Reduce File Size When Converting PowerPoint to Word Handouts

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It is possible to reduce the file size when converting PowerPoint presentations to Word files. There is no perfect solution, but there is a workaround. This workaround uses a three-part process to make Word handouts from your PowerPoint slides. The resulting file size is a fraction of the size of the file created using the traditional steps to do this task.

This article applies to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; PowerPoint for Office 365, and PowerPoint for Mac.

Create Pictures from the PowerPoint Slides

Before converting your PowerPoint presentation to a Word docment, turn your PowerPoint slides into pictures. In addition to making the presentation file size smaller, the pictures cannot be edited.

To save a PowerPoint presentation as PNG images:

  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation.

  2. Select File > Save As. In PowerPoint for Mac, select File > Export.

  3. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the presentation.

  4. In the File Name text box, enter a name for the presentation.

  5. In the Save as type list, select PNG Portable Network Graphics Format (*.png).

    A screenshot showing how to save a presentation in PNG format in PowerPoint

    Presentations can also be saved as JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg), but the quality is not as good as the PNG format for photos.

  6. Select Save. In PowerPoint for Mac, select Export.

  7. When prompted, choose All Slides to save every slide in the presentation to PNG format.

PowerPoint Creates a Folder for the Pictures

PowerPoint makes a new folder for the pictures, in the location you chose. This folder has the same name as the presentation (minus the file extension) and each slide is now a picture. The file names for these pictures are Slide1.PNG, Slide2.PNG, and so on. You may choose to rename the slides, but this is optional.

Insert Pictures into New Presentation

The next step is to create a photo album that contains the PNG images of each slide.

  1. Select File > New to start a new presentation.

  2. Select Blank Presentation to open a new presentation that doesn't contain any content.

  3. Select Insert.

  4. Select Photo Album to open the Photo Album dialog box.

  5. Select File/Disk to open the Insert New Pictures dialog box.

    A screenshot showing the Photo Album dialog box in PowerPoint
  6. Navigate to the folder that contains the PNG images and select all the slide images.

    A screenshot showing how to select slides for a photo album in PowerPoint
  7. Select Insert to return to the Photo Album dialog box.

Fit Pictures to Size of PowerPoint Slide

The last step in this process is to choose the layout and size of the photos.

  1. In the Photo Album dialog box, select the Picture layout down arrow and choose Fit to slide.

    A screenshot showing images to be used in a PowerPoint photo album
  2. Select Create. New slides are created in the presentation containing all the photos of your original slides.

  3. Delete the first slide. PowerPoint adds a title slide to the presentation. This slide is not necessary.

Create Handouts in Word from New PowerPoint Slides

Now that you have inserted the pictures of the original slides into the new presentation file, it is time to create the handouts. Follow our original guide on the different ways you can save your new PowerPoint presentation as a Word document, but now with a smaller file size.