How to

How to Reduce the Size of a Microsoft Word Document

Word files can get huge, uncommonly long, complicated files with loads of ingrained images, typefaces, and other things. It likewise seems like files can grow out of hand for apparently no factor at all. If you’re dealing with a substantial document, here are some things you can attempt to reduce its file size.

When you’ve got a Word file that’s a bit too large, the very first thing you’ll attempt is compressing the images in it. This is partially because websites like How-To Geek have actually composed detailed articles describing how to do this, and partially because, well, images always appear to bump up the size of a Word document beyond reason. You must still go on and follow the suggestions we wrote in that article due to the fact that if you’ve got images, they’ll assist you.

However if you have not got images, or you’ve followed those ideas and need to decrease the file size more, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got a lot of pointers to share, so we’ve broken them down into things that will definitely help in reducing the size of a Word document, things that might help, and some commonly-suggested pointers with which you shouldn’t bother.

Let’s get started.

Tips that Will Definitely Help Reduce a Document’s Size

Not every suggestion you discover will be useful to you. Sometimes this is due to the fact that they don’t use to your situation (if you’ve got no images then suggestions on compressing images will not be of use) however often the pointers are simply plain wrong. We’ve evaluated all of the tips in this area, so we know they work.

Microsoft released the DOCX format in Office 2007, so if you’re still using.doc format, it’s time to convert. The newer.docx file type basically functions as a ZIP file by compressing the contents of the file, so just transforming a.doc file to the.docx format will make your file smaller. (This also applies to other Office formats like Excel (. xls to.xslx), PowerPoint (. ppt to.pptx) and Visio (. vsd to.vsdx) by the way.)

To transform your.doc file, open it in Word and click File > > Info > >

Convert. Click “OKAY “on the prompt that appears, click the “Save” button, and Word converts your document to.docx. Word does this conversion by developing a brand-new variation of the file in the new format, so you’ll still have your old.doc version available.

We tested this with a sample 20-page. doc file that contained 6 images, numerous tables, and formatting marks. The original.doc file was 6,001 KB, however the converted.docx file just weighed in at 721KB. That’s 12% of the original size. Absolutely nothing else we recommend listed below will do more to minimize your file size, so if you have.doc files you can convert to.docx, your work may be done.

When you copy and paste an image into your file, Word ensures assumptions about how to deal with it. One of these presumptions is that you want the pasted image to be a BMP format, which is a large file type, or sometimes PNG, which is still rather big. An easy alternative is to paste your image into a modifying programme rather, save it as a smaller format like JPG, and then use Insert > > Picture to place the image into your file rather.

Pasting the small screenshot listed below directly into an otherwise blank Word file made that document’s size dive from 22 KB to 548 KB.

Pasting that screenshot into Paint, saving it as a JPG, and then placing that JPG into a blank document triggered the document to jump to only 331 KB. That’s simply over 40% smaller sized. Even much better, utilizing the GIF format resulted in a document that was over 60% smaller. Scaled up, that’s the difference in between a 10 MB file and 4 MB file.

Obviously, you can’t always get away with this. In some cases, you’re going to require the much better image quality that formats like BMP and PNG can provide. If it’s a little image or you don’t need extremely high quality, using a lighter weight format and inserting the image can help.

When you modify an image in Word, it saves all of your image edits as part of the file. The ways if you crop an image in your file, Word still retains the full original image. Change an image to black and white, and Word still keeps the initial full-color image.

This increases the size of your document unnecessarily, so when you’ve made changes to your images, and you’re sure you don’t need to go back those images, you can have Word dispose of the modifying information.

However better than eliminating unneeded information from your file is not having that unnecessary data in your file in the very first location. Any edits you can make, even simple ones like cropping or including an arrow, are best performed in an image editor prior to you insert the image into the document.

Yes, we said at the start that this post was about other ways to reduce your file size, however most posts on this subject tell you how to compress your images one at a time (including our article), and here at How-To Geek we’re all about discovering much better methods to do things.

Click File > > Save As > > More Options. (You might have “Save a Copy” instead of “Save As” if you’ve got OneDrive with AutoSave switched on.)

This opens the “Save As” dialog box, where you access some extra choices. Click Tools > > Compress Pictures.

This opens the “Compress pictures” panel, where you can pick what compression you wish to use to all of your images at once.

The “Apply only to this image” option is grayed out since this is an all or absolutely nothing tool– either all of your images will have these options applied when you save the file or none will. If you want to choose different choices for different images, this will not work for you. But if you’re aiming to compress all of your images in one go, this is the option to use.

Select your choices, click “OK,” and after that save the new version of your document with all of the images compressed.

Unless you’re utilizing an uncommon typeface from a galaxy far, far, it’s practically certain that anybody with whom you share your document will have the ability to read it using their copy of Word (or a totally free alternative like Libre Office). Why would you want to lose area in your file by embedding the font styles? Stop this occurring by going to File > > Options > > Save and turning off the “Embed typefaces in the file” option.

You might think that this would not make much distinction, however you ‘d be incorrect. If you have font embedding turned on and have the “Do not embed typical system font styles” option shut off, the difference in file size is nearly 2 MB. Even with “Do not embed typical system font styles” turned on (which indicates fonts like Calibri, Arial, Courier New, Times New Roman, and so on aren’t consisted of), the file is still nearly 1.3 MB bigger.

So yes, stop embedding font styles in your file.

We recently revealed you how to embed or link an Excel spreadsheet in a Word document (and you can do this with other files, like PowerPoint presentations or Visio diagrams, too). If you can link to the spreadsheet rather of embedding it, you’ll conserve yourself most of the size of the Excel file. You will not conserve all of it, because the connected spreadsheet will still include some size, however your document will be much smaller with a link than a full embed. Of course, there are downsides to connecting along with advantages, so be sure to read that article to comprehend them prior to you do this.

Back then, Word let you save a thumbnail image of the file so that Windows could show you a sneak peek in File Explorer. Nowadays, File Explorer can do this by itself and doesn’t need aid from Word, however the alternative is still there in your document. In our 721KB test file, turning this choice on increased the file size to 3247 KB. That’s 4.5 times the size of the initial file– for nothing. You’ll find this setting at File > > Info > > Properties > > Advanced Properties.

Turn off the “Save thumbnails for all Word documents” checkbox and click “OK.”

The name of this choice is a bit misleading because turning it off here just impacts the document you’ve got open, even though it says, “all Word files.” If this is turned on by default when you develop a file, then you’ll require to turn it off in the Normal.dotx design template and Microsoft has supplied outstanding guidelines for doing this if you’re unsure how.

You can likewise turn this setting off in the “Save As” dialogue, where it’s called the a little more proper “Save thumbnail.”

Not only is individual info adding to the size of your document, however it’s also possibly providing your readers information you don’t want them to have. There might also be info that has been formatted as hidden, and if you do not need this covert text in the file, why not eliminate it?

Remove this unneeded details from your file by heading to File > > Info > > Check for Issues and then clicking the “Inspect Document” button.

Make sure “Document Properties and Personal Information” is turned on and after that click “Inspect.” When the Inspector has ended up running, click “Remove All” in the “Document Properties and Personal Information” section.

This action decreased our test file size by 7 KB, so not a significant quantity. Nevertheless, it’s great practice to eliminate personal details from your files, so you should most likely do this anyway. Be cautioned that you can’t recuperate this data after eliminating it, so make sure you’re happy for it to precede you remove it. You can do the same thing for the “Invisible Content” and “Hidden Text” alternatives, however this will only make your file smaller sized if you’ve got hidden content.

Among Word’s excellent functions– in reality, one of the excellent functions of every Office app– is AutoRecover. This feature makes regular backups of your file as you work, so if Word crashes or your computer system restarts all of a sudden (such as when Windows does a system update overnight), you’ll be presented with automatically recuperated versions of open documents the next time you start Word. Obviously, all of these versions add to the size of your file, so if you shut off AutoRecover, your file will be smaller.

Go to File > > Options > > Save and shut off the “Save AutoRecover information every [x minutes] alternative.

This will not make an immediate difference, however it will stop new AutoRecover versions being added to the file as you deal with it.

Simply be cautioned that you’ll no longer have AutoRecover versions so if Word crashes or closes all of a sudden, you’ll lose all of your work considering that the last time you waited.

As you work on a document, Word conserves different things in the background to help you. We’ve demonstrated how to turn these off where possible, and how to erase the data that Word gathers, but there will likely still be things in your document you do not need. If you discover yourself based on this sort of file size creep, you can create a new file and then copy whatever over to it.

Start by developing a new blank document. Select all of the material in your present document by pushing Ctrl+A. In the brand-new document, press Ctrl+V to paste whatever. This copies all your text, areas, format, page design options, page numbering– whatever you require.

Your brand-new document will not have any of the previous background saves, AutoRecover information, or previous versions, and this need to minimize the file size.

Bear in mind doing this will copy over any modifying data in your images, so you may want to eliminate that from the initial file first prior to copying everything over to your brand-new file. If you do not, it’s no huge deal. You can still eliminate it from your new document.

We can’t inform you how much this will save, due to the fact that it might be anything from a few kilobytes to a lot of megabytes, but it’s constantly worth doing if you want to strip as much fat as possible from your document.

As a bonus offer, we’ve also seen this copy/paste to a brand-new document technique resolve odd errors in Word documents that were tough to find otherwise.

Tips that Might Help Reduce a Document’s Size

Some tips appear like they would assist, however we could not get a positive result with them. We’re not saying they won’t help reduce your file size, but it appears like you’ll require a particular set of scenarios to get any take advantage of them. We extremely suggest attempting the ideas from the previous section first, and after that offering these a go if you require to.

The more made complex a file, and the longer it’s been given that you saved it, the longer it can require to conserve when you click the “Save” button. To help navigate this, Word has a setting at File > > Options > > Advanced named “Allow background saves.”

This setting is enabled by default and conserves the file in the background as you’re working on it. The concept is that when you click “Save,” there will be fewer modifications to save, therefore it will save a lot quicker. This is largely a throwback to the days when Word took up a proportionally larger quantity of system resources, and on modern-day systems, it’s probably not required, particularly if you’re not editing extremely long or complicated files.

The jury is out on whether this makes a distinction to file size. Leaving a document open with this setting on didn’t make any difference to the size of our test document (whereas leaving AutoRecover turned on did increase the file size). Making adjustments over a period of about 30 minutes likewise didn’t trigger the document size to alter substantially, despite whether “Allow background saves” was on or off. Neither did having it turned off modification how rapidly the document conserved.

In short: this one is up to you. If turning it off does not minimize your file size then leave it on, due to the fact that anything that Word does to conserve your documents automatically is an advantage.

RTF represents Rich Text Format, and it’s an open standard for files that supplies a bit more format than plain text, however not all the bells and whistles of DOCX. The idea of transforming a DOCX to RTF is that it strips away all of the extra formatting and any covert information so that when you conserve your RTF back as a DOCX file, the file size will be smaller.

Transforming our 20 page, 721 KB test document to RTF turned the file size to 19.5 MB (so do not use RTF if you want a little file). Converting it back to DOCX led to a file that was 714 KB. That’s a 7 KB conserving– less than 1%– and since RTF could not manage a few of the easy table formatting we used, we needed to reformat … which brought the size back up to 721 KB.

This one doesn’t appear like it will have lots of advantages to your file, specifically when the modern DOCX has many formatting abilities that RTF can’t manage.

This is the same idea as converting to RTF, except that HTML is a web format. Our conversion test showed nearly similar results to using RTF.

We tried this on our 721 KB DOCX file, and it transformed it to a 383 KB HTML file. Converting it back to DOCX resulted in a 714 KB file. That’s a 1% saving, but it did mess with the formatting, specifically the headers, and these would have to be redone.

A DOCX file is a compressed file, like an archive you make with 7-Xip or WinRar. This implies you can open it with among those tools and see all of the contents. One suggestion you might see is to extract all the files from your DOCX, add them to a compressed archive, and then relabel that archive to a DOCX file extension. Hey presto, you’ve got a Word document that’s been compressed! In theory, this sounds possible however using both 7-Zip and WinRar and different archive formats we discovered that every time we tried to open the.docx submit we ‘d produced, Word told us that the file was corrupted.

There might be some benefit in this concept– our 721 KB file did wind up as only 72 KB– however we would not recommend it unless you want to spend a great deal of time experimenting with it to try and get it working. Likewise, the conserving might merely be because the compression process has actually removed/compressed something that stops Word from opening the document, however we can’t make certain.

Commonly-Suggested Tips That Likely Won’t Make Any Difference

There are a couple of ideas drifting around the web that sound reasonable however won’t have much of a result. That’s not to state you should not attempt them, simply that you shouldn’t anticipate much effect on the size of your file.

Word keeps previous variations of your file as you work on it. This is the AutoSave functionality, and some people suggest erasing these by going to File > > Info > Manage Document and eliminating any old variations.

There’s no point doing this because those old variations are stored in the Windows file system, not in your Word document. Erasing them won’t make your document any smaller. If you wish to get rid of any previous variation information from within the file, either copy the material to a brand-new file or do a File > > Save As to conserve to a brand-new document, as we suggested previously.

When you wish to copy and paste from one file into your existing file, you can use different paste alternatives.

The default choice used if you click the “Paste” button (or press Ctrl+V) is “Keep Source Formatting.” This copies non-default fonts and formatting like bold, italics, and so on. If you click the “Keep Text Only” choice rather, this will– or so the theory goes– decrease the file size by eliminating the format.

We attempted this with a 20-page file that had actually numerous formatting applied to text on every page, and the typical size distinction was just under 2 KB per page. This might be considerable if you’ve got a 250+ page file, where it would total up to around 0.5 MB, however are you actually going to have a 250-page Word document without any format? Most likely not, since it would be mainly unreadable, so you ‘d lose your savings when you include the formatting back in.

Any benefits to this approach are most likely to the tip we offered above– copy and paste the whole file into a new document to get rid of previous versions, old editing changes, and so on.

Word provides you the alternative to change the page size by going to Layout > > Size and changing from the default “Letter” size. There are pointers drifting about that state if you choose a smaller, however similar size like “A4” other readers will not observe, and you get a small size saving.

We tried this with a 20-page file utilizing “Letter” size that was 721 KB. We altered the size to “A4,” “A5,” (which is half the size of “A4”), and “B5” and our document remained a stable 721 KB every time. Simply put, it made no difference to the file size at all.

There is a setting in File > > Options > Advanced named “Embed linguistic data,” and you’ll see tips in various places informing you to turn this off. On the surface, this sounds affordable– wouldn’t extra linguistic data increase the size of a document?

In other words, the response is no if you’re using a modern.docx file. Word manages the linguistic information behind the scenes, and it doesn’t use up any space in the document.

Turning this option off can make a slight distinction to older.doc files, however even then just if you’ve utilized a handwriting tool and Word has some “handwriting acknowledgment correction details” to shop. Otherwise, it makes no difference at all.

That’s our relatively detailed list of ways you can cut your Word files down to size, however we’re always on the lookout for new approaches to try (or debunk). Fire away in the comments if you understand a technique that we’ve missed out on, and we’ll examine it out!

Word files can get big, uncommonly long, complex files with loads of ingrained images, font styles, and other things. The newer.docx file type essentially acts as a ZIP file by compressing the contents of the file, so just converting a.doc file to the.docx format will make your document smaller. Much better than eliminating unneeded data from your document is not having that unneeded data in your document in the very first place. Bear in mind doing this will copy over any modifying data in your images, so you might desire to eliminate that from the original document first prior to copying everything over to your new document. Leaving a document open with this setting on didn’t make any distinction to the size of our test document (whereas leaving AutoRecover turned on did increase the file size).

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