Compressing Photos in Powerpoint & Word

If you’ve worked with Powerpoint or Word much, you’ve probably discovered that adding lots of photos can result in a huge file that’s difficult to email or post online. This usually happens when large or high-resolution photos are dropped in and then scaled down. It also happens when the Crop tool is used to crop out large areas of a photo.

You can fix this problem by compressing your images.


Depending on what version of Office you have, you’ll find the Compress tool by either:

  1. Right-clicking on a picture and selecting Format Picture, then Picture, then Compress; or
  2. Left-clicking on a picture, clicking the Format tab in the ribbon, then selecting Compress Pictures.

Then:

  • Select whether you want to compress all the pictures in the document or just the picture you selected.
  • Select a resolution option (150ppi is usually good enough for presentations that will be projected; 95ppi is probably good enough if the presentation will only be viewed on individual computer screens).

Now use Save As to save your presentation under a new name, e.g., documentname-compressed.ppt. (Please DON’T overwrite your original file!) Then open it to make sure your pictures still look decent. If some of them are too blurry now, you’ll need to try again (using your original, uncompressed file) with different resolution settings, or compress the pictures one at a time, skipping the ones that became too blurry when compressed.

You should see a significant difference between the file size of the original presentation and the compressed version.

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