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How to Reduce Your PowerPoint (PPT) File Size Way Down (+ Video)

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Save some storage space on your PowerPoint files with these helpful tips to reduce your PPT file size. Learn how to compress your PowerPoint file size quickly.

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Learn how to reduce PPT file size in this quick video + tutorial. (Photo image from Envato Elements)

Are you wondering "why is my PowerPoint file too large?"

PowerPoint presentations can easily increase in size over time. As you're adding more video, images, audio, and slides, the file size will increase as well. 

I've often found myself hitting my email attachment limit when sending PowerPoint presentations to others. I could put it in a Dropbox share or upload it online, but the real problem is that the presentation should be downsized first.

Luckily, there are some good techniques that'll help you reduce the size of your presentation files. In this tutorial, I'll walk you through several tips and tricks to reduce your PowerPoint file size.

Learn these skills to help reduce the size of your PowerPoint files—your clients and collaborators just might thank you for it.

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We also have a helpful complement to this tutorial. Quickly grab it before you read on. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. In it you'll learn how to you write, design, and deliver the perfect presentation. 

Quick Ways to Reduce Your PowerPoint File Size (Watch & Learn)

In this quick video, I'll teach you my techniques to reduce PowerPoint file sizes. I'll walk you through, step-by-step, several tips that help you compress and optimize your PowerPoint presentations. These tips will help you trim a file before you share it with others.

How to Reduce You PowerPoint File Size 

Miss any of the tips in the video, or prefer a written version of these steps? Check out the instructions below to find out more about how to reduce your PowerPoint file size.

This tutorial was created using the macOS version of Windows 365. If you're using a different operating system or a different version of windows, your steps may be slightly different.

Learn all about compression techniques and other ways to quickly shrink your PowerPoint PPT file size down. Before we get started, the template I've chosen to work with in this tutorial is Agio PowerPoint Presentation from Envato Elements. It's a premium template with some great features I think you'll really enjoy.

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Agio PowerPoint Template is a great choice for any PowerPoint presentation.

Now, let's learn how to reduce your PowerPoint file size:

1. Compress Selected Pictures in PPT File

Images are easily one of the largest parts of most PowerPoint presentations. Compressing them can decrease the size of your PowerPoint file.

Often, I find myself pasting images into a presentation from all over the web, on my computer, and using built-in graphics. As I'm doing this, I'm often bringing large image files into my PowerPoint without thinking of how the file size affects my PowerPoint file. That can make for a quick and fluid design process. But it'll leave you with some cleanup needed.

To get started with image compression, select an image inside of your PowerPoint PPT file. On the ribbon, you'll see a Picture Format tab. Click on this tab, and then find the Compress Pictures option.

After you've selected the Compress Pictures option in PowerPoint, you'll see a new pop-up menu to tweak the compression settings for the selected image.

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Choose the Picture Format > Compress Pictures option to start compressing an image in PowerPoint. (Photo: Envato Elements)

On this menu, there are two key settings to double check:

  1. Ensure that Delete cropped areas of pictures is ticked. This removes any pixels that we've already cropped out of an image. Keep in mind that this prevents you from re-cropping the picture to include those pixels later on.
  2. Set a Resolution on the low-end of the options, such as 96 ppi to really reduce the fidelity of images and reduce the PowerPoint PPT file's size. 
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Use my recommended settings to really reduce the size that the image will occupy in the PowerPoint file.

If you've got several key, large images that you want to compress, use this feature as a starting point to downsize your presentation file.

2. Compress All Pictures in Your PowerPoint

Now that we've learned the value of compressing images, let's learn how to batch compress every image in a presentation.

Once again, we’ll be working on the Compress Pictures menu. With an image selected, go to Picture Format > Compress Pictures. On this menu, the option reads Apply to: All pictures in this file. This has the same effect and will downsize your images.

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Compress all your pictures in PowerPoint with these settings.
Be careful when using this feature! It'll certainly reduce the size of the images in your PowerPoint PPT file. Make sure that you aren't permanently removing any cropped areas of images that you'll want to re-use.

3. Save Your PowerPoint in a .zip File

Once you’ve saved your PowerPoint slides, it helps to compress them into .zip files. This is a built-in feature on Mac, and it’s very useful if you want to share your PPT slide decks with others.

When you save your file, navigate to the folder where it is contained. Right-click on the file, and you’ll see a dropdown menu appear with an array of options. The one you’re looking for is labeled Compress, followed by the name of your file.

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Save your PPT file in .zip format to compress and reduce its file size.

Click on it, and macOS will package your PowerPoint file into a compressed .zip file. This streamlines sharing by reducing your PowerPoint file size. 

4. Link to Videos in Your Presentation

Many presentations will include video files to add some variety to the presentation. But how you add them will really affect the size of your finished PowerPoint file. Another option to shrink your PowerPoint file size is to link to multimedia objects, instead of embedding them inside of the file.

To begin inserting a video on your computer into your PowerPoint file, go to the Insert tab on the ribbon and click on Video > Movie from File.

In PowerPoint, there are really two ways to include video files in your presentation:

  1. Insert the video directly into the PowerPoint file itself.
  2. Link to the video file.

Both of these options will place a video on the PowerPoint canvas, but in very different ways. Inserting the video will include it as a part of the PowerPoint file. It's actually bundled inside of the PowerPoint file. So, you can send it to anyone and the video will play.

To link to the video, browse to where the video file is stored. Click the Options button in the lower left corner and choose Link to File to insert the video inside of your PowerPoint file.

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Choose Link to File to create a reference to a video file, instead of embedding it directly inside the PowerPoint PPT file bundle.

Linking to the video references the original file and simply links to it. Basically, you're creating a reference to the video file instead of adding it to your presentation file.

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A linked PowerPoint video file will appear the same as one you embed, but it won't increase the size of your PowerPoint file. (Video Image: Envato Elements)
The downside to this approach is that if you link to your video and send your presentation to someone else, the video won't play correctly. PowerPoint will be looking for the video on the local device instead of inside the PowerPoint file.

Ideally, your video is hosted somewhere online, like YouTube. So, you neither have to embed the video in your PowerPoint file, or link to it on your computer. 

5. Use the Insert Tab to Add Photos

Photos are the best way to bring your PowerPoint slides to life. But if you need to reduce PPT file size, sometimes they can cause you trouble.

But that doesn’t mean you should leave photos out of your slide decks. You can use a different technique to add them to your slides and enjoy smaller file sizes.

When you use a PPT template, you may find that you can drag and drop images right onto your slides. This is the easiest - and fastest - way to add photos to your slides. But it also has a cost in file size.

Images that you drag and drop onto slides aren’t compressed at all. For one or two images, this doesn’t matter. But if you've got a fully illustrated deck, your file size can quickly get out of control.

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Use the Insert tab to quickly add photos while saving file space in PPT.

To help with this, try using PowerPoint’s Insert tab to add photos.

Working on a slide, go to Insert up on the ribbon. Then, choose Pictures > Picture From File. Browse to a photo that you've saved. Click Insert to add it to your slide.

This way, PowerPoint compresses and reduces the size of any photos that you add to your slide deck.

6. Share PPT Slides in PDF Format

Let’s face it. PowerPoint slides are built for sharing. That means that you need to know how to reduce PowerPoint file size at every opportunity.

At the same time, you need those who you share slides with to be able to read and view them on any device. Fortunately, these two goals can be easily accomplished at the same time.

By saving a PPT deck as a PDF file, you can see how to compress PowerPoint file size fast. Plus, PDF files can be read on almost any device. They also take up less file space than a .ppt or .pptx file. They display your slides without the format settings that PowerPoint adds.

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Using PDF format makes your files smaller and more shareable, all in one click.

When you click Save As to save your slide deck, choose PDF from the File Format dropdown. In moments, your slide deck will be in a versatile, minimally-sized format that you can share far and wide.

7. Reduce Embedded Characters

When you think about how to compress PowerPoint file size, fonts are a big part of it. You may use custom fonts in your work, and you need to be sure that other users can see them. That’s true even if they don’t have the fonts installed on their computer.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. This helps you reduce PPT file size fast. Working in PowerPoint, go to the PowerPoint > Preferences menu on the macOS menu bar. Under Output and Sharing, click Save.

By default, PPT embeds fonts so that they’re always visible. But using this setting can make your PowerPoint files larger.

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Reducing embedded characters helps keep custom fonts from increasing your file size.

Check the box next to Embed Fonts in the File, and finally check Embed Only the Characters Used in the Presentation.

Now, by default, when you save PPT decks with custom fonts, they won’t take up much extra file space. This is how to reduce PowerPoint file size quickly.

8. Use Charts and Embedded Objects as Images

PowerPoint offers a variety of ways to pull in extra data on your spreadsheets. These can include Excel charts, graphs, and much more. But by linking data in this way, you may find yourself working with very large files.

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By converting charts and graphs to images, you can reduce your PPT file space easily.

Remember, illustrations like this display data. Their ability to update from the source is useful, but it increases PowerPoint file size. Instead of adding live-updating charts, try adding screenshots or image versions instead. By changing charts and objects to images, you can save file space immediately.

Once you've got the images saved, add them to your slides with the Insert menu. This saves space over dragging and dropping.

Best PowerPoint (PPT) Presentation Designs on Envato Elements (Unlimited Downloads)

Envato Elements has thousands of the very best PowerPoint presentation designs for you. It’s a compelling offer. Unlock unlimited downloads with a flat-rate monthly membership.

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Reduce PPT size in style with premium templates from Envato Elements.

Think that trying to reduce PowerPoint file size means cutting your style? Think again. Thanks to versatile Envato Elements templates, you capture the best of both worlds. Reduce PPT file size while you build stunning stylish slides for every occasion.

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Join Envato Elements for unlimited PPT templates.

Elements helps you reduce PPT size with stylish templates featuring:

  • infographics
  • slideshows
  • timelines
  • animations

Simply drop in your content, and you’re on the way to the most impact at minimal size. Join Elements now

5 Top Templates to Reduce PPT File Size (From Envato Elements - For 2022)

These stunning templates from Envato Elements make it easy to reduce PowerPoint file size:

1. Librario | PowerPoint Template

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Never give up on style when you try to reduce PPT size. Librario is a spectacular PowerPoint template for any project. Inside, you’ll find over 150 slides in every layout imaginable. These are spread over five beautiful color themes. Master slide layouts make bulk edits simple. Plus, that helps reduce PPT file size too.

2. SENSASIONAL PPT

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When you think about how to reduce PowerPoint file size, consider what you’re trying to do. Likely, you want to share your slides with an audience virtually. That means giving them slide layouts they’ll be thrilled with. SENSASIONAL delivers, with 30 dark and stylish slides inside. Every element is fully customizable, with drag-and-drop graphics.

3. Visualizm - Pop Art & Graffiti PowerPoint Template

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Thanks to Elements, you can add images and still reduce PowerPoint file size! Visualizm is a sleek, modern template to help you do exactly that. With cool, grungy vibes, it’s easy to adapt to your next project. Custom placeholders let you add in content with just a few clicks. There are even vector icons included for quick style changes.

4. Station PowerPoint Presentation

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Station is another premium PPT template to reduce size and boost design. It’s illustrated in memorable shades of pink and purple. They’re sure to grab audience attention. Each slide is completely customizable, with some featuring world maps and unique icons. A handy reference guide is included if you need help getting started.

5. Defender - PowerPoint Template

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Imagine how to compress PowerPoint file size while still sharing plenty of content. One way is to embrace minimalism. Trendy and modern, this design focuses on sharp contrasts and open spaces. Defender is a prime example, featuring 30 handcrafted slides. Master slides and image placeholders make it easy for you to build amazing slide decks.

More Top PowerPoint Templates

At Envato Tuts+, we're passionate about PowerPoint templates. They help our readers save time and give great presentations without learning how to do everything on their own.

We keep the best PowerPoint templates listed in our guide, Microsoft PowerPoint Templates (Ultimate Guide to the Best PPT.) See even more of the best PowerPoint templates with these handcrafted selections:

Common PowerPoint Questions Answered (FAQ)

In this tutorial, you've learned how to reduce PowerPoint file size. This is an important skill to save disk space and make it easier to share with your collaborators. Reduce PowerPoint file size to be a considerate presenter and content creator.

It's okay if you still have questions after you reduce PPT file size. Let's tackle five of the most popular PowerPoint questions:

1. What Are PowerPoint Layouts?

One way to reduce PPT file size is to re-use similar designs with only minor modifications. PowerPoint layouts give you pre-built sets of slide designs that save you time.

Learn how to use layouts with the help of this tutorial:

2. What Dimensions Should You Use For PowerPoint?

Dimensions describe the shape and size of your PowerPoint template. Your settings matter because they'll help you cover the screen completely. Choosing lower dimensions can also help you reduce PPT file size.

Read our tutorial to learn more.

3. How Do I Work With Images in Microsoft PowerPoint

Images are one type of content that can really increase your PowerPoint file size. It's important to work with them carefully so that your PowerPoint doesn't explode in file size. 

Pairing this tutorial with what you've already learned helps you master how to reduce PowerPoint file size. You'll see options that show you how to compress PowerPoint file size by modifying images.

4. How Should You Show Data in PowerPoint?

Never create a slide that's chock full of data and statistics in pure text format. Instead, lean on graphs charts to display the data in an intuitive way. PowerPoint makes this easy, and we'll show you how.

By the way, mastering charts and graphs can also help you reduce PPT file size. When you use well-crafted visuals instead of embedding data, your file size will really benefit. Learn how below:

5. Can You Export 

Have you had issues reducing PPT file size to the point you can email it? Here's an idea: export it as a video, then upload it to a service like YouTube.

Learning how to reduce PowerPoint file size is sometimes a matter of working around the app. You can export your PowerPoint presentation as a video, then use an online platform to overcome large files. Learn how with this tutorial:

Learn More About How To Use Microsoft PowerPoint

Pro presenters know that the work of learning is never done. They're always sharpening their skills and improving their knowledge. PowerPoint has so many features that it's impossible to know them all.

You know how to reduce PowerPoint file size to accommodate more options. Keep learning by checking out our resource, How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide.) Here are three top tutorials to pair with your new knowledge of how to reduce PowerPoint file size:

Make Great Presentations (Free PDF eBook Download)

We've got a helpful compliment to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our new eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation

Recap and Keep Learning More About PowerPoint

In this tutorial, I showed you some quick steps to reduce the size of your PowerPoint files. Following these simple workflows will optimize your presentations and keep storage space to a minimum.

There's no reason to stop learning PowerPoint now. Here are tutorials to help you keep growing your presentation and PowerPoint skills:

How did these tricks reduce your files? Let me know in the comments, or if you've got any questions about how to reduce your PowerPoint file size, feel free to ask.

Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published on May 1, 2017. It's been revised to make it current, accurate, and up to date by our staff—with special help from Andrew Childress.

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