Pointless Shrinks Powerpoint Files

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2003-09-22 Print this article Print

If you are competent at creating Microsoft's PowerPoint presentations, Impact Pointless is probably one of the most aptly named products available.

If you are competent at creating Microsofts PowerPoint presentations, Impact Pointless is probably one of the most aptly named products available. However, if you are truly bad at creating presentations and constantly indulge in the worst impulses—such as adding many large uncompressed images and dropping Microsofts Excel graphs as embedded objects rather than images—Impact Pointless can help save you from yourself.

The main goal of Impact Labs Impact Pointless (at www.impactlabs.com) is to make PowerPoint presentations smaller. And here at eWEEK Labs, I can appreciate that goal because PR departments regularly send me presentations ranging from 5MB to 30MB in size.

Rather than compressing the presentation using proprietary technology, Impact Pointless instead scans the presentation and finds ways to make it smaller—for example, by compressing images and converting objects to flat files and by resizing images to expected screen size. This makes it possible to create smaller files without requiring special tools to read them.

However, from my tests it became clear that you have to be doing a very bad job creating your presentation to get a lot out of Impact Pointless. Feeding it more than 20 PowerPoint files ranging from 4MB to 30MB in size, Impact Pointless at maximum settings achieved a 10 percent size reduction at best and in many cases failed to do anything. Only when I intentionally did everything wrong did I get any real size reduction.

So if you are really bad at creating PowerPoint presentations, Impact Pointless $49.95 price is worth it. For everyone else, its pointless.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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