HomeTN eCampus FacultyManaging Files for SuccessFile Compression Solutions

8.4. File Compression Solutions

Compression Options

Many software programs offer compression options. Compression reduces file size with little loss of quality and is very helpful for students who need to download media files to view them. Overall, the course is more responsive too.

PowerPoint Compression

In this example, PowerPoint multimedia (audio, video, screencasts) components can be compressed by choosing File/Info and Compress Media. Follow the prompt to compress the presentation media. Compression options will not be visible if there are no multimedia files or if they were already compressed.

Powerpoint ribbon File menu expanded to Info. Compress Media button is present.

PowerPoint compresses image files separately from other media. Image compression can be set for the entire presentation by default. Go to File and then Options. Selecting Advanced will open a window to set Image Size and Quality. Typically, choosing the Default Resolution to 150 ppi is satisfactory for most needs.

Advanced window expanded. Default resolution is set to 150 ppi.

Images can be compressed separately. Select each image and choose the Picture and Format, then choose Compress Pictures (images).

From the Format button on the ribbon menu, an arrow points to Compress Pictures.

Choose OK. If the document already has a default setting documentation resolution will limit choices.

Compress Pictures window expanded to reveal compression options and Target Output, which is set to Use Document Resoultion.

Also, consider the resolution of videos. HD video sounds exciting and high tech, but 720p looks about the same as 1080p on a small screen but 1080p takes much longer to download than 720p. In some circumstances, average video quality may look worse in higher resolution. Consider the source material and final output when deciding, but 720p typically works well for course pages.

Editing Dimension with Maximun 720p selected.


Compressible File Types

It may be more practical to compress images before inserting them into HTML pages. Image editing programs offer compression options under Save As or Export to another file type. JPEG and PNG are good choices to reduce the file size of uncompressed image files. In this example, a TIFF file type image can be Saved As a JPEG file.

Save as type expanded from TIFF to JPEG.

When you choose the JPEG file type, the JPEG Options screen will open. The menu or the slider may be used to choose the level of compression. The software will preview the file and its projected size from your choices. It is a good idea to experiment with the result of the compression. For most needs, the smallest file size produces satisfactory results for course pages and may be hard to distinguish from the largest file size (least compression). In this example, using JPEG compression resulted in a reduction from the original 6 MB to a few hundred KB in one image.

Slider in the mid position with the Quality 6 or Medium. The size of the file is previewed as well.

PDF Compression

PDF compression does require the use of the professional version of the program. “Reader” level PDF programs will not have that feature. Using Adobe Pro, add the Optimize PDF tool if it is not already setup. Choose Optimize PDF.

Acrobat file with Optimize PDF highlighted.

Reduce File Size option will be presented on the upper toolbar. Choose it and OK to reduce the PDF file.

Reduce File Size highlighted. Window expanded and showing Make Compatible with existing file. Ok is highlighted.

Zipped File Package

Zipping files is a way to reduce file size but this primarily impacts moving and uploading files.  Remember to remove any Zipped file packages from Managed Files once the files have been unzipped (unpacked). The package can be quite large even though it is compressed. Check the package file and choose Delete to remove the package from Managed Files.

File list with Trash icon highlighted . File for deletion is checked..

In Conclusion

Searching Managed Files for unnecessary or duplicate files is a fast way to free up storage. (Remember to backup files before deleting them.) Compression can be used to reduce the storage needs of large but needed files. Combining pruning efforts and good course file structure practices produce a winning effort to reduce headaches and keep courses updated and efficient. Finally, this provides students with a better experience and improved learning opportunities through online courses.


Please review our other file management tutorials if you have not already viewed them.

Why Get Organized? same frame

Course Files and Broken Links same frame

“Pruning” for Growth and Strength same frame


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