PowerPoint Bug Alert!

Automatic Image Compression Is Messing Up Your Files

PPT has image compression settings that are specific to every file and they're likely messing up your decks every time you save. So far, it seems like Mac users are not affected but for PC users it has been a major thorn in our side recently. 

If the compression settings are set to a high quality, it can bloat the file size (a lot!). If it is set to low quality, it makes the images pixelated. Even if the settings are somewhere in the middle, there is no sweetspot, it still makes the file bigger than need be and degrades images. What makes this so bad is that this is a file setting that runs automatically every time you save! Fortunately, your friends at GhostRanch are here to show you how you turn it off:

Click File > Options.

In the Options box, click Advanced.

Under Image Size and Quality, select the Do not compress images in file check box.

Unless turned off, these compression are running every time a file is saved so please be extra careful and start the habit of always checking the settings on your PPT files. While in most cases the results of this may go relatively unnoticed, we have seen some files more than triple in size at the high end meanwhile things like logos and icons are getting maimed left and right by even mild compression as these types of images are particularly susceptible to pixelation.

We may not have a catchy tagline like "be kind, rewind" but please, be nice to your server space and your images, and "turn off compression, it's a healthy obsession".

For anyone curious as to "How would image compression make a file size go up?" — well, get brownie points for the excellent question. PPT turns images into PNGs when it compresses them. This is good in that once it is compressed, unless settings are made to an even lower quality, the image will never change again. Were you to keep saving a JPEG as a new JPEG it would get a little uglier every time. The only problem is, JPGs are very good at making image files small, so, as soon as you run image compression in PPT, it is likely that you are turning multiple JPEG files into much larger PNG files. Multiply this problem across a handful of images and all the sudden that beautiful PPT you could email is now 100MB.

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