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Reducing the Size of Word Documents

Friday, January 7th, 2011 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS Word
 
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Thom, from Dallas asks:

Why do Word and Excel files get so large when the content is so small? As I make numerous changes and saves to a Word file, the file becomes bloated over time. If I open the large Word file and copy (Ctrl-C) and paste the content to a newly created word document, the file size can increase by up to 80%. Is there a setting that will stop Word from keeping all that junk and bloating my files?

There are numerous factors that can increase the file size of Word documents. Excessive pictures, stylish fonts, and different formats are among them. In general, the more content you add into the document, the larger it will be. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent the final file size of your Word documents from becoming too large.

Step 1: Insert Pictures Instead of Copying Pasting.

Most people rather copy and paste pictures into their documents. However, inserting pictures is a better method. Here is how to insert a picture:

Go to the top of the screen and click Insert and select Picture. Choose the picture you want to add and click Insert.

Step 2: Compress Pictures in your Document

This feature is available in Microsoft Word 2002 or higher. Lowering the quality of the pictures decreases the file size of the Word document. In most cases, the readers will not notice that you compressed the pictures.

Select a picture inside the document, go to the top of the screen, and select Format Picture. Windows will now compress the picture to the lowest file size possible.

Step 3: Disable fast saves.

This feature is enabled by default. However, it uses more disk space when the document is open. Go to the top of the screen, click File and select Options. Click the Advanced tab. Go to the Save section and disable Background Saves.

Step 4: Delete other versions of the Word document.

Go to the top of the screen, click File, and select Version. Choose the versions you want to remove and click Delete.

Thanks for the question, Thom.

~Jean-Baptiste Juderson

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3 Responses to “Reducing the Size of Word Documents”

  1. Ron says:

    Are you SURE that “background saves” is the same as “fast save”? I don’t KNOW, but I didn’t think it was. I THOUGHT background save was about multithreading while fast save was simply about not deleting “stuff”.

  2. Bruce Faber says:

    One of the quickest ways to decrease the size of Word and Excel files is to do a SAVE AS instead of as SAVE. It gets rid of all the changes in one quick action. Huge savings in file size.

  3. Sushant says:

    Wonderful tip!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

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