avr. 20

Recently, I was needing to publish the powerpoints coming from various speakers on my server. When I have seen the size of some powerpoints (more than 20Mo) I thought it would not be a very nice user experience if my end-users were needing to download documents of such a size.

The problem

When you deal with Powerpoint documents, you will add some medias (images, cliparts, ...) to give them a better look. And of course the more medias you add, the bigger will be your powerpoint document.

As long as you work locally, this is not such a big deal. But when you need to publish your document (send it by mail, publish on internet, ...) it can bother you if you do not want your recipients or end user needing to download files of 10 or 20Mo.

Do we need such a size ? Usually, no. So what can we do ?

The Microsoft solution

Powerpoint includes a way to compress all the pictures of your document. To do that, they will reduce the quality of the images (DPI) depending of the profile (print, screen, email), and also remove the cropped parts of your images. To do that,

  • select one of your images
  • do to the Picture Tools / Format menu
  • choose Compress Pictures

This should normally help you to reduce your document size.

So is there a problem ?

This solution is nice but does not give you a lot of control about the document size. Let's imagine you have added some TIFF or BMP pictures in your powerpoint document (or doing some "Print Screen" and "CTRL+C"). Powerpoint will shrink them but will never point out that you have included some file format that are probably completely useless.

So in my view the real solution to investigate and understand the document size is to be able to check very quickly all the media that are present in your document, and check their size. The biggest ones can so be pointed as the first one to correct !

Lets use Jarod.PowerpointAnalyser

To be able to analyse the documents, I have quickly written a tool that will analyse the content of the powerpoint to help you pointing wich medias are responsible of your document size. 

How does it work ?

  1. Select the document you want to analyse by using the browse button
  2. Then click on the button Analyse
  3. Check the different medias you have and their respective size

In the given example you can clearly determine the source of the problem : 3 images of 3 and 6Mo are clearly responsible of the document size.

Which image are they ? The column Used in slides will tell you where they are used in your powerpoint. Some explanations : 

  • slide17 : your image is located in the slide number 17
  • slideMaster1 : your image is located on your first slide master
  • slideLayout1 : each slide master can be composed on several layout (empty slide, image slide, ...). In that case you image is located on the first layout

If you have several images on the same slide, you can quickly use the View link to get a preview of the image.

How to install it ?

Some limitations ?

I have quickly released this tool as a v0.1. So of course, it has a bunch of limitations (or bugs). Let's note : 

  • It can analyse only PPTX files (2007 or 2010 format), as long as they have been saved in the default format (Powerpoint Presentation *.pptx)
  • The PPTX file is locked while the tool is open
  • If you select a file that does not exist, or that is not in the correct format, the tool will crash
  • The "Image Preview" is available on all media, even if the media is NOT an image (a video for example). If you try to preview a media that is NOT an image, the tool will crash.

Are you interested in this tool ?

Do you think it is interesting? Is there anything missing to suit your needs ? Would you like to see another feature ? Leave a comment !


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