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I am using PowerPoint from Microsoft Office 2016. I use a lot of screenshots (save the screenshot to clipboard and paste it in PowerPoint). When using the retina display, the presentation file size becomes a lot bigger compared to the same task using a normal display. That makes sense, since the same size images would be 4X as many pixels.

There seems to be a solution. You can go to File > Compress Pictures. However, I don't think that compresses the images properly. I can set the resolution to a very low setting. That makes the images very blurry and the file size is reduced. However, the file size it still much higher than using non-retina images without any compression. The non-retina presentation is smaller file and better quality in the end. I think that the way PowerPoint calculates the resolution, that still somehow does not take into account the retina conversion by the OS.

Is there a way to use PowerPoint with a retina display, but still keep the images to a reasonable size? Can I keep PowerPoint in non-retina mode somehow?

Looking at previous posts, there used to be an option to "Open in low resolution" in File > Get Info, but that does not seem to exist anymore.

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Try saving the screenshots to a JPG file and then inserting them into the Powerpoint. You can switch the format that Mac OS saves screenshots in to JPG by typing the following command into a terminal window:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg;killall SystemUIServer

I just tried it with identical screen shots and saving to a JPG file and then inserting into the Powerpoint made the file 80% smaller than pasting the screen shot directly into the Powerpoint. The quality was identical.

enter image description here

You can shrink your existing files by saving the screenshots out of Powerpoint as a JPG (right click and choose save as picture), then delete it from the slide and re-add it from the JPG you saved.

To switch back to saving screenshots as PNG, use this command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png;killall SystemUIServer
  • I can see how saving to a file would make a difference compared to pasting directly, but why are you suggesting JPG over PNG. Is it just due to the actual image compression algorithm or are the two handled differently with regards to resolution? – burger Sep 6 '16 at 19:57
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    By default screen shots are saved as PNG files and the type key doesn't exist in the com.apple.screencapture.plist file. Actually the com.apple.screencapture.plist file doesn't exist at all, by default. So if one has changed the type to be saved as JPG files, the proper way to revert back to the default setting is defaults delete com.apple.screencapture type;killall SystemUIServer not changing the type from JPG to PNG in the command. – user3439894 Sep 6 '16 at 23:21
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    @burger, PNG (Portable Network Graphics) files use lossless data compression compared to JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) files which use lossy data compression and so while and image of the same object as a JPEG file is smaller then that of the PNG file, there is a trade off in overall quality. The PNG file, generally speaking, will be of better quality although larger in disk size then the JPEG file. Saving to PNG first then adding to PowerPoint will make of a smaller overall finished PPT file then pasting in directly from the Clipboard. Test between the two and decide for yourself. – user3439894 Sep 6 '16 at 23:35
  • I didn't change the image format from PNG to JPG, but I tried adding screenshots from file as opposed to just pasting from clipboard. That made a big difference. – burger Oct 2 '16 at 21:59
  • @burger, Yes, PNG is compressed so it will be smaller than pasting directly, just not as small as JPG. The difference won't usually be huge for most screenshots. – bwall Oct 3 '16 at 11:41
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I also found some additional potential solutions in this other thread: How can I stop my retina display from taking 2x sized screenshots?

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