Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

Reducing the size of your PowerPoint files

PowerPoint files can quickly bloat to huge sizes, typically due to images that are unnecessarily large, specifically:

  • Images that have a very high level of detail (resolution) are indistinguishable from those with much less detail when viewed through a screen or projector, or even printed
  • Images that have been cropped within PowerPoint keep the cropped portions of the image, even though they are invisible to the viewer. Removing the cropped portion of images reduces the size of the file

The good news: it is very easy to reduce the filesize dramatically, with a tool built into PowerPoint.

The bad news: this feature is (as of this writing in Sept. 2009) only available on Windows, but not on Macs.

How to reduce filesize in PowerPoint on a Mac

The easiest way to reduce filesize is probably to put your files on a memory stick (or save them to your Netspace), load them into PowerPoint on a Windows machine, reduce the filesize using the steps outlined below, and re-save them back onto the memory stick.

All public Windows workstations at Wheaton have Powerpoint installed -- including those in the Meneely Language Lab, Library atrium, and Science Center Room A102.

How to reduce filesize in PowerPoint 2007 in Windows

  1. Select any picture, and then click "Picture Tools / Format" tab at the top of the screen
  2. In the Adjust area at the top left, select "Compress Pictures"
  3. A window labeled "Compress Pictures" will appear:
    • Ensure that "Apply to selected pictures only" is not checked
    • Click on "Options...". A dialog window will appear.
      • Ensure that the "Delete cropped areas of pictures" check box has been selected
      • Under "Target output," select one of Print, Screen,or email, depending on how the PowerPoint presentation is to be viewed
      • Click OK to close the Options window
  4. Click OK to perform the image compression

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