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Compressing images in PowerPoint (or Word)

With digital cameras taking pictures at higher and higher resolutions, people are ending up with very large PowerPoint presentations, or Word files (if they include pictures) which often causes problems when trying to upload it to say a VLE, as well as increasing the time it takes for the student to open the file when accessing it from home.

In earlier versions of PowerPoint and Word there wasn’t much you could do with this, unless you edited the images beforehand in some graphics software. However in Office 2003 and later, there is a quick and easy solution as follows:-

Save your presentation somewhere safe with the images full resolution. Then save it again (e.g. file, save as. choose a different name) so you can create a lower resolution version of the file.

  1. Click on any picture in the file, you should see a picture toolbar appear (it may be floating, it may be at the bottom of the screen) – if it doesn’t then go to View, Toolbars, tick next to ‘Picture’
  2. On this toolbar there should be an icon called ‘Compress Images’ – it is an image of a picture with 4 inward pointing arrows.
  3. Compress Picture Option in PowerPoint
  4. Click on this icon – it should open a new window.
  5. Select the option for ‘All images in document’ – this will compress all the images, not just the one that is selected.
  6. Lower down it asks you to choose what to compress it to, choose Web/Screen – then click on OK
  7. Save the file, and see how much smaller it now is. You should also notice that when viewed on screen, or via a projector you won’t be able to notice the difference the resolution.

3 Responses

  1. Thanks for this.

    Useful for decreasing the size of a PPT so I could upload it to Google Docs which has a 10MB limit.

  2. Amazing – shrunk a file of 455 Mb down to 1.12 in almost no time; also works in MS word

    To get the toolbar up, you can also right click on an image.

  3. You can also try using a piece of optimization software like NXPowerLite. Really quick and easy to use and will drop file size by LOADS!

    You can download a free version from here: http://www.neuxpower.com/products/nxpowerlite-desktop/solutions/compress-powerpoint/?ld=n

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