What do you think of Powerpoint?

If you were creating a slide show-style presentation for a group, is Powerpoint the way to go? Does it have memory limitations? The current Powerpoint file I have is 100M and growing… I am considering Flash as an alternative.

Powerpoint is the way to go. Just make sure that you control the output device otherwise the color variation and contrast variation are often out of whack. I have been embrassed a few times trying to adjust contrast on someone elses projector and been monkeying through the controls.

Saving the file as a PPS is an ok way to get the size down. Lowering the DPi of the JPEGs you are pasting is also a good way to keep the size down.

Never had an issue with size. But is trying to simulate a proposed GUI, there is a fienite number of links. Usually starts losing links around 75-100 though MS said it is limited to number of linked charectors / (shape pixles).

This is the only ocation Flash would be better.

Thanks… yes, we use our own projector and I have noticed the color differences. I’m at the mercy of the screen that displays it!

Powerpoint is the standard.

To shrink the file size, Powerpoint needs to lower the DPI of all of your placed images.

  1. Turn on the “picture” toolbar.
  2. Click any image in your presentation.
  3. Click the “Compress pictures” button in the picture toolbar.
  4. In the dialog box, select “Apply to: all pictures in document” and change the resolution to web/screen or Print. I know it’s ironic, but make sure the “compress pictures” option is selected.

OMG 100 mb ppt files. Please dont! You will likely crash your system or windows all at the same time.

Keep your file sizes small and that will make your presentation zippy. Otherwise load times will kill your presentation flow. There is also a great command (as described by cg above) in ppt that optimizes and reduces your images to fit the size that you have scaled it at.

Furthermore use view>slide master if you have the same background images, instead of copying the same image over and over on each slide.

good luck!

It’s funny, i created a master background as you say, and it only removed one mb. As for the optimized command, I’m going to have to do it the old fashioned way and re-size the originals, because I’m pretty sure the feature is only in PPT’07 -I have '03.

But I am working on getting that file size down!

Your ppt seems to be crosslinked …
if poosible divide your ppt into multiple ppts…& hyperlink one ppt to another ppt…


save all these file using … save as command …as a different file …
this will save some mbs.


I’m pretty sure the feature is only in PPT’07 -I have '03.

I think the 03 version has a file compression tool too, but it’s under the main menu items, under ‘File’ and is called something like “reduce file size”.

The newer versions are better at compression just as cg described, but seem to be buggy -some JPGs just won’t compress (and are not grouped with reference layers).

Because of the ridiculous file sizes, I now create a powerpoint and then turn it into a PDF. Usually I can get it 1/10 of the size.

The downside is that if you like all of the animation tricks, you no longer have it.

Use 03 as well, and it is right were it was discribed, atleast on a pc version.

right click any image, format picture, picture tab, compress button, select screen, select all images option, and you are good to go.

100M powerpoint file! Pity the schmucks that have to sit through that presentation.

edwardtufte.com has information on how poor powerpoint is and alternatives; mind you, he’s probably information design’s leading authority.

Powerpoint is an excellent slide projector, an exceedingly poor information design utility. Walk by any boardroom with a pp slide projected: seen one seen them all. All companies use standard background formats repeating ad nauseum company name, logos, project name, etc. Often the actual information presented is a minor % of the standard format page junk.

And often why the simplest presentation balloons to 100’s of pages and 100M+!

Don’t use any standard PP format! The content should dictate the presentation format. You’re a designer: lead, don’t follow.

Two things I do:

  1. PP layout will have a title page, 1 page listing main design requirements, then one image per page with only a title or name of the design, no company title, no logos, dates, page numbers. Rarely I will put a fly out or two with point form text. Between successive image pages I may have a text page.

  2. If it is a very detailed presentation, requiring a lot of text with images, I will compose it in MS Word as more of a report, send it out days beforehand and then at actual presentation project the MS Word document up on screen to go through.

I do the pdf trick… you don’t need those animations anyway :wink:

We have an ongoing cold war in our design office on using PowerPoint. My take is, “if you want to use the communication tool of middlemanagement and Microsofties, be my guest” but I hate the damn thing. My design colleague actually does vector graphics using PPT - I’d rot first.

However I don’t have a good alternative - I make everything in Illustrator and then turn it into JPEG slides and then PDF it all together in Acrobat. I know, I know, inflexible and tedious. That’s how much I hate PPT.

Anyone using InDesign for presentations? I’ve heard you can take an InDesign file and output it in slide format to a PDF file. At least it will play nicer with Adobe’s products.

I’ve bought Apple’s Keynote but haven’t had a chance to bust it out yet.

Should I just face the music and use PPT? :imp: :imp: :imp:

I used keynote for awhile, its nice. The thing is I like my marketing and sales team to use my slides (so they are nice), this way I can give them a ppt so they can cut and paste slides into their pres and use my backgrounds for their slides. This makes ppt a necessity.

I feel your pain… do vector graphics in it? Slap your colleague across the face for me!

PDF is a great way to go. I’ve never had a problem doing it this way. In my experience Powerpoint is a disaster waiting to happen, besides if people are watching lame animations and sounds they won’t be listening to what you’re saying.

I avoid Powerpoint at all costs because it’s also harder to design your layouts the way you want. I like laying out my pages in InDesign and then exporting the “book” to a PDF. SO much easier and you have much more control over the look of your pages.

To each his own I guess.

Has anyone tried building a presentation in Flash? That seems like an alternative, granted there’s a learning curve.

A challenge that I have is that I am designing something to be distributed to other presenters (some are not very tech savvy). They want a format that everyone understands (and also costs them no additional $$).

The new version of PP is awesome (V2007). In general, I haven’t been impressed with any of the updated modules of MS Office 2007, but the re-write of PP is substantial. My favorites include:

  • Lots of new controls over the graphic design of slides
  • Easier interface for adding elements to slides
  • Better templates
  • Not as quirky as V2003
  • Better cut-n-paste between Excel

Overall they re-invented the program. I’ve actually been using it as a fast and dirty logo development program because it has a ton of clip art. I can develop a “prototype logo” that gets refined later in Illustrator.

Upgrade if you’re a PowerPoint master.

Well, the question is if you’re trying to collaborate with those people in middle management! If so, use their tools.

By using PPT, I’m giving up a little bit of design control (namely I use default fonts like Verdana), but I’m gaining collaboration, exposure and speed. That sounds like a smart choice to me. Plus no one says your Powerpoint needs to LOOK like one.

You can make a multiple page PDF from Illustrator as well…no need to export it to JPEGs and re-assemble again. You just have to make your artboard as large as the number of pages you need, tile them, and print to PDF.

From what I understand InDesign is great, as multiple pages are easier to deal with because it’s setup for publishing books (like Quark) but I haven’t taken the time to learn how to use it yet.