Shrinking Fatness: Reduce the Size of PPTX files.

Me Bitching (you may want to skip to the end for the fix)

The newest version of Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 (2008 for the Mac) writes to the new file extension .pptx which supposedly gives it advantages over the old .ppt style. I've had to work with PowerPoint files made with Office 2007 a lot recently and I've noticed that the file size of the PPTX kept growing and growing. Pretty soon the file had grown to 22 MB from the original 3 or 4 MB.

I tried to "compress the pictures" and pretty much every setting known to man, but nothing would reduce the file size! I did notice that when I had to save the file as a PPT it would make the file about 5 MB. I did read somewhere that if you save a PPTX back as a PPT it actually puts the PPTX file inside the PPT, which essentially doubles the file size. With this in mind I found a simple fix.

The Fix

  1. Save your original file fat.pptx as fat.ppt
  2. Close the window
  3. Open fat.ppt and then save it as skinny.pptx

And that's it!

It seems that the PPTX version of the file keeps all kinds of garbage in the file. This will make it much easier to e-mail your PowerPoint files to people with really small file attachment limitations.

Tip: If possible try to send the file as a .pptx (in the example skinny.pptx) because that will give you the smallest file size. If you send the .ppt (fat.ppt in the example) it will be approximately twice the size.

If whomever you're sending the file to has an old version of Microsoft Office, try to get them to download the converter. The PC version will make converting pptx, docx, xlsx, and all the other new file formats completely transparent. However, whenever opening any PowerPoints made in office 2007 in an earlier version will result in ugly transparencies. For example, the drop shadows will look horrible.

Credit for the Pig Image that I used in the graphic theodore99


Anonymous's picture

Also works in reverse when PpowerPoint 2007 is working in compatibility mode making edits to a .ppt, you can save as a .pptx and often see a size improvement.

Anonymous's picture

I performed these steps and the file actually became larger. After fifteen years, this product is still no better than v2.0.

Busanee Dominguez's picture

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You saved me from missing my assignment due date!

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