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4 Ways to Shrink PowerPoint Decks Down To Size

Last Updated May 28, 2009 9:08 AM EDT

The average PowerPoint deck can get crazy insane big -- megabytes of images, video, and other rich media can make your presentation too large to e-mail, and even bog down a slugging network connection. I found some useful tips at ghacks for making your PowerPoint presentation as thin as a supermodel's term paper on String Theory.

  • Use the new PowerPoint 2007 format, which uses the PPTX file extension. It's a lot smaller than the old PPT format.
  • Compress your images for the screen. To do that, select any picture in your PowerPoint presentation and click the Format tab. Then click Compress Pictures. If you don't need high quality images in print, click Options and set the target output to Screen. Then click OK a couple of times.
  • Instead of embedding big files (like videos) in your deck, use hyperlinks to access them from network shares or a location on the Web.
  • Save the files as a PDF instead of a PowerPoint deck. By using the "Minimum Size (Publishing Online) setting in the Save As dialog box, you can sometimes make files dramatically smaller.
Following this advice, here's what I managed to do to a typical PowerPoint deck that included a small collection of reasonably-sized images:

Original PowerPoint


Saved as PPTX file


Compressed images to Print size


Compressed images to Screen size


Saved as PDF


Saved as PDF Minimum Size