My #1 behind-the-scenes of PowerPoint issues is Master Slides. Note, PowerPoint’s Master Slides, ability to have multiple masters, options to assign different background styles to individual master layouts, and more are all fantastic. But the option to “Keep Source Formatting” was well intentioned, but as an unchecked option it can literally cripple a presentation!

Let’s use this client supplied presentation file as an example of what I experience virtually daily.

This is a single 46 slide presentation for 1 presenter. The slides are beautiful and a fantastic presentation. But looking behind-the-scenes, this PowerPoint file has 15 separate Master Slides – that is 16 templates embedded in the file!

I can easily identify that the “Keep Source Formatting” feature was used several times. Because…

  • 7 of the Master Slides are named the PowerPoint default “Office Template” and duplicates of each other.
  • 6 of the Master slides are the event template that has been inserted 6 duplicate times.
  • And the 2 yellow Master slides are truly unique inserted templates.

Of note, after formatting the presentation, with none of the content visually changed, all was consolidated to 1 Master slide.

File Size:

  • The provided presentation, with it 16 embedded templates, was 189 MB.
  • Consolidating to a single template, the event template, reduced the file to 132 MB (there was 67 MB of content in the unneeded Master Slides!).
  • Further, optimizing the images with NXPowerlite, updated the presentation to 56 MB!!

Troy @ TLC