I am trying to make a presentation for a conference, and am facing a problem that I cannot solve. I have a powerpoint presentation initially created with Powerpoint 2010 for Windows. I am facing picture compression issues as described here. In addition to this saving problem, that pictures become worse quality every time I save the file, I am experiencing problems while trying to insert files. All pictures are inserted blurry. This applies for emf, png and, pdf. The solution here does not work as pictures are still inserted in lower quality

I see that it is possible to disable the feature in Advanced settings under Windows, but I cannot find these advanced settings from Powerpoint for Mac 2011. How can I import/insert pictures to Powerpoint in their original quality? How can I control the picture compression?

I am working on Powerpoint version 14.3.2 and OS X 10.8.3

  • I think I have a better answer, but I can't post it since the question is protected. If the pictures looks good in the original presentation and does not appear to lose quality, it may not actually be compressed, just zoomed. When PowerPoint copies it, it copies at the zoomed quality, rather than the original. Try going back to the original PowerPoint file. Select the picture you want to copy. In the "Picture Tools/Format" tab, press "reset picture" (it may make the picture really large). Then copy the picture and paste into the final document (may then need to resize it there).
    – Trashman
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:25

6 Answers 6


You might be out of luck if you do not have the originals, as you know now the 2010 was compressing the pictures.

First save the picture to hard drive and open it with something like iPhoto.

If you like the quality there we can continue.

If you do not like the quality it is the end of the road, no advanced settings will help here.

You could report the picture file size here, like is it in 500k- 1Meg, or more or less than 100k.

In second case your only option is to keep the picture size as small as possible to retain the quality (resolution).


If the pictures look good in original presentation then lets try this.

Do not copy paste.

Use presentation mode (full screen) and make a screenshot (press cmd+shift+4). You will get a cursor allowing you to select the picture., and once you have done that it will save it.

Now take look at that result first, and if happy then import it in to power point.

  • Thanks for your help. The problem is that it does not matter what size I import pictures. 1 Meg looks the same than 100k because of this weird compression problem.
    – Mikko
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 21:28
  • How do they look in iPhoto?
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 21:52
  • There are programs which you can use to improve the quality but don't expect wonders.
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 21:57
  • Try to open in iPhoto and use the edit there and see what you can do to improve.
    – Ruskes
    Commented May 18, 2013 at 22:03

In Word and PowerPoint for Mac 2011, you can change the compression behaviour for a placed bitmap image via the Format Picture ribbon. Double-click the image to bring that ribbon to the front, then click the Compress button and choose the option Keep Current Resolution. Or, choose File > Reduce Size to bring up the dialog box. This needs to be done before the presentation is saved with the newly placed image.

It's different for vector graphics from PDF files, which PowerPoint will simply convert into bitmap graphics and compress as soon as the presentation is saved with the newly placed PDF file. This can be avoided in MS Office by using vector graphics in the .EPS file format or in Microsoft's own .EMF format, which can be exported from most vector graphics editors, e.g., Inkscape, OpenOffice Draw, Adobe Illustrator, etc. (Beware: PDFs exported from bitmap editors like GIMP, Photoshop, or Pixelmator are not vector graphics images.)


Thanks to Buscar for making me to look more deeply into this. It seems that the preview/editing space in PP for Mac visually compresses the pictures (i.e. text is somewhat sharper than pictures, no matter how high quality they are). However, this difference disappears in the Slide Show mode.

  • You're right! When you play the slide show, the blurriness is no longer there; it's only blurry in the edit portion. THanks!
    – user66381
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 20:39

When using lineart, logos, etc from a vector file (not too complex), it is possible to use vector graphics in Powerpoint. Enlarge it 400% in illustrator and export it as a .WMF file. This allso works for other office applications.

You can also export vector graphics using the newer file format .EMF (However, there is stil issues exporting gradients and more complex artwork.)


Actually I solved the problem by realizing that Powerpoint is really bad in compressing photos. I tried to insert a 20MB jpeg and it looked awful in my Powerpoint Mac 2011. I solved it by adjusting the resolution with Photoshop and then pasted it - the results are a huge improvement!


I have the same problem. My workaround for this is: don't save to ppt or pptx, directly save as PDF after you insert the PDF figures. In that way, it can keep the best resolution and in vector format.

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