Optimizing .ppt Files

To optimize any PowerPoint presentations that you may be sharing via email, FTP or your web site, you should be aware of a number of techniques that you can use in effort to reduce the size of those files:

  1. Understand how your .ppt file is constructed.
    Tools are available which will help you to dissect all of the elements of your PowerPoint presentations to help you to better understand what elements are contributing the greatest amount of file size. Try and make use of these tools if you have the time, as they will aid your understanding of how to better-construct future PowerPoint files as well.

  3. Pre-size your bitmap images to the dimensions you wish to display in your .ppt file.
    Since information on literally every pixel will need to be stored as a part of any bitmap image you are embedding into your output, the fewer the pixels you require to be described/stored, the smaller the resulting file size will become. Consequently, make sure to size your imagery to the exact dimensions you are wanting to have them appear on a .ppt file's page, no more, no less.

  5. Effectively manage your embedded objects.
    Embedding or linking to an object in your PowerPoint presentations results in you seeing and displaying a Windows Metafile (.wmf) (or a .pict on a Mac) picture of the actual object. Windows Metafiles can include bitmap images, but only as uncompressed .bmp files, so if an embedded or linked object's .wmf happens to include bitmap data, the size of your .ppt file can increase significantly. The easiest way to manage this avoidable increase in file size is to ungroup and then immediately re-group any embedded graphics, spreadsheets, charts, etc., once you are certain that the .ppt presentation will not need to be edited further. That process will convert those features to PowerPoint objects and subsequently discard all the data behind the object.

  7. Reduce the total number of fonts embedded within your .pdf document.
    Each font that is embedded into your .pdf output can significantly add to that file's final output size...as much as the size of each font file that you are embedding. Selecting the Embed Only Used Characters option when embedding fonts can help reduce the file's final output size, though know that the embedding of any fonts within the file will ultimately increase that file's size.

  9. Inserting graphics vs. copy and paste.
    Copying and pasting graphics into PowerPoint files can dramatically increase the size of those images (and, subsequently, the file). Saving your imagery as a .jpg, .png, or other file type, then inserting that imagery into PowerPoint will often have superior results.

  11. Use available third-party compression technologies.
    Several tools are available on the marketplace which will substantially compress the .ppt file format after one has saved their files. Try and experiment with the various tools that are available, to determine how to achieve your best results.

Tools that will allow you to complete these techniques:
NXPowerLite (Windows): Cost: $ | Quality: B | Ease of Use: A | Use With: 6
Powershrink (Windows): Cost: $ | Quality: B | Ease of Use: A | Use With: 6
PPTminimizer (Windows): Cost: $ | Quality: A+ | Ease of Use: A | Use With: 6 | [review]
PPTools Optimizer (Windows): Cost: $$ | Quality: B | Ease of Use: A | Use With: 6
SizeMe Addin (Bill Dilworth) (Windows): Cost: Free | Quality: B | Ease of Use: B | Use With: 1

  Four Examples
  Samples on Site
  Samples on Blog