How to Reduce PowerPoint File Size

Learn how to optimize your next presentation

What to Know

  • Crop images or compress them to reduce file size. To compress photos, go to Picture Tools FormatCompress Pictures.
  • To compress media files, select File > Info > Compress Media.
  • If some of your slides are content-heavy, turn a slide into a single image. Then, insert that image onto a slide.

Sometimes PowerPoint presentation files become too large to handle. These large files are difficult to email because many email providers limit the size of email attachments. And, large presentation files may not play properly on older computers. To keep your PowerPoint files in hand, follow these tips and make your PowerPoint presentations as small as possible.

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Crop Pictures

Crop an image in PowerPoint

Cropping pictures in PowerPoint has two bonuses for your presentation. First, stuff in the picture that's not necessary to make your point is removed. Second, the overall file size of your presentation is reduced. 

  1. Right-click the image you want to crop and select Crop.
  2. Drag the cropping handles to select the area you want to crop.
  3. Select a blank area of the presentation slide to view the cropped photo.
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Compress Photos

Compress photos in PowerPoint

Compress the photos after they are inserted to reduce their file size.

  1. Select a photo in the slideshow.
  2. Go to Picture Tools Format.
  3. Select Compress Pictures in the Adjust group.
  4. Clear the Apply only to this picture check box to compress all photos in the presentation.
  5. Place a check next to Delete cropped areas of pictures.
  6. Select OK.
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Compress Media Files

Compress media in PowerPoint for Windows

In PowerPoint for Windows, compress audio or video files in a presentation to make them smaller. When you make media files smaller, you may also lower the quality. When compressing media files, you have these options:

  • Full HD (1080p) reduces the file size and maintains overall quality.
  • HD (720p) saves more space and provides quality comparable to media streamed over the internet.
  • Standard (480p) creates a small file that is perfect to attach to an email, but may diminish overall quality.

To compress media files:

  1. Go to File.
  2. Select Info.
  3. Select Compress Media.
  4. Choose the option you wish to use.
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Create a Picture from a Slide

Save slides as images

If some of your slides are content-heavy, turn a slide into a single image. Then, insert that image onto a slide.

If you turn an image into a slide and then use that image to make a new slide, you will no longer be able to animate separate objects.

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Make Multiple Slideshows

Link to a second slide show

Consider breaking your presentation into more than one file. Create a hyperlink from the last slide in Show 1 to the first slide in Show 2 and then close Show 1. This approach may be cumbersome when you're in the middle of the presentation, but it frees up system resources if you only have Show 2 open.

If the whole slideshow is in one file, your RAM is constantly in use retaining the images of previous slides, even though you are many slides forward. By closing off Show 1 you'll free up these resources.

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