Tuesday, November 27, 2007

PowerPoint Tip: Smaller imported PDF images

Earlier this year I shared a technique for including PDF content on a PowerPoint slide. In issue 135 on May 29 I showed how the capture tool in Acrobat can be used to move content from a PDF file to a slide (see http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/archives.htm for this and all back issues). If you are including a lot of PDF content, you may have seen your file size grow.

One way to reduce the size of PowerPoint files that contain graphics is to use PowerPoint's built-in feature to compress graphics. I have used this to compress files up to 96%. But this does not seem to help when you have these PDF images in a PowerPoint file.

If file size is of critical importance to you because you need to e- mail the file to others, you may need to use a modified technique that will allow a smaller file size. Here are the steps you would follow:
1. Capture the PDF content using the Acrobat capture tool as you normally would. Make sure that the capture area is as large as possible by zooming in Acrobat so that you get the clearest image possible.
2. Open Windows Paint. This is a utility that comes with Windows and is usually found in the Accessories folder after you click Start and All Programs.
3. Paste the captured image into Windows Paint.
4. In Windows Paint, save the image as a PNG or JPG file (the different file types are available in the Save as type drop down list at the bottom of the File Save dialog box).
5. Use Insert - Picture - From File in PowerPoint to insert the image on a slide.

This is definitely a more involved set of steps to get PDF content into your slide, but it may reduce the file size enough to allow you to e-mail the presentation.

If you include many screen capture images in your presentation, this technique will also allow you to edit the screen captures in an image editing program and make them available for use in other presentations or documents.


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