May 9, 2014

4 Ways to Shrink Your PowerPoint File

Despicable Me is an interesting movie. The movie talks about a machine called Shrink Ray, developed by the Chinese, which can shrink the size of anything. If you point the rays of the machine on a person, animal or object you can shrink its size immediately. Mr. Gru in the movie uses it to shrink the moon to the size of a football :)

There is a big need of such shrink rays for presenters. Something which can cut down the size of big PPT files immediately. I have compiled 4 such technique which will act as your personal Shrink Ray.

1. Compress your Pictures

Large size of images is the biggest reason we end up with bulky PowerPoint files. One simple way to reduce PPT file size drastically is to click on every picture on your slide and compress its size. In MS PowerPoint 2010, left click on the picture. On the top, you can see Picture Tools Format. Choose Compress Pictures option. Choose Screen. Now save the PPT file.

The options given under Compress Pictures are Print, Screen, Email and Original Resolution. Choosing Email will further reduce the size but it will also affect the resolution. My suggestion is to go for Screen when you want to show the images on a projector. If you want to print the slides, then choose Print.

2. Do not embed your Fonts

If you are using regular fonts like Arial, Calibri which are available on most systems, then avoid embedding fonts. When you embed fonts in PowerPoint, the file size becomes too big. In MS PowerPoint 2010, go to File -> Options -> Save -> Un-check Embed fonts in the file. Read more about embedding fonts here.

3. Convert PPT to PDF

This is the best tip to reduce file size of bulky PPTs. When you convert PowerPoint to PDF, you lose the animation and transition effects. If you are okay with that, then try this. You will experience a drastic fall in file size. In MS PowerPoint 2010, File -> Save & Send -> Create PDF/XPS Document -> Creat PDF/XPS -> Save the file as a PDF.

4. Save as... latest version of PowerPoint

A lot of presenters make the presentation in MS PowerPoint 2010 but save it in PowerPoint 97-2003 version (.PPT). What should have been saved as PPTX is now saved as PPT. This increases the file size considerably. I have a PPTX file which is 1.8 MB. When saved as PPT it went up to 6.18MB.

If you use all the 4 tips above you can be rest assured you will get a dramatic reduction in your PowerPoint file size.


  1. a very good tip for people like me..But then certasin files which are saved in latest version(point #4) warrants that the receiver also should have the same verson..For instance , in my case where I receive mails containing esxcel/word/ppt docs from my trainees who are taking a project in a workstation have all vesion...2003/2007 etc..How to solve this ?

  2. If the receiver works in 2003/2007 version and you have 2010 version, then the best tip to reduce the file size is by converting it to PDF. You can also use the other tips mentioned in the post.

  3. Sometimes users forget they are using heavily designed template or slides which are not visible unless you see them in the Slide Master. This increases the file size signficantly!

  4. Often we copy slides from another powerpoint and create a new one out of that version taking the other one as a template. This increases the size since the template was heavily designed or had slides with heavy content.