Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


Putting PowerPoint on a diet

One of the consequences of my dabblings with Beyond Bullet Points (see related items, below for more) is that my PowerPoints now have lots of graphics, which often makes them huge. This has made them a challenge to email, send around for collaboration, etc.

I have found an awesome solution: PPTMinimizer. This product's sole mission in life is to help you squash your bloated PowerPoint files down to a much more friendly size (and it also optimizes presentation files from StarOffice and OpenOffice). It does its job by using a number of techniques to reduce the size, including optimizing the pictures and embedded objects (like graphs that are fed by Excel data, for example) to make them more space-efficient.

You simply open one or more files with PPTMinimizer, set your options (or use the defaults like I do) and click a button to optimize the files. You have the option of saving to a new name or replacing the original, and you can also drag & drop files onto the PPTMinimizer window to add them to a list.

The coolest function, in my opinion, is it's Outlook integration. Any time I send an email that has a PowerPoint deck attached to it, PPTMinimizer displays a dialog asking me whether I want to optimize it or not. If I say "Yes," it quickly optimizes it (most files take only a few seconds), reattaches the optimized file to the email and completes the Send process.

If you want to try it out, you can download a free trial version which lets you optimize something like a dozen files. I got to about 7 optimizations and paid the $29.95 (US pricing) to buy the key to convert my copy to a full version. By the way, they offer quantity discounts and there is an enterprise version available that can crawl your local and network drives and optimize any presentations it finds.

As you can see from the screen grab I've included here, the results are impressive. I routinely reduce the size of my files by over 60% - way cool.

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