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How to prepare presentations for posting on the JCSDA website

This page is intended to provide guidance to authors who are preparing presentations, typically in Microsoft PowerPoint, for seminars and for posting on the JCSDA website. We hope to assist you in making a web-friendly and portable presentation file that can be quickly added to websites and can also be e-mailed without overwhelming the file-size constraints for file attachments to e-mail.

Requirements for presentation files intended for JCSDA internet posting

  • Page numbers - Please page number your presentations. Page numbers make it much easier for dial-in participants to follow along with seminars and talks.
  • File names - Give your presentation a meaningful filename that is as terse as possible and which includes NO spaces. A perfect file name is: Wilson_RemoteSensing_20071125.ppt, where "Wilson" is the author's last name; "RemoteSensing" is the topic; and "20071125" is the date of the presentation. Don't include in your filename words like 'slides', 'presentation', etc. I'll just end up removing that for brevity.
  • File format - For security, the JCSDA webmaster strongly advises against placing files in a natively editable format like PPT onto public-facing websites. Instead, we convert them to PDF files before posting them on the site. If you can supply your presentation files in PDF format, it is much appreciated, provided that you have been able to get the PDF's file size down to 5MB or less.
  • File size - Ideally, your presentation file should be no larger than 5MB when it is saved as a PDF file. If your original PPT file is very large and you don't know how to make it any smaller, see the image size reduction technique detailed below. If you don't have the time or wherewithal to make the file a PDF at the requested file size, send it as a native PowerPoint file.
  • 24-hour lead time - JCSDA strongly encourages authors to send a copy of their completed presentation slides to the seminar points of contact: JCSDA webmaster 24 hours before their talk is scheduled to take place. This lead time permits the organizers and the webmaster to distribute the PDF of your presentation to remote seminar attendees in advance of your seminar.

Using PowerPoint animation features

Frequently presentation authors use PowerPoint's animation features to overlay one drawing or text object on top of another dynamically. This looks great running through PowerPoint's presentation engine, but be advised that creating a PDF from such files will just stack up all the objects on a page and render them. If you care to prevent this, use separate pages to simulate animation effects, and then the resulting PDF file won't be illegible.

Reducing the file size of PowerPoint files

screen capture of MS PowerPoint picture tool bar controlsMany presentations developed for seminars contain upwards of 50 slides and are over 10MB saved as native PPT files. One common cause of very large file size is that authors embed high resolution images in their presentations. While desirable for printing, high resolution images aren't necessary for online presentation and viewing. The following technique will help you to reduce the file size of images in the version of your presentation you are sending to JCSDA for placement on the websites. PowerPoint has a feature that properly reduces the file size and resolution of embedded images to optimize file size while retaining sufficient image quality to render nicely on screen.

  • Open your presentation in MS PowerPoint.
  • Save your presentation to a new file name if you want to keep the original higher resolution image version separately.
  • Display the PowerPoint picture tool bar control panel. To do this, go to the menu and select View > Toolbars > Picture.

  • screen capture of MS PowerPoint picture toolbarOn the Picture Toolbar that appears on the screen, select the image compression icon. This icon is indicated with red arrows on the screen capture at right; it is the 10th icon from the left on the toolbar, and is an image with tiny arrows pointing inward all around it.

  • screen capture of MS PowerPoint 'compress pictures' dialogue boxIn the Compress Pictures dialogue box (screen capture at right), choose the following settings:
    • Apply to all pictures;
    • Change resolution to 'web / screen';
    • Options: Compress pictures
    • Options: Delete cropped areas of pictures
  • Click OK to apply the settings. If your file contains many images that need to be compressed, it may take several moments for the image compression to be completed. As soon as the hour glass goes away, SAVE your file.
  • Resulting files can be as much as 100 MB smaller than their source, depending on the original resolution of the embedded images.

Embedded objects from other applications

screen capture of menu options to import an image into MS PowerPointMany authors use other applications to create images, charts, maps, and graphs that they then place in their presentation files. How you embed the images, charts, and graphs from other applications into PowerPoint can have ENORMOUS impact on the size of the resulting PowerPoint file.

Don't embed graphics into PowerPoint via the clipboard

If you create your charts, graphs, or images in a different application and then copy the content to the clipboard, go to an open PowerPoint file, and then paste the graphic directly onto the page with a Paste or <CTRL>-V command, the resulting files have the potential to be enormous. How big? Sometimes more than 100 MB. This is a big problem.

Instead of pasting from the clipboard, IMPORT graphic content into PowerPoint

In the program where the graphics you want to use are created, EXPORT the graphics to a standalone file, either vector or bitmap as appropriate. Then go to your open PowerPoint document and select Insert > Picture > From file, and then select your graphic file with the browse tool.


More information on optimizing PowerPoint file size:

Help

Please contact the JCSDA webmaster for assistance with any of these guidelines and techniques.

Modified February 9, 2010 10:02 PM
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