I realized that PowerPoint is removing all image metadata (PNG). In my case the metadata contains the data from which the image was generated. (chemical structure). The idea would be to put these images into presentation but still be able to later extract the information. However this fails because PowerPoint removes it.

Is there a setting to make power point conserve custom metadata?

EDIT 9th November:

I've learned that when looking at the content of the pptx file (unzip) the original image with all metadata is present. However once you export or copy it from within the presentation, it's "converted" loosing said metadata.

  • In what format are your original images and how is the metadata stored within them in the first place? Some formats that can carry metadata (TIFF for example) aren't "native" to PowerPoint; when it imports them, it converts them to PNG/JPG/BMP for example. It might be that the converter routines don't preserve metadata. In other cases, depending on the settings for each file, PPT may or may not downsample the image to a resolution appropriate to the size at which it's displayed in the presentation. Downsampling might toss the metadata as well. There's probably no user-friendly way to do this Nov 7 '20 at 18:36
  • @SteveRindsberg it's a png image. Also see my edit.
    – beginner_
    Nov 9 '20 at 5:47
  • Thanks for the add'l info, and as you've seen, PNG is one of the formats PPT uses internally. Next step, what platform (Windows/Mac) and version of PPT are you using? Nov 10 '20 at 2:10

If you really want to embed a certain image in its original form into a powerpoint presentation, your best bet is probably to use the feature of embedding objects / content. So you have to insert these images twice into the document:

  • once as a regular image (which might be compressed and lose its meta data)

  • once as an embedded object (which is displayed as a small rectangle with the file name, and which can be extracted later again from the document)

I would place the latter nearby the related visible image, so one can find it easily later on, but at a place where they don't disturb anyone. If you still think the embedded rectangle must not be seen during presentation, you can try to hide it in presentation mode, only show up in edit mode. Such an effect can be accomplished for example by assigning an animation to the object which will make it appear only after >1hour (or more).

However, I would consider if that is really necessary. It may be simpler to bundle the original image files with the pptx file utilizing a zip folder.

  • Must be simple as users would have to do it themselves so neither of the options would work as too complicated. hence specifically asking for a setting.
    – beginner_
    Nov 6 '20 at 14:14
  • @beginner_: there is no such setting, and what I suggested is way less complicated than you think. But why isn't the most simple solution - just keeping the original image files side-by-side with the Powerpoint document - not working for you? Powerpoint is not an "archive format" for images. IMHO the expectation that it should keep metadata intact is not really justified - if I put images into a pptx, they will be optimized for displaying the in a presentation, not optimized for packaging them in an unmodified way. For packaging, using zip files makes more sense.
    – Doc Brown
    Nov 6 '20 at 16:42

The answer to my question seems to be "No, this can not be changed".

However as I wrote in the question, the original image is stored inside the document. One can unzip the pptx file and then get access to all the images in the presentation.

The good part about this is that it can be automated. So I consider the issue solved.

  • 1
    You'll need to make sure that PowerPoint is set not to compress images and that the users don't choose to do so themselves; it appears that with PNGs at least, the metadata is lost when PPT compresses an image. Nov 11 '20 at 21:09
  • Good point. It works for me even though it is enabled the compression only starts for images with dpi>220. This is either PPT default setting or set by IT / company enforced. Either way it's what users will use and if they mess with this, well...
    – beginner_
    Nov 12 '20 at 8:57
  • Probably set by IT, and for your purposes, that's VERY handy. Nov 12 '20 at 19:02

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