Imagine this – it’s late at night and you’re finishing up your last few slides for your big presentation tomorrow. You’ve done your final check and your pitch deck is all ready to be sent out. You are finally satisfied with how it looks and click the send button. To your horror, the email bounces back.

Why?

Large attachments are one of the most common causes for bounced emails. These huge files can cause difficulties in sending out emails or even online uploading. Especially in corporate organizations, email filters tend to block large attachments for security’s sake. But if you want to include some images to ensure your presentation design looks great, what do you do?

Worse, in plenty of PowerPoint training courses in the market, few actually teach you different ways to compress your PowerPoint files before sending as an attachment via email or only cover it on Windows or OSX.

Fear not, here are some ways in which you can reduce the size and save space.

Compressing PowerPoint files on Apple OSX

If you own a Mac but still need to use PowerPoint for work, you’re in luck. There are a few ways of compressing PowerPoint files to fit your file limit in organizations with email filters so you won’t need to use file-sharing services like DropBox or Wetransfer.

Method One – Compressing All photos on PowerPoint

More often than not, PowerPoint balloons in size because of high-resolution stock photography that you might include in your presentation. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to quickly compress these files across the whole file.

1. On the file menu, click “reduce compress pictures”

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size

2. Select your compression size according to the table

Unless you’re intending to print the PowerPoint file, you shouldn’t have photos sized at 220ppi. We’ve found that the best setting in most cases is 150ppi – such that it preserves minimal quality for use. If you’re really in the need of smaller sizes, using 96ppi is your last resort.

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

3.Select “delete cropped area”

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

4. Choose “all pictures in this file”

5. Click “Ok”
compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

Method Two – Picture Format

Note that this is, in fact, the same method of compressing the images but gives you more control as to which photos you want to compress and leave the ones you don’t want to in higher resolution.

1. Select the “Picture Format” tab when selecting one or a few images

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

2. Click on the Adjust button
compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

3. Select Compress Pictures
compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

4. Select your compression size according to the table
compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

5. Select “delete cropped area”
compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

6. Choose “all pictures in this file”

7. Click “Ok”
compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

Alternatively, if you wish to be selective about the photos being compressed, PowerPoint provides another option to compress only specific images. Under steps 4 and 6 respectively, you will be able to choose between the option of all pictures or just a selective few.

However, if you wish to retain the size of the slides and still send it to people, you can consider zipping the file. Most of the time, people choose this option in order to keep the resolution at its highest without compromising it.

Method Three – Compressing Before Inserting Images

There will always be a limitation of how small image sizes can be using the inbuilt compression application in PowerPoint. One of the most foolproof ways to ensure file sizes are optimised is to optimise the images even before you insert them into PowerPoint. Here’s how:

1. Reduce the size of images losslessly using browser-based applications

Tools like Tinyjpeg, Tinypng and Smallpdf are great to reduce the size of your files without installing any additional applications on your machine.

2. Optimize the dimensions of your presentation images before inserting into PowerPoint

This step is most commonly overlooked by most executives simply because it’s pretty tedious. It involves ‘pre-cropping’ the images you plan to insert into your presentation even before you try any of the methods before this.

a) The first step is to determine the max dimensions of your slide. You can do this by accessing the ‘slide size’ in the ‘design’ tab.

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

b) Enter ‘Page Setup’ when navigating into ‘Slide Size’ to identify the dimensions of each slide. If you’re using any of the typical slide dimensions like Standard (4:3) or Widescreen (16:9), typically the safe dimension is 1024px x 768px and 1280px 720px respectively.

c) The very next step is to start cropping the images to fit within the slide dimensions. For example, if your image is 3000px x 2000px, cropping it down to size will save you a lot of space. Using sites like https://imageresize.org/, you can quickly resize images to fit your slide canvas.

At the same time, if you’re using raster editing programs like Adobe Photoshop, you can easily reduce the dimensions of your images before saving. Otherwise, site-based tools work too.

Method Four – Zipping Files

This method is best performed at the end and works regardless of whether you actually compressed the images prior or not.

1. Right-click on selected PowerPoint file

2. Select “Compress”

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

3. A zip folder will appear
compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

Ready to be sent out!

Not a Mac user? Fret not! While we do most of our work on MacBooks, we occasionally use other laptops under the Windows operating system as well. For Windows users, the way to reduce file size for Powerpoint presentations can be a little different but follow the steps below and you’re on your way.

Compressing PowerPoint files on Windows

The approach here is very similar to the way it’s done in Mac where you can compress all the images in PowerPoint files with just a few clicks.

1. Select an image or picture in the slides

2. Click the Picture Tools tab on the top ribbon

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

3. Next, select the Format tab

4. Under the adjust segment, click on the Compress icon

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

5. Select your preferred compression size

compressing powerpoint, reducing file size, compress ppt

6. Select “delete cropped area”

7. Choose “all pictures in this file”

8. Click “Ok”

That’s it! Notice the big difference in size?

Now, you’ll be able to send out the emails without worrying about large attachments. These handy ways to cut down on file size have been a lifesaver for us, and we hope they’ll be helpful for you as well. Let us know if you have discovered other methods in the comments section below!

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Jenessa is a marketing executive at HighSpark. In her free time, she enjoys sipping on a hot cup of Starbucks coffee and putting together visually creative presentations.

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