Photographs are often saved in high resolution, containing much more information than is necessary to display and print the photo in a PowerPoint presentation. They can add significantly to a document's size.

PowerPoint allows you to compress photos so that they are stored in an optimized format within the presentation.

To compress photos:

  1. Choose the Format Picture command.
  2. Click the Picture tab.
  3. Click the Compress button.

    Compress Pictures dialog box

  4. Configure the compression operation.
  5. Click OK.

    If you have selected Compress pictures, and if any pictures were not already compressed, you will be prompted to confirm the compression. Click Apply.

    Compress Pictures confirmation message

  6. Click OK to close the Format Picture dialog box.

Tips and notes:

  • Web/Screen resolution (96 dots per inch, or DPI), is ideal for viewing the presentation on screen in any format: as a PowerPoint slide show, as a Web page, on a screen or projector. The size of the screen itself is irrelevant. A small screen or a gigantic projected image will all display the image well with a 96 DPI resolution.
  • Print resolution (200 DPI) will store additional detail that will not enhance the on-screen image, but will improve its print quality, particularly on higher quality laser and ink jet printers.
  • If you are concerned about the impact of changing photo resolution, consider saving several versions of the presentation with various types of compression.
  • If you will be printing the presentation using a print service, be sure to check with the service regarding their requirements and recommendations for photo quality.
  • The Compress pictures option will modify the way a photo is stored in the PowerPoint presentation to utilize a more efficient (JPG) format. While compressing a photo may result, technically, in lost quality, you are highly unlikely to see any visible loss of quality.
  • You can choose to compress All pictures in document. This allows you to optimize all photos with one usage of the Compress Pictures command.
  • If you use the Compress Pictures command, it only compresses existing pictures. It does not affect new pictures inserted into the document. If you insert additional pictures, you will need to use the Compress Pictures command again to compress the new photos.