My file becomes enormous when I save it as PowerPoint 97


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There is no need to save as anything but Presentation(*.PPT). PowerPoint 97, 2000, and 2002 share the same file format. When you save as PowerPoint 97 you are really saving in PowerPoint 95 format (read what the Save As dialog says) and PowerPoint 95 did not compress presentation files. That is the cause of the file size increase you experienced.