We reduced a 21 megabyte PowerPoint presentation on travel to Guatemala to 1 megabyte by using a Windows utility called PPTminimizer. That’s a 96 percent reduction. The presentation looks exactly the same as the original and can be sent through the Internet as a regular e-mail file. When we tried it with a presentation that included video and sound, the reduction was 84 percent.

Unlike other utility programs that drastically reduce file size, there is no compression involved with PPTminimizer. What it does is “optimize” the presentation. That means it does not have to be decompressed or “opened” when it reaches its Internet destination, but can be played immediately just as it arrives. Since PPTminimizer also works with PowerPoint Show files, the recipient does not have to have PowerPoint on his machine to view the presentation.

If you use Microsoft Outlook as your e-mail program, PPTminimizer can automatically optimize all your PowerPoint files each time you attach one to an e-mail, if you wish, or ask you each time if you would like to optimize the file. You don’t have to install PPTminimizer to use it; you can run it from a disk, which is handy if you’re off somewhere using another computer. The cost is $30 from PPTminimizer.com or you can use a free trial version.

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