How to create high-resolution images in PowerPoint

When you write a scientific paper, you should illustrate it with figures, explaining for example the method you use. These figures are important because they are the first (and often only) thing your readers see when they scroll through your paper.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I never had any training in graphic design (if you’re about to say that it’s obvious from looking at the illustrations in my posts, I’m going to have to ask you to leave the room, you naughty scientist!). So I end up making my illustrations in this good old PowerPoint.  The problem with using Powerpoint to create a figure is that you cannot submit a figure to a journal in ppt format; most journals require JPEGs or TIFFs. Of course, you can save a Powerpoint slide in these image formats, but the default resolution is terrible. That’s what I did for my first paper, and I’ll have to spend the rest of my life knowing that a blurry figure tarnishes my first masterpiece (you can see it below or on the journal website if you can access it). 

Figure 1 of my first paper

The good news is that you don’t have to repeat my mistakes. In this post, I share with you a tutorial I found on Youtube for saving homemade Powerpoint illustrations to high-resolution image files. This tutorial is for Windows users (if you’re a Mac user, you just have to export the slide(s) in high resolution, it’s super easy). 

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Don’t wait to implement these changes in your PowerPoint software. It takes 5 minutes and then you won’t have to bother anymore about the resolution of your ppt images.

You can also check the youtube channel of the guy who created this tutorial. His name is slidecow. You can learn many tricks from him to create moooosmerizing powerpoints (pun intended).

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