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Compressing PowerPoint Presentations to Make the Most of Storage Space

Online Learning Support

The University of North Florida currently provides 1024MB (~1GB) of storage to every Canvas course. Although CIRT highly encourages using Canvas Studio or Microsoft OneDrive for large file storage, faculty can use Canvas to store course files such as documents, images, presentations, audio, video, and more.

Continue reading to find out how to make the most of your gigabyte.

Making the Most of Storage

Canvas Studio and Microsoft OneDrive provide significantly more storage than the simple file manager inside of course shells.

Did You Know?

UNF students, faculty and staff with Office 365 are provided with 5 Terabytes (5,000 GB) of cloud-based space to store work related files using OneDrive. OneDrive lets you easily store and share files – anywhere, on any device.

Nevertheless, this solution may not work for everyone. What if you absolutely must share your PowerPoints inside your course but do not have enough space to do so? Is there a way to make those PowerPoint files more flexible? 

Streamlining Through Compression

When creating slideshows for students or colleagues, most people don’t spend much time considering how large the presentation will be when completed. We don’t usually take note of the sizes of our image attachments, embedded audio or video, fonts, or templates. But every asset within a presentation adds to the overall file size of the finished product.  

In this blog post, we’ll teach you several ways to compress your assets so that your final product takes up less space in Canvas. As an added benefit, the smaller size of your PowerPoint will make sharing it with others more accessible, allowing for better collaboration.

Reducing Your Image Sizes

PowerPoint presentations often contain images. While this can help you create a pretty presentation, it may also increase the size of the file.

Powerpoint format tab menu with compress pictures highlighted

The thing is, most presentations don’t need to contain super-HD-quality 4K images (the screens on which the presentation is viewed may not support such high resolution). Microsoft provides a handy guide on how to reduce your image resolutions one-by-one or in bulk. Keep in mind that if you want to keep the original image in all its glory, you can still do so outside of the presentation. Editing the image inside of PowerPoint will not affect the original.

Reducing Multimedia Sizes

Compressing other media types, like video, audio or animations, can also help you reduce the overall size of your presentation.

Powerpoint media size and performance screen with full HD, HD, and Standard options highlighted

Media files, especially video, are some of the worst offenders when it comes to overall file size. We highly encourage saving your video outside of PowerPoint, like Canvas Studio or OneDrive. However, if you choose to share your videos in the presentation, you may want to limit those videos to HD or Standard quality. Check out this official Microsoft guide on how to do so.

Trimming the Fat

By default, every PowerPoint contains historical metadata that records every action you take while creating your presentation. Once your presentation is complete, you may find this information superfluous.

Powerpoint inspect presentation screen with inspect document highlighted

Removing the metadata from your PowerPoint can not only help to reduce it’s overall file size, but it can also help to make your PowerPoint more private and secure. Click here to learn about the types of metadata embedded in your presentation, and learn how to prune it.

Sharing in Another Format

Finally, ask yourself, when sharing online, does this presentation need to be a collection of slides and/or animations? Did you know that you can significantly reduce your file size by exporting to another format?

Powerpoint info tab with convert button highlighted

Using PowerPoint’s compatibility mode, you can trim many of the extra features within your presentation (such as space-hungry animations) and share only the most relevant information. For those that need to streamline even more, consider sharing your presentation as a PDF instead. Not only will you save space, but your file will also be made more accessible to those without PowerPoint installed on their computers.

More Tips & Tricks

The above tips are only the beginning when it comes to PowerPoint compression. With just a bit of Googling or a visit to CIRT, we can teach you how to create better PowerPoints by removing custom fonts or leveraging the power of zip files.


Some parts of this article were taken directly from Microsoft Support, as well as “The Art of Presentation.” For even more tips on how to compress your PowerPoint presentations, see this article on GroovyPost or this career guide on Indeed.com.

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