also bring in other data that can increase file size.

To insert a picture into a PowerPoint presentation:

  1. In Normal view, display the slide where you wish to insert a picture.
  2. Click the Insert tab in the Ribbon and click Pictures (2016 or 2013) or Picture (2010). You can also click the Pictures or Picture icon in a placeholder on the slide. A dialog box appears.
  3. Navigate to the location of the picture.
  4. Select the picture and click Insert or double-click the picture.

You also have the option of linking to a picture file by clicking the arrow beside Insert in the Insert Picture dialog box and then choosing Link to File. However, the picture is not actually “in” the file (which reduces file size) and if you email the document, the pictures will not be included. If you use this strategy, it’s best to copy the picture to the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation and be sure to bring the entire folder with you when you deliver the presentation.

2. Compress pictures

One of the most common ways to reduce file size is to compress one or all pictures in a slide deck. You may wish to try this with one picture at a time to be sure you are satisfied with the result after compression.

To compress a picture:

  1. In Normal view, select a picture on a slide.
  2. Click the Picture Tools Format tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click Compress Pictures. A dialog box appears.
  4. Select the check box to Apply only to this picture if you want to compress only the current picture or uncheck this option if you wish to compress all pictures in the presentation.
  5. Select the check box to Delete cropped areas of pictures if you have cropped images and want to permanently deleted the areas you have removed by cropping.
  6. Choose the desired document resolution.
  7. Click OK.

Microsoft PowerPoint compress picture dialog box.

Don’t forget to check pictures in Slide Master View as you may want to compress those images as well.

3. Use smaller image files

Try to insert pictures in smaller sizes if you need to reduce the size of your PowerPoint files. For example, if you are inserting pictures from a digital camera or phone taken at high resolution, this can result in larger PowerPoint decks.

If you need to reduce file size, then you can create, save or send the images at a lower resolution and insert the lower resolution images into your presentation files.

4. Convert images to a different file type

Prior to inserting an image in PowerPoint, you can open it in an image editing program (such as Microsoft Picture Manager or Adobe Photoshop) and then use Save As to save the image in another format.

The format that will result in the smallest size is usually JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group format) or JPG. The JPEG compression algorithm significantly reduces the file size of images.

You can also save images in PowerPoint in different formats:

  1. Right-click the picture.
  2. Select Save As Picture.
  3. In the dialog box, navigate to the folder where you wish to save the image.
  4. Enter a name for the file and select a format such as JPG.
  5. Click Save.
  6. In the PowerPoint presentation, delete the original image.
  7. Click Insert and then click Picture(s).
  8. Navigate to the location with the image you saved.
  9. Double-click the image.

5. Save a copy of images with artistic effects

When you apply an artistic effect to an image, PowerPoint retains two copies of the image (the original and a copy with the artistic effects). This allows the user to reset the image but can significantly increase file size. Compressing pictures also doesn’t normally have any effect on images where you have applied artistic effects.

If you have applied an artistic effect such as blur to an image, you can reduce file size using the following method:

  1. Right-click the image with the artistic effect.
  2. Select Save As Picture. A dialog box appears.
  3. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the image.
  4. Enter a name and select a file type (usually JPG or PNG).
  5. Click Save.
  6. In the PowerPoint presentation, delete the image with the artistic effect.
  7. Click Insert and then click Picture(s).
  8. Navigate to the location with the image you saved with the artistic effect.
  9. Double-click the image.

6. Compress audio and video

In 2010 and later versions of PowerPoint, audio and video files are copied into presentations rather than linked to the original files. You can improve playback performance and reduce PowerPoint file size by compressing audio and video files in your presentation.

Files can be compressed at different quality levels:

  • Presentation Quality – select this option to save space but maintain overall audio and video quality.
  • Internet Quality – select this option and quality will be comparable to media which is streamed over the web.
  • Low Quality – select this option if space is limited, such as when you are sending presentations via e-mail.

Microsoft PowerPoint compress media options.

Note: Some older video file formats may not compress or export properly. Embedded subtitles and alternate audio tracks will be lost in the compression process.

To apply media compression:

  1. Open the presentation that contains the audio or video files you want to compress.
  2. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click Info.
  4. In the Media Size and Performance section, click Compress Media.
  5. Select the desired compression option. A dialog box appears indicating that media compression is in progress. PowerPoint will indicate how much space is saved.
  6. When compression is complete, click Close.

Compress media dialog box in Microsoft PowerPoint.

7. Link to audio or video files

You also have the option of linking to audio or video files. When you insert an audio or video file, click the arrow beside Insert in the Insert dialog box and then choose Link to File. Linked audio or video is not actually “in” the presentation (which reduces file size) and if you email the presentation, the media files will not be included if you have linked to audio or video files. Linking was the default behaviour in PowerPoint 2007 and earlier versions for video and larger audio files.

If you choose to link to audio or video files, t’s best to copy the media files to the same folder as the PowerPoint presentation and be sure to bring the entire folder with you when you deliver the presentation.

Note: You cannot apply certain types of formatting to linked video files.

8. Convert Excel charts and other embedded objects

Embedded objects such as Excel charts can also increase file size. You can convert these embedded objects to images and reduce file size. There are a couple of  ways to convert embedded objects.

One option is to ungroup the object:

  1. Select the chart or embedded object.
  2. Click the Drawing Tools Format tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Select Group and then Ungroup. A dialog box appears asking if you want to convert the object to a PowerPoint object.
  4. Click OK.

Another option is to cut the object and copy it back into the presentation as a picture:

  1. Select the embedded chart or object.
  2. Press Control + X to cut it.
  3. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon.
  4. Click the arrow below Paste to display the drop-down menu and then choose Paste Special.
  5. Select an image type and click OK.

Microsoft PowerPoint paste special dialog box.

You can also break one or more links using the Edit Links command. Check out the related article on How to Break, Update or Change Links to Excel Charts or Worksheets in PowerPoint.

9. Delete extra versions

PowerPoint is set by default to autorecover files in the event of a crash or power outage. This can result in many versions of the same file being saved and, therefore, larger files.

To delete extra versions of a file:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Info. Versions will be displayed in the Manage Presentation or Manager Versions area.
  3. Right-click any of the versions beside Manage Presentation or Manage Versions and choose Delete this Version. A dialog box appears.
  4. Click Yes.

Microsoft PowerPoint delete versions dialog box.

10. Use Save As to remove versions

You can also reduce file size by removing all previous versions using Save As:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Choose Save As.
  3. Navigate to the desired location and name the file with a slightly different name (such as SalesPresentation2).
  4. Click Save.

The easiest way to reduce file size is to save a copy of the file on a regular basis.

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Summary
How to Reduce the Size of Large PowerPoint Files [10 Ways]
Article Name
How to Reduce the Size of Large PowerPoint Files [10 Ways]
Description
You can reduce or compress PowerPoint file size in many ways. You can compress images and media, change saving options and use many other strategies to reduce the size of PowerPoint files.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

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