Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: August 13th 2003
Last Updated: February 26th 2009
Insert a few pictures within a PowerPoint presentation and edit it a few times - and you might find that the file size of the presentation will balloon up considerably. Things can get worse if the presentation moves between systems and everyone makes a few edits. And then you need to email the presentation to hundreds of contacts. No marks for any guesses - but that's a whole lot of bandwidth gone down the drain.
It's a nice concept to create a product that can compress PowerPoint file sizes considerably - sometimes as much as 90%. Neuxpower did just that - they created a PowerPoint compression product called NXPowerLite.
Neuxpower is based in Hertfordshire, UK and has been creating custom applications since 1997, when it was formed. NXPowerLite, their first commercially published software was released in 2001. The current version 1.5x offers several new features and is the subject of this review.
You'll find more info at the NXPowerLite site...
Tommy Powell was my contact at Neuxpower for this review - I wish to thank him for his help.
The trial and registered versions of NXPowerLite are both identical - until you enter your registration code, the product functions in trial mode. Up to 10 Microsoft PowerPoint presentations of any size can be optimized in trial mode. I think Neuxpower's trial policy is amazing, since each use is only counted if NXPowerLite succeeds in reducing the size of the PowerPoint presentation file by more than 10%.
You don't need to install the product - the entire program is self contained in one file!
For the sample file, I used a PowerPoint presentation I created with PowerPoint's Photo Album feature. The file in question weighs 2.83 mb and it contains at least 20 images - an ideal candidate for compression. Also, it has not been optimized yet using PowerPoint 2002/2003's native compression features - and yes, I have Fast Saves turned off in the Tools | Options menu of PowerPoint 2002. And yes - the presentation has been created using a super optimized Ppted template.
I shut down PowerPoint and drag and drop the file from Windows Explorer to the NXPowerLite program file (I placed it on my Windows Desktop). I wish NXPowerLite did that automatically for me from within PowerPoint - probably using a File | Send To | NXPowerLite feature?
OK - you're now in for a surprise - NXPowerLite says no further compression is possible with the file!
Now I am going to create a sample bloated file for NXPowerLite. First, I turn on Fast Saves in PowerPoint 2002. Also, I'm using a default PowerPoint template that ships as part of PowerPoint. Now I insert ten random images in JPG, GIF and BMP formats on one slide - thereafter, I create individual slides for each image and cut/paste each image to a slide. Next, I insert slides from an existing presentation of 10 slides. As of now, the presentation weighs 1.22 mb (PowerPoint probably got so much better through the versions!). Next, I add transitions for all slides and a few transition sounds (transition sounds are always embedded). The file size now weighs 6.3 mb. Now, let's open it successively in PowerPoint 2000 and 2002 several times (that's what happens in a typical office) - do some edits like adding WordArt. The file now weighs 6.85 kb. Finally, I'm going to insert a Flash movie and add a 300 dpi print quality TIFF image. The file size now weighs 9.4 mb - time to take it to NXPowerLite.
Using NXPowerLite's default settings, I was able to bring down the file size to 6.2 mb with a compression factor of 33.9%. I opened the presentation in PowerPoint and found no loss in visual quality. Many of you would probably think that's no big deal since the presentation was custom bloated for NXPowerLite. However, I'll differ somewhat on that count since you probably should not consider me to be a typical user. I turn off Fast Saves, use PowerPoint 2002's compression features, compress every image in Photoshop or Fireworks before inserting it in PowerPoint. I also create highly optimized templates and compress all my sounds before inserting. All this put together takes such a long time - if I can attain the same results through just dragging and dropping it over the NXPowerLite icon, why should I use an image editor, sound editor and anything else to do that for me.
On the other hand, the typical PowerPoint user probably bloats presentations even more than I could have done using a custom bloat! Let's hear what some typical customers have to say.
Frank Martone from CH2M Hill finds NXPowerLite to be "...definitely by far the best compression tool for PowerPoint out there."
Philip Bergman of Bergman & Company is a little more enthusiastic - "Amazing! This is is the best PowerPoint utility I have ever seen. I am gobsmacked by the compression gain and quality."
Todd Dolce of FedEx has a more detailed testimonial - "There have been just a handful of programs developed that have actually lived up to their original promise and NXPowerlite is truly a beautiful program that falls into this classification. I had an infamous reputation of very exciting presentations with "not so exciting" file sizes and that reputation has changed with the help of NXPowerlite. It is a MUST have for anyone who seriously uses PowerPoint!"
NXPowerLite is priced at US$30 - in return you get a serial number that converts your trial version into a full product. You can buy the product online though secure server from their site:
For everyday users who create presentations at the corporate or personal level, NXPowerLite is a good investment. It's more important as a tool if you need to share and email presentations often.