Category Archives: Powerpoint

Giant embedded slides

Email arrived. Embedded Powerpoint slides. 9Mb. Wow.

Saved the slides out to a temporary directory, loaded them in Powerpoint, saved again as PPTX, edited the message (thank goodness Outlook allows this) to remove the embedded slides and attach the PPTX versions instead. Result: 663 Kb — a 93% saving in space, with no loss of fidelity.

Either we need to send everybody on compulsory email attachments training, or email systems need to get much more efficient at this stuff, and clean up the stupid stuff for them automatically.

By the way, Outlook 2010 made it very difficult, if not impossible to save the slides. Outlook 2007 looking at the same message managed it easily. Hmmm.

Powerpoint file sizes

Was dealing with a big Powerpoint presentation (PPT) file.

In the older PPT format, 6063 Kb.

When zipped, 4826 Kb. Not a bad saving given the number of pictures in it.

Here’s the interesting thing: in PPTX format: 3293 Kb.

Remembering that PPTX and other Office Open XML formats (DOCX, XLSX etc) do their compression on the file as a whole, not the individual componenets, so this is an interesting result.

Perhaps the old binary format is inherently less efficient/compressible than the new XML format.

Mind you, another big PPT I tried it with didn’t compress down as much; the PPTX was about the same size as the ZIPped PPT, so it obviously depends on the exact content

Music in Powerpoint

George Skarbek’s column in The Age this week answers this question:

Q: How can I set up a music file to play through an entire PowerPoint presentation? I can get it into one slide, but it stops when the slide changes. P. Turnham

My suggested answer: You shouldn’t. Are you trying to fecking torture your audience or what? Just because you found some tinny bit of computer music that would have the original composer turning in their grave doesn’t mean anybody else wants to hear it, let alone for the duration of a complete presentation. It’s crap, dude, pure crap.

Show your slides, know your facts, talk to your audience, take questions at the end, and don’t over-do the cutesy clipart or animations. That’s how to do it.

Missing the bloat

A colleague was pasting a picture into his Powerpoint presentation. Some kind of diagram, and unfortunately he didn’t have the original document it came from, so no matter which Paste Special option he tried, it came through as a bitmap. Saved it to disk, e-mailed it to someone else, and wondered why it took so long.

Then he saw the size. It had blown out from a couple of hundred K to over 4Mb.

So he tried zipping it. WinZip took it down to, believe it or not, 80Kb.

No wonder people complain about Microsoft bloatware… sometimes it’s not just the apps, it’s the way they store stuff as well.