Does PowerPoint 2010 run lag-free?
February 23, 2011 7:04 AM   Subscribe

PowerPoint 2010 is running slow on my system. It takes a long time to redraw thumbnails every time I go to slide sorter (up to 1/2 second per slide), lags a lot when moving objects on a page or when flipping from one page to the next. Seeing as I do PowerPoint for a living, this is not so good. Before I shell out for a new computer, I wanted to make sure this is my computer and not a problem with PowerPoint. So, my question: Do you find PowerPoint 2010 to be nice and snappy on your system?

I'm on a one year old Sager NP5796 laptop running Windows 7 x64.
- 4gb of RAM
- Intel Core Duo P9500 2.53ghz
- nVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTX w/1GB GDDR3

I had the same issues when I was running Windows XP.

PowerPoint 2003 ran like a dream (well, as much of a dream as PowerPoint gets) and I skipped 2007 so I don't know how that would do.

Bottom line: Specs or not, I'd just like to know if 2010 runs smoothly for anyone.
posted by The Dutchman to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Powerpoint 2010 runs fast and more or less problem-free on my laptop. Relevant specs:

Asus U45JC running MS Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit)
-Intel Core i3 M370 2.40 GHz
posted by pemberkins at 7:26 AM on February 23, 2011

That's a fairly snappy machine. Are other applications running slow? Have you scanned for malware?

You may want to update your NVIDIA driver and see if it helps.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:30 AM on February 23, 2011

Just played with my copy of 2010, seems fine so far. Didn't seem to take long doing anything I asked. I told it to create a slide show, selected ~75 random pictures and imported them. It took it a moment then I had 75 new slides of pictures. Didn't see any delay when I scrolled through them, but I might not be replicating your same situation. I do know when you start adding a large number of big pictures (more then 1MB a file) the program will take a while to re-size them as you scroll through, somewhere is an option for power point to compress all the pictures in your presentation, that might help.

I doubt its your computer, since I am using a 4 year old ThinkPad with a 2.2 GHz dual core and nothing near as good as your graphics card. More likely its what I call a 'hilarious' windows problem. My fix when ever I get one of those is to backup files and reinstall. But if your not comfortable with that I am sure someone on mefi with better knowledge will tell you some other tips on how to speed up MS office.

In the mean time, you could create an example presentation that is giving you trouble and upload it someplace. I can try to open it and see if it gives me problems. A new computer is an expensive investment for a program like Office.
posted by token-ring at 7:34 AM on February 23, 2011

PowerPoint 2010 runs pretty fast for me. I tend to make powerpoints with sparse graphics, and switching quickly back and forth between the "compose" window and the "slide sorter" window is pretty instantaneous.

Some of this could be dependent on the particular file--I also opened up a pretty graphics-heavy powerpoint (warning: about 8MB download) and switching between the two views took about 2-3 seconds to recreate the thumbs. How does that work for you?

My computer is WinXP, 2GB RAM, Core2 Duo E7200@2.53GHz with integrated graphics.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 7:38 AM on February 23, 2011

damn dirty ape: FireFox give me trouble, but I'm pretty sure I just need to reinstall. I'm malware-free and nVidia driver is up-to-date.

token-ring: Yes, a new computer is a ridiculous, stupid, frustrating investment to have to make for Office, especially when my current, one-year-old computer was high-end and expensive, But if I can't figure this out soon I just can't afford to keep working like this. This has been a problem since my Win7 installation was brand spanking new.

Maxwell: Yep, takes about 6-7 seconds to load slide sorter each and every time. Crap.

The problem certainly gets worse with larger, image-heavy files; Even those were fine with PPT 2003.

...Very helpful answers so far. Keep 'em coming please.
posted by The Dutchman at 8:36 AM on February 23, 2011

Have you done anything non-standard to your computer? Like disable the UAC or disable the paging file? Are these files being loaded from a network or wireless share?

Also, does your powerpoint have any third-party add-ons installed?
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:28 AM on February 23, 2011

My guess would be it's probably some misbehaving app running in the background using CPU power - powerpoint should absolutely fly on those system specs.

Have a peek in task manager, processes tab, hit "Show processes from all users" and then sort it so that the process using the most CPU is at the top. Your machine should be around 99% idle when you are not actively doing anything.

Check the CPU usage for powerpnt while powerpoint is struggling, if it isn't maxed out then your are not CPU bound (note: maxed out might actually be 25% if you have four cores).
posted by samj at 10:04 AM on February 23, 2011

Didn't disable anything.
CPU is good at idle, not maxed out when PowerPointing.

What else ya got?
posted by The Dutchman at 10:33 AM on February 23, 2011

I'm assuming you've done this already, but you've checked Office Update and Windows Update to make sure you've applied all service packs and hotfixes, right? Also, you might want to reinstall Powerpoint if you can and do a fresh install. And empty out your Windows temp file.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:36 AM on February 23, 2011

I just had a similar problem that turned out to be caused by an object for which it couldn't find the creator application, or something. (It was apparently an Illustrator doc which had been copy-and-pasted into the slide master, and I don't have Illustrator on my machine.) I started deleting graphics until that stopped happening and then reverted to the saved version of the file, copied the offending graphic, and pasted it as an image. Problem solved. If you are making all your presentations from the same template, it might be worth investigating this, or at least seeing if you have a similar issue with a new presentation from a standard template.
posted by kindall at 12:10 PM on February 23, 2011

Are you keeping the left hand pane open? Try working with it closed. Also, reboot. And what kindall said.

I do powerpoint for a living, also, and the majority of the time I have a memory issue it's because I have more than one ppt file open, and am running some other memory hog program (in my working world, it's Lotus Notes. I have to reboot at least once per day, and I need to be careful about what I'm running.

PPT 2007 and 2010 allow you to display a live version of the slide you're working on in miniature in the left hand panel. Like in most things, however, just because you CAN, doesn't mean you should.
posted by clone boulevard at 9:28 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

A lot of Office performance issues can be tracked back to the default template. In Word it's, Excel is book.xlt... if you can find the Powerpoint on then you're golden. Simply close Powerpoint, rename or move the template file, and then relaunch Powerpoint again and see if the issue persists.
posted by starscream at 9:36 PM on February 23, 2011

Lots of other good advice in here, the next step I would try would be opening "resource monitor", and placing a checkbox next to powerpnt.exe. This will show you which files it is reading and writing from, so there might be a clue in there.

This won't show you if it is timing out trying to read from a network file or something similar so for that I would try Process Monitor, although the giant stream of info it produces can be a little intimidating. If you can get it to filter only on powerpnt.exe and then just clear it and watch it during the times powerpoint is being slow it might give you a clue.
posted by samj at 4:53 AM on February 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

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