Great to see that many great looking high-resolution images are used in PowerPoint presentations. Pictures are great as an illustration on your slides, to add some visual aid to your message, or a great background. But very often, we see that the quality of the pictures used are low. Unexpected because, it were a high resolution images when you inserted them into the slide.
Default PowerPoint Compression = BAD
There is a bad habit of PowerPoint to compress all images by default! Yes, you read correct. The great presentation tool PowerPoint is adjusting your images by default to a low-quality resolution to save space on your hard drive. That was important, years ago when storage was limited and expensive. But now, when you use PowerPoint presentations on large television screens for your advertising and information screens, you need high-quality or high-resolution images.
By default, PowerPoint is compressing images with a 96 PPI resolution. PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch, and a value of 96 is low quality. A higher value here would result in a better image quality. There are 2 ways to make sure that you use (and remain to use) high-quality pictures.
Method 1: Per Presentation
The first method is an option that you can change for the current presentation. I can tell you already that the disadvantage of this option, is that you have to apply this setting again for every new presentation, and you will forget that.
To change the default picture compression for the current presentation, click File, Options, Advanced.
Scroll down on that form to a group named Image Size and Quality. You have 2 options here to get a higher quality. Check the option Do not compress images in file or change the default resolution from 96 ppi to for example to 220 ppi, 330 ppi or choose high fidelity. Click OK to close the options form and this setting will be saved with this presentation.
So this works fine for this presentation, but you will probably forget to do this change for the next presentations. There is another option to make it change permanently.
Method 2: Permanent higher resolution
To make this permanent, we have to enter some information into the registry. To fastest way to open the registry editor, is to click the Windows key + R on your keyboard. There you type in the word regedit and hit OK.
This command will open the registry editor. If you have PowerPoint 2016 on your system, then navigate to the path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\PowerPoint\Options. The folder 16.0 corresponds to PowerPoint 2016. Use 14.0 for PowerPoint 2010 or 15.0 for PowerPoint 2013.
At the right pane here, right click and choose to add a new Dword with the name AutomaticPicturesCompressionDefault. Use a value of 0 here to disable the automatic picture compression in PowerPoint. Set it back to 1 to allow picture compression. After that, close the registry editor tool.
This is the first PowerPoint action that I do every time when I’m on a new computer. That way I will never have to worry about the low quality pictures in PowerPoint. And PowerPoint is a great presentation tool for your advertising and information screens, and now even more with high-resolution pictures all the time.