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Currently I am agonizing over several large presentation files, which I happened to reprint to PDFs...

One thing I wondered: Do PPT's (from Microsoft Powerpoint) always to have to be that big?

And what would be the strategies to make a PPT smaller? (If we say "ceterus paribus" at e.g. 25 slides and assuming that one isn't allowed to use a cloud-based service like GDocs, rocketslide or Prezio.)

Of course there are the obvious "bad guys": Images and graphics.

But: How about roll-over animations etc, who knows how much space they take? How about "smart arts"?

Could one save file size if one would use "Open Office" or "Libre Office" Impress? (I didn't try it yet.)

And "what if": What if we need to include e.g. five images (or charts that can't be remade in Excel in time), how would we best reduce the file size impact of those five images, if we needed to?

I ask all this from an honest "business" perspective. I am no nerd or "Microsoft MVP" and I don't intend on delving into LATeX or similar yet. But that doesn't mean that I am not curious and very willing to learn.

I am basically interested in (proven) best practices.

Yes I know this question is lacking "initial research", but I think the perspective of my question is interesting and unique to a lot of people and if we intend to make SE a "Q&A" / Wiki kind-of reference site, this question might be a good way to "collect" advice on a question that has a very defined goal:

Minimum file-size.

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The "bad guys": Images and graphics are often inserted into the presentation at high quality (and huge size). If you are not going to print your powerpoint sheets on huge papers (say A0) then you can reduce these images. Powerpoint even has an inbuild functionality to do that. In pracis that often reduces common salesdroids ppt files from about 50MB each to about 20Mb. –  Hennes Oct 16 '12 at 17:04
    
Why is this question downvoted? Is this such a noob question? Is everyone considering themselves a MS Powerpoint expert? I consider this question a very technical one, that is not easy to answer unless you're maybe a MS MVP and know the backend of PPT. Everyone else is just guessing from their anecdotal experience, imho. –  grunwald2.0 Oct 27 '12 at 17:26
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I usually leave a comment if I down vote, containing the reason why. (Note that I did not down vote this one, nor did I feel my previous comment was good enough to form a full answer). –  Hennes Oct 27 '12 at 17:27
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Images are the commonest bad guys. Bear in mind that you rarely need an image of more than around 1024x768 assuming that you're going to project the presentation.

To bring images into PowerPoint, ALWAYS use the Insert | Picture command rather than copy/pasting from some other app or drag/dropping or the like.

Copy/pasting in general can be more evil than you'd imagine. For example, depending on the version of PPT, if you copy/paste even a tiny bit of text from an Excel sheet, you actually get the WHOLE XLS file and then some in your PPT file. And again for each copy/paste you do from the same or other XLS files. Not only can this bloat the file, but it may expose a lot of information to prying eyes that you had no intention of turning loose.

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