Picture Sizing - What's 'Best Practice'?

Hello,

What would be considered 'best practice' when inserting an image.....

  • Insert an image of the EXACT size you need it to be? (This may involve dropping a pic in a slide, re-sizing it, make a note of the size, deleting, pick you favorite graphic editor, re-size, re-save, re-insert.

Or

  • Insert an image and re-size as needed and be done with it.  

You can tell which way I want you to go on this.....but in reality, in order to have the most optimal presentation size, am I ok to drop a pic in and fiddle with the size from within Power Point?

What are your thoughts and opinions?

Cheers,

Dave

19 Replies
Rich Johnstun

I believe in sizing images outside of PowerPoint. It makes for a much smaller and more compact presentation. PowerPoint does not re-sample the image so when you put a larger image in there and scale, it's still a large file size. Our instructors are bad about dropping  8+mpx images in presentations and then getting frustrated when they have a 200mb presentation. I've cut several presentations in size by 75% with no loss in quality simply by resizing the images properly. 

James Starr

While I do use Photoshop to edit my images outside of PowerPoint, as a best practice, I still use PowerPoint to edit the image size also. I just make sure the image is around 960x720 max for width and height when importing. This is because if you make the image too small outside of PowerPoint, and you resize it larger in PowerPoint after importing, it will become grainy (unless it's a vector image).

You just want to make sure you're not importing images at a huge resolution. If you stick to the slide size, no one should have any issues playing your course at all.

David Steffek

Hi, Dave.

This is definitely a struggle from a time investment standpoint, but from a storage and bandwidth stanpoint you should always optimize your images. This is true whether you're talking about elearning, web design, epublishing, e-whatever.

Depending on your delivery method, unoptimized images create delays and system strain (Flash needing to pre-load the image, or HTML displaying the image line-by-line as it loads).

A colleague of mine was recently complaining that an image was taking way too long to load. I took a look at the image - it was being displayed on the page at 320x240 but the actual file was 1280x960. Resizing it to the actual display size and saving it as a jpg instead of a png moved it from 2.7mb to something like 48kb. I'm not great with math, but isn't that something like a 98% difference? As a result, the image now loads instantly

Optimizing an image manually should take less than a minute. I realize that if you've got 100 images to do then it adds up, but it's well worth it in the end.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Yes, I was going to make the same suggestion as Mike. When the compress pictures dialog box opens you can choose to do just the selected picture or all pictures.

Otherwise, I use Snagit for batch file "operations."

Curious, has anyone compared ultimate file size when sizing pictures OUTSIDE of PowerPoint ahead of time vs. compressing within PowerPoint?

Rich Johnstun

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro said:

Yes, I was going to make the same suggestion as Mike. When the compress pictures dialog box opens you can choose to do just the selected picture or all pictures.

Otherwise, I use Snagit for batch file "operations."

Curious, has anyone compared ultimate file size when sizing pictures OUTSIDE of PowerPoint ahead of time vs. compressing within PowerPoint?


You made me curious so I just did a little experiment. 

I used an image that is 1920x1200 @96dpi with a file size of 545K. 

I made two single slide presentations. In one I inserted the image as it was and used the compression feature in PowerPoint. In the other I did a simple resize with the MS Office Picture Manager. 

The result: 

Presentation using PowerPoint Compression = 235K 

Presentation using resized image = 171K 

So if my math is right, in this instance that's a 24% difference. Now, this is just a single image so of course, mileage will vary. 

Dave Newgass

Hmmm....interesting!

I just opened PP2010 and checked out he compress images but for some reason I don't see any option to select 'all' so to speak.  I tried to uncheck the option 'Apply to this picture only' and it didn't help much.

Any thoughts or direction would be appreciated!

Cheers,

Dave

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Rich Johnstun said:

You made me curious so I just did a little experiment. 

 I used an image that is 1920x1200 @96dpi with a file size of 545K. 

 I made two single slide presentations. In one I inserted the image as it was and used the compression feature in PowerPoint. In the other I did a simple resize with the MS Office Picture Manager. 

 The result: 

Presentation using PowerPoint Compression = 235K 

Presentation using resized image = 171K 

 So if my math is right, in this instance that's a 24% difference. Now, this is just a single image so of course, mileage will vary. 

Interesting...so what level of compression did you use and how did they compare to what you did in Picture Manager? I mean, in PPT you can compress for document quality, print quality, email quality, and screen quality. Email and screen significantly reduce PPT file size. And how does one compare this to resizing with a stand-alone product?
DeLora Reardon

I was just having a conversation with two colleagues the other day. A coworker was asking me why her Storyline lessons were sometimes twice as large as the ones I did even though my lessons were often longer. The true answer, once I thought it through and checked things out, was that she was inserting more videos than I. However, in the mean time I did think about how I play with images and did a bunch of tests with one sample image. Apologize ahead of time if it makes this too long, but some people may find it useful.

First thing I tested was with images from clipart.com:

  1. Saved an image from Clipart.com, saved onto Desktop, and did an direct insert into Storyline. Project size: 592kb
  2. Copied an image from Clipart.com, pasted into Powerpoint, than copy-pasted into Storyline. Project size: 1,992kb
  3. Did the same above and also removed background before pasting into Storyline. Project size: 1,968kb. Usually, I do remove the background, so interesting there that it does cut out the information direcly on size.I used to use Fireworks for removing background solely, but find Powerpoint to be pretty fast and I always have it up.

The second thing I thought of was that I often make "custom gradient" backgrounds within Storyline as compared to using an image (not for everything, but probably for about half the slides):

  1. Just inserted a "blurred bkground" image that one of the rapid elearning posts had given us. Size: 1,172kb (original graphic was 999 kb, so not too surprising)
  2. Made a background with similar colors using just a box and giving a gradient fill: 168kb

The other thing I do if I want an image with font over it is to play with it in Powerpoint, but then paste into Storyline (probably an accessibility no-no):

1) Insert image, and then put a font over it in Storyline: 608 kb
2) Paste both image and font from Powerpoint: 1,968
3) I tried saving the image/font toghether as an image from Powerpoint and inserting instead of copy-pasting and that did knock down the size a bit (but not by much): 1,952 kb
4) Insert image directly into Storyline, but paste a font graphic from Powerpoint: 608kb.
This is all without using the "compress image" option noted in Powerpoint - I've never noticed that, so thanks for that!
I may have to play with that because I was otherwise thinking that  I need to revert back to my old ways of doing images in Fireworks/Photoshop.