Introducing the Zip trick to reduce PowerPoint file sizes
PowerPoint files can be huge, and this can be a problem – for example if you are hoping to email the file some servers have size limits for attachments. There is a simple trick (thanks to Echo Swinford for the knowledge) using Zip to investigate what might be causing the problem. Let’s look at the process:
1. First, make a copy of the file
In File Explorer, select the PPT and Control-C, Control-V in the same folder.
2. Right-click on the copy and select Rename
3. Add the extenstion “.zip” to the very end of the file name
Make sure to put the .zip after the existing file extension (.pptx) – do not replace it. The file now becomes a zipped folder. It’should read “filename.pptx.zip”
4. Now Unzip the folder to access the contents
5. Click the folder “ppt” > “media”
In the media folder you will see a list of all the image files in your presentation – jpegs, gifs, MP4s etc. Sort by Size or Compressed size, so you can see the largest easily.
6. Change view to large icons, or double click on the images, to identify them
Once you’ve identified which images are pushing up the MB count, go into your original presentation and reduce the file size for each image in PowerPoint. Select the image and in the Picture Format tab click on Compress Pictures.
Choose “Apply only to this picture” to keep a better control of image quality throughout. Of course you can choose to compress all the pictures but sometimes the PowerPoint compression tool can give a low quality result.
You can also delete the cropped areas of the pictures. The tool here gives a guide on recommended resolutions – we go for 150 ppi if a small file size is crucial.
Obviously you can also use PhotoShop to really keep control on image quality and size.
7. Resave your presentation and check the reduced file size
Spot the difference.
So that’s how you use Zip to reduce the file size in PowerPoint!
Now you can delete the Zip folder and you’re done!
For more advice on how to reduce file size in PowerPoint, there are plenty of How To videos on YouTube, like this one.