Create Word Handouts From PowerPoint With Smaller File Size

Reduce File Size When Converting PowerPoint to Word Handouts

 There is no perfect solution to convert PowerPoint slides to a Word handout, but I have found a workaround. This is a three-part process — (three quick and easy steps, I must add) — to make the Word handouts of your PowerPoint slides. The resultant file size will be a fraction of the size of the file created using the traditional steps to do this task. Let’s get started.

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Create Pictures from the PowerPoint Slides

Save PowerPoint slides as PNG picture files
Save PowerPoint slides as PNG picture files. © Wendy Russell

This may seem like an odd thing to do, but the additional benefit, besides the smaller file size, is that the pictures will not be editable. As a result, no one can alter the content of your slides.

  1. Open the presentation.
  2. Choose File > Save As. The Save As dialog box will open.
  3. The default location to save your presentation is shown at the top of the dialog box. If this is not the desired location to save your file, navigate to the correct folder.
  4. In the Save as type: section near the bottom of the dialog box, click the button that displays PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx) to display the different options for saving.
  5. Scroll down the list and select PNG Portable Network Graphics Format (*.png). (Alternatively, you may select JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg), but the quality is not as good as the PNG format for photos.)
  6. Click Save.
  7. When prompted, choose the option to export Every slide.
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PowerPoint Creates a Folder for the Pictures Made from Slides

Options for Word handouts when converting from a PowerPoint presentation
Options for Word handouts when converting from a PowerPoint presentation. © Wendy Russell
  1. The next prompt indicates that PowerPoint will make a new folder for the pictures, in the location you chose earlier. This folder will be called the same name as the presentation (minus the file extension).
    For example - My sample presentation was called powerpoint to word.pptx so a new folder was created called powerpoint to word.
  2. 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 to pictures of the slides, but that is optional.
  3. Your pictures of the slides are now ready for the next step.
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Insert Pictures into New Presentation Using Photo Album Feature

Create PowerPoint Photo Album
Create PowerPoint Photo Album. © Wendy Russell
  1. Click File > New > Create to start a new presentation.
  2. Click on the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click Photo Album > New Photo Album…
  4. The Photo Album dialog box opens.
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The PowerPoint Photo Album Dialog Box

Insert pictures of slides into a new PowerPoint photo album
Insert pictures of slides into a new PowerPoint photo album. © Wendy Russell
  1. In the Photo Album dialog box, click on the File/Disk… button.
  2. The Insert New Pictures dialog box opens. Note the file folder location in the upper text box. If this is not the correct location containing your new pictures, navigate to the correct folder.
  3. Click in the blank white space in the dialog box so that nothing is selected. Press the shortcut key combination Ctrl + A to select all the photos from your presentation. (Alternatively, you may insert them one at a time, but that seems counter-productive if you want to use all of the slide photos.)
  4. Click the Insert button.
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Fit Pictures to Size of PowerPoint Slide

Choose option in PowerPoint photo album to 'Fit pictures to slides'
Choose option in PowerPoint photo album to 'Fit pictures to slides'. © Wendy Russell
  1. The last option in this process is to choose the layout/size of the photos. In this case, we will choose the default setting of Fit to slide, since we want our new pictures to look exactly like the original slides.
  2. Click the Create button. New slides will be created in the presentation containing all the photos of your original slides.
  3. Delete the first slide, the new title slide of this photo album, as it is unnecessary for our purposes.
  4. The new presentation appears to the viewer as if it was the same presentation as the original.
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Create Handouts in Word from New PowerPoint Slides

Examples above show the difference is resultant file size when converting slides to Word handouts
Examples above show the difference is resultant file size when converting slides to Word handouts. © Wendy Russell

Now that you have inserted the pictures of the original slides into the new presentation file, it is time to create the handouts.

Important: It should be indicated here that if the presenter had made speaker notes on his original slides, those notes will not carry over to this new presentation. The reason for this is that now we are using pictures of the slides which are not editable for content. The notes were not part of, but were in addition to the original slide, and therefore did not transfer.

In the image shown above you will see the resultant handouts along with the file properties of the two different presentations, for comparison.

  • The file size of the handouts created from the original presentation was 15.8 MB. Speaker notes were present on the handouts.
  • The file size of the handouts in the presentation created from the pictures of the same slides was 2.05 MB, a huge difference. No notes appear on these handouts.