PowerPoint files can be quite big. Not that it matters too much, now that we have huge amounts of local and cloud storage available, and even email quotas tend to allow large message sizes, so your 25MB PowerPoint file will typically still get through.
What lots of people do when they’re building a new PowerPoint deck, is to start with a template they like – a conference slide deck, or a jazzy marketing one they got a copy of. They delete the slides they don’t need, and maybe create a few of their own, and there’s a beautiful new document, ready to use.
As the decks morph in these ways, lots of hidden stuff stays embedded, even when it’s not used. In a recent group exercise, a bunch of people were asked to create a business plan deck for every one of hundreds of accounts, but the template they were asked to use was nearly 10MB in size before there was any real content within.
In this case, the reason was that the slide deck had over 200 master slide layouts within the template, many of which had large embedded bitmap images. If you find a slide deck whose file size is huge even if there isn’t much content in the slides themselves, you may see the same behaviour. ToW #276, some 4 years ago, covered a few things you can do to make the file smaller, but here’s a slightly more straightforward solution.
In your huge yet seemingly empty file, try going into the View tab in PowerPoint and look under the Slide Master view. You’ll see a vertical list of thumbnails for all the different slide layouts (where each contains background graphics as well as layout controls).
Hover over each thumbnail, and a tool-tip will tell you if that layout is used (and on which slides in your deck). If it’s not being used… then maybe you could ditch it and save some space?
A simpler way than deleting all the unwanted layouts – if there are many – would be to create a new, blank PowerPoint, then (back in the normal slide sorter view, rather than slide master), copy the slides from the the huge slide deck, and simply paste them into the new, blank file. You may want to force it to Keep Source Formatting – but this process will copy only the used slide layouts into the new deck.
In this example, copying the slides to a new deck and saving that, reduced the size from nearly 10MB to only 750KB.
As smartphone cameras get better, it’s very common to have snaps with dimensions of 4,000 x 3,000 pixels, sized in multi-megabytes – great for capturing a bit more detail, but potentially tricky when handling the photos given the file size as well as their width & height.
This is especially the case if you’re sharing pictures with others – though it does rather depend on how. Email programs usually have ways to reduce the size of images, varying in method but increasingly very integrated to the sending process, and often with little real control of what’s going on. Outlook, for example, lets you drag images around by resizing handles, or if you right-click on an inserted image, choose Size and Position then look on the Size tab, you can alter the scale of an image for display purposes.
This doesn’t make the image smaller in the number of bytes it takes up, however – so you might think you’ve made your massive picture a nice thumbnail, only to find it’s still actually 7MB in size. In order to make the image data size get smaller in Outlook, select it by left-clicking, then from the Picture Tools | Format menu, you’ll find a Compress Pictures com mand that lets you make this image (or every other one in the mail), smaller.
The same thing happens in PowerPoints as well – tiny little watermarks on the background of a presentation making the file too big to ever email to anyone. A similar process can radically reduce the size of your presentations by compressing the size of images before saving.
If you have pictures in the file system, there used to be a variety of ways for Windows to offer resize capabilities – one of which was to install the now-defunct Windows Live Photo Gallery, which had a nice wizard to resize images to standard sizes. Now, in Windows 10, there’s no easy, out-of-the-box way of doing it, as the Photos app doesn’t offer resizing and nothing shows up in the desktop / file system mode.
If you have a habit of uploading photos you’ve taken to online forums and the like, some of them will deal with resizing for you (as does Facebook, Yammer etc too), but if they don’t, you may find you’ll need to radically reduce the dimensions of your pic before you can share it.
One of the joys of writing Tip o’ the Week is that readers often send their tips just after the mail has gone out – welcome but not always practical to share on, as the same topic might not return for a while. In this example, there will no doubt be a plethora of fave image resizing methods, but a simple one for mortals with less time on their hands is to just go to @Brice Lambson’s site on http://www.bricelam.net/ImageResizer/ and install the quick & simple resizer tool.
Afterwards, right-click within Windows Explorer on your chosen image – or select several and do the same – and resize the image(s) to a given set of dimensions in a trice. Then you’re ready to upload the resulting new pics to your online forum of choice.
Remember another handy tip (as covered in ToW #373 and others) is the Copy as path command – hold SHIFT as you right-click on any file and you’ll see it appear in the drop down list. What this does is copy the exact file and pathname to the thing you’ve just right-clicked on (remember, kids, it works with any file, so uploading docs to a SharePoint is just as relevant) into the clipboard, so you can instantly point the File -> Open dialog on your other app or browser straight to the thing you want.