Saturday, March 07, 2009

New use for the PowerPoint Picture Compression feature

A recent workshop participant asked a question that helped us discover a new use for the resampling feature in PowerPoint. The resampling feature is properly known as the picture compression feature. It allows you to compress high resolution photos so that your PowerPoint file does not get so large. It removes the pixels you aren't using, so the picture still looks the same but the file is easier to e-mail.

The question that was asked related to another aspect of this feature. In order to save even more space, the compression feature will also delete the parts of the photo that you have cropped out. The idea is that if you aren't showing that part of the photo, you don't need to be taking up file space with those areas.

The participant asked if this deletion of cropped areas would help secure a photo when you cropped a section out and don't want others to be able to uncrop the photo to see what else was in the original photo. One reason to want to do this is when you have a photo of a scene and you don't want to show someone who was in the scene because it would be detrimental if anyone were to know that they were there. It turns out that the deleting of cropped areas feature is exactly what she was looking for. We tested it in the workshop and after the compression was done, we could not go back and see what had been in the photo when we uncropped it.

Even if you don't want to compress all photos or don't need to because they are not high resolution, you can use this technique in the following way. Right-click on the photo and select to format the picture as you usually do. Select the compress feature as you normally would. But when setting the options, select to only delete the cropped areas and only for this photo, not the other photos in your presentation. This way, you secure the photo you want without affecting any of the other photos in your file.

This may not be a technique you will use in many of your presentations, but it is handy to know when you run in to a situation that involves a sensitive photo.


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