In this post, you’ll learn how to compress images in PowerPoint so that you can more easily share your presentation with other people. The same thing as reducing your file size.

That said, compressing images in PowerPoint is NOT always necessary.

If you are having ZERO trouble sharing your presentation with other people or are presenting from your own computer, there is no need to go through all these steps.

This is still a valuable PowerPoint skill to learn, just keep in mind that compress images in PowerPoint is NOT always necessary.

[Watch] Compressing Images in PowerPoint


How To Make a Picture Smaller (Comp... x
How To Make a Picture Smaller (Compressing Pictures in PowerPoint)

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How to compress images in PowerPoint

Compressing images in PowerPoint is not hard, but there are a few different options you need to be aware of.

As a rule of thumb, the more you compress your images (to reduce your file size), the grainier (lower-quality) your images will appear in your presentation.

So while compressing your images can be important o save space, you don’t want to overdo it.

1. Open the Compress Pictures dialog box

Select your image, click the Picture Format tab and select Compress Pictures command

Select your image in PowerPoint to open the Picture Format tab, then click the Compress Pictures command.

Keep in mind that the PowerPoint ribbon is contextual. That means that you first have to select an image or a picture before the Format Picture tab appears.

Also note that for the Compress Pictures command, depending on your screen resolution and the size of your screen, the command might just appear as an icon, without the Compress Pictures label, as pictured above.

2. Choose your the Compress Options

For your compression options, you have two choices (choose wisely). See descriptions below for details.

The Compress Pictures command Compression Options

Apply only to this picture:

This is an important option to understand before you accidentally mess up all of the photos in your presentation.

Apply only to this photo (the default setting) ensures that only the picture you currently have selected is compressed.

No other images in your presentation are affected (hence why this is the default option).
By unselecting this option, you are telling PowerPoint to compress all of the photos within your presentation based on your selections.

This can save you a bunch of time if you know what you are doing, and you know that you want all of the photos in your slides compressed in this way.
BUT this can waste a bunch of time if you don’t know what you are doing.

Example of the cropped area being removed from a picture when it is compressed

Delete cropped areas of pictures:

This option affects whether or not PowerPoint keeps the cropped areas of your photos.

When you first crop a photo down, PowerPoint keeps the part that you crop (it just hides it from you). That’s why cropping an image doesn’t actually change the size in PowerPoint.

If you know that you do not want keep the cropped areas of your photos, you can decrease the overall size of your image by selecting the ‘Delete cropped areas of pictures’ compression option.

Just be warned, that once you delete the cropped areas you cannot undo them later. You’ll have to start over with the original photo. To learn how to crop a picture in PowerPoint (and all the options you have), read our guide here.

3. Choose your image Resolution

the compress pictures command resolution options

Higher resolutions like HD 330 ppi (pixels per inch) equate to the highest quality photo with larger file sizes.

Lower resolutions like email 96 ppi (pixels per inch) equate to lower quality photos that can appear grainy on large overhead projectors, and thus smaller files sizes.

Example picture quality using the Print 220 ppi versus the email 96 ppi in PowerPoint

If your presentation is a live event, such as a Ted talk, or if it will be run on a large HD monitor, then you’ll want the highest resolution photos as possible throughout your slide creation process.

If you are simply emailing a presentation to a colleague to view ONLY on their laptop (it will never be presented on a large overhead screen) then you can get away with a much lower resolution.

Either way, test your presentation before you run it. To learn all the different ways you can test run a PowerPoint slide show, read our guide here.

4. Double-check your selections and click ok

After making your compression selections, click OK

Before you click okay, this is your chance to double-check your selections to make sure you get the compression results you want.

I again recommend working through your images one-by-one and compressing them, rather than applying the changes to all of the images within your presentation.

Compress Images as a PDF

Another option for compressing your images is to simply convert PowerPoint to a PDF.

  1. Hit F12 for the Save As dialog box
  2. Change your Save as type to the PDF format
  3. Click Save

The reason why this works so well, is the PDF file format automatically compresses images for you (and removes other media that could be influencing your file size).

That said, you do lose a lot of native PowerPoint functionality in the PDF format, so I would only recommend doing this if you are distributing your slide as PDF handouts.

To learn everything you need to know about the PowerPoint to PDF conversion process, see our guide here.


Compressing images in PowerPoint is one to dramatically reduce your overall file size so that you can more easily share your presentation with other people.

That said, I only recommend compressing your images if you really need to.
If you are using a USB drive to share your presentation or you are just running your presentation from your own computer, there is no need to go through the hassle of compressing everything.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to learn more about our online training courses and other PowerPoint tutorials, visit us here.


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