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October 30, 2005

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andrew hollister

Nice article, but I feel the need to comment on the PNG file format. My company works with quite a few large corporations, and in that work I had to create the "NO PNGs" rule. Because not all versions of PPT play nice with the PNG.

The problem occurs when working in different version of PPT. Save out a PNG, place it in a 2003 or XP file. Open and save that file in a version back and you may get "the ugly black box" A black field that replaces your alph channel or the entire image.

I would try Fireworks as a "fix" mentioned in the indezine article; but that seems silly to purchase an app for $300 just to save out PNG files.

OK I'm done venting, Thanks again for the great articles.

Andrew Hollister

Don't forget, if you're not animating the image (which is dreadful), save the image out of Photoshop on the PPT background as a full size JPEG. Your 'Gym Membership' slide is a great example

Reducing the amount of 32bit images will help with smaller PPT file sizes.

Garr

Andrew,

Thanks for the comments. Yes, if you are not animating your PNG image, you can save the slide back out as one large jpeg at 1024x768 and then put it back into the the slideware. The PNG file above ("Gym membership") is 288K alone. When I save it back out as part of the entire slide with text the larger image is now 75K in size. The slide looks basically the same although there is a very slight degradation in quality, hardly noticeable.

This is an extra step and is something I never do since I do not send my slides to others (I send documents or links instead). I personally am not concerned with file size since my slideware functions smoothly at 1MB or 100MB file size. But if PPT file size is a great concern, then the technique you mention is very useful indeed.

A designer friend of mine does all his slides at 1024x768 in Photoshop: text, photos, background, all of it. He then places all these large JPEGs into PowerPoint. He uses no animation, almost no transitions and his slides have beautiful images, smooth gradients, natural drop shadows, etc. Nothing about his slides reminds you that you are looking at a PPT slide.

Thanks again.

-G

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