In this post you'll learn how to compress images in PowerPoint so that you can more easily share your presentation with other people (by reducing your image file size).
That said, compressing images like this is NOT always necessary.
If you are having ZERO trouble sharing your presentation with other people or are presenting from your own compute, there is no need to go through all of these steps.
On the other hand, you have converted a number of your photos into paintings (details here) and your presentation is now too large to share, then compressing your images can reduce the size of your presentation by as much as 80%.
If you are still having trouble with your PowerPoint file size, you can learn 5 additional ways to compress PowerPoint here.
Note: If you are using other people's images and photos in your presentation, make sure you know how to properly cite them in your presentation. To learn all about citing sources like websites, books and pictures in PowerPoint, read our guide here.
How To Compress Images in PowerPoint
Select the image you want to compress, and then:
- Go up to the Picture Tools Format tab
- Click on the Compress Pictures command
- Select your Compression options (see image below)
- Select your Resolution (see image below)
- Click OK
Note: Although adjusting to a lower ppi does reduce image file size, it also makes your images appear more grainy (so be careful of just selecting the lowest ppi setting).
Picture compression options
Your two compression options are EXTREMELY important, so make sure you understand what they are before you move forward.
#1. 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.
If you catch the mistake immediately, you can hit CTRL+Z to undo your compression. Otherwise you’ll have to hunt down an earlier version of your presentation or start all over with the original photos again.
#2. 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.
Image Compression options
When choosing a resolution for your photos, it’s important to keep in mind the lifetime of the presentation you are building, and how it will be used.
Beware of choosing a lower resolution during the draft phase of creating your slides simply to save space. That's because you will find that you cannot undo the lower resolution before your big pitch.
It might be hard to tell in the photos below, the but picture compressed to 96 ppi is extremely grainy along the edges of the building. While it might look alright on your small computer screen, it will look horrible on an overhead projector of monitor.
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.
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.
How much does ppi reduce image file size?
In the photo above, I’ve added a single image to a slideshow and used the various compression options so you can see how much it affects the size of the PowerPoint presentation.
Note that in this case, the 330 ppi and 220 ppi image resolutions result in the exact same image size.
This is something you’ll have to play around with.
To learn more about pixel density (PPI), see this Wikipedia article here.
Compress Images in the PDF file format
Another option for compressing your images is to simply convert your PowerPoint presentation into the PDF file format.
- Hit F12 for the Save As dialog box
- Change your Save as type to the PDF format
- 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.