A reader wrote me the following:
I import graphics from InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. I say import, but sometimes I do copy/paste out of indesign…a NO-NO i’m sure. Anyway, the deck looks great. I send it out to everyone — they make any last minute changes and sometimes send back for me to approve. This is where I’m guessing the compression is taking place and making most every graphic look awful. Is there a way to stop this?
The reader is right. A new “feature” of PowerPoint 2007 is that PowerPoint automatically compresses pictures when you save the file. This is usually OK, but in certain situations, it degrades the images unacceptably. (And it makes animated GIFs stop working, but few people use them any more.)
Selecting an image in another program and pasting into PowerPoint is not a good idea. Save the image as a separate file and then insert it as a picture in PowerPoint.
You can stop PowerPoint 2007 from compressing images automatically, but it’s very hard to find this setting! When you change the setting, it applies to the file, so the setting should stick with the file.
Here are the steps:
- Select a picture on a slide.
- Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, go to the Adjust group and click Compress Pictures. You see this Compress Pictures dialog box
- Click the Options button to display the Compression Settings dialog box.
- Uncheck Automatically Perform Basic Compression on Save check box.
- Click OK twice.
Luckily, PowerPoint 2010 doesn’t automatically compress pictures when you save.