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July 24, 2006

Product Review: NXPowerLite 2.3

Richard Kuper
The Kuper Report

At the recent C3 Expo in NYC I had the chance to meet with Tommy Powell, Sales and Marketing Manager of Neuxpower, the company that makes and markets NXPowerLite (www.nxpowerlite.com). At the conclusion of our conversation he graciously provided a copy of NXPowerLite to review.

The product comes in several flavors:

Integrated Edition:

Install the product, which provides the ability to easily save a powerpoint file in compressed format from within PowerPoint.

Standard Edition:

No installation needed. Just (1) place the program to your desktop, then (2) drag the powerpoint file you want to compress onto the Standard Edition icon.

According to the website there is also a Server Edition.

I decided that I would test the Integrated Edition. Installation was a snap. I then searched for a large powerpoint file on my hard drive and opened it with PowerPoint (XP). The file I chose was 2,164 KB with multiple charts and graphs and was created on another pc by someone else. I then clicked on "File", found the option to "Optimize with NXPowerLite" and clicked. I accepted the default compression and was then asked if I wanted to "flatten embedded objects." What that means, explains NXPowerLite, is:

"Embedded objects (such as Excel charts, Visio drawings or Photoshop images) tend to store far more information than PowerPoint actually requires in order to display them (a Photoshop image will, for example, store all of the layer information that built up during its creation). Flattening an embedded object removes this 'behind the scenes' data, leaving only the information that PowerPoint needs in order to display the object correctly. This drastically reduces the file size, but means that the object will no longer be editable from within PowerPoint. This is why NXPowerLite always asks before flattening an embedded object in a PowerPoint file."

I said OK.

The original file, remember, was 2,164 KB. NXPowerLite reduced it by 77% to 498 KB. I was amazed.

Using a shareware utility, I had previously converted the 2,164 KB ppt file to a PDF file, which resulted in a PDF file of 1,531 KB. So I was curious to see what would happen if I converted this much reduced powerpoint file to a PDF. The new PDF was 976 KB, 36% smaller.

On different sized powerpoint files, with varying types of images and slide trasitions and such I got varying degrees of compression, but all were at least 50% smaller, with no noticeable difference in the resulting presentation on my monitor. However, in cases such as the large file above, there were noticeable and sometimes drastic improvements in how quickly the presentation loaded and displayed the graphics.

I then loaded the Standard Edition to my desktop and dragged a powerpoint file to the icon. It launched the program and essentially worked the same as from within powerpoint.

According to the website, the Standard Edtion is compatible with Windows XP, 2000 and NT. The Integrated Edition is compatible with Windows XP, 2000, NT, ME and 98.

For $45 for a single copy, and even better prices for corporate licenses per user, this is one nifty product that will allow you to bring along many more presentations on a usb thumb drive, for example. And if there is anyone out there still using 3.5" floppy diskettes (stores up to 1.44 MB) you could never have fit the large powerpoint presentation on it, but with NXPowerLite you could now fit two copies on that diskette and still have room for another small file. And for the individual user out there with many powerpoint files and in need of more disk space, just get this product, shrink the files, and free up your hard drive space.

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