Optimisation of Word documents with large embedded images.

I’ve got a large multi-page word document with many images that have been embedded at their native camera resolution (which is far greater than is necessary, given their size on the pages). I want to turn it into something much more compact. Is there a utility somewhere that will resize and recompress images inside a Word doc? Freeware would be nice, of course…

Have you tried “save as” (same name), which for many programs, removes junk in the file that may be taking up extra space?

Creating a PDF, if the settings are right, will downsize the images, but of course you won’t be able to edit them afterwards.

And you could resize the images in a photo program, then re-import them to the original doc.

Sorry, that’s all I’ve got.

Thanks - the person I’m trying to help has tried all of that - it might be that this is just ordinary file bloat, but even a PDF doesn’t seem to pack down as small as might be expected.

, Unfortunately, the interface where I am now is in Hebrew. I will try to translate to English from memory, but the functions may still have different names.

Right-click on any of the pictures in the Word document.
In the pop-up menu, select “Format picture…” (on my version, second line from bottom)
In the “Picture” tab, select “Compress…” (A button at the row just above “OK” and “Cancel” buttons)
Choose “All pictures in document” in “Apply to”. Choose “Site/Screen” in “Change resolution”. Mark both options “Compress pictures” and “Erase areas cut off pictures”

Press OK
Press OK when warned it will lower the pictures’ quality, and Apply / OK to all open dialog boxes.
(you may have to wait a while.)

Save under a new name.
Check size.

The function Puzzler outlined sounds like what you are looking for, as long as “change resolution” means resampling. The trim option sounds good if you have cropped any images. (My version of Word doesn’t have those options.)

The version of Acrobat Distiller I use is very old, but even it has options to resample at a specified DPI and a compression value – this is lossy compression – from low to high. Fiddling with these numbers has produced very small files, with an attendent data quality loss to be sure, but small enough to be called tiny, if that is what you need. I imagine the newer versions have even more options, so don’t overlook this if PDF will work for you. One advantage of PDF output is your original will not be altered.

You could try Picasa from Google - free photo software that has a nifty export function that allows you to save resized, smaller photo files in .jpg format.

Unfortunately, neither does mine. I think I may have to report back that the request itself is inherently flawed - producing a massive document in Word, then asking “how do I now make this smaller?” is just the wrong way to do it, I think.

I am pretty sure you are right, I’ve had this issue with process documents containing screenshots. The problem is related to the version of Word used to create the doc - some versions automatically recompress to display size, some don’t. The trouble is, I no longer remember which version does what. I always shrunk the images first, but occasionally had to reprocess an entire document to resize bloated images. You could macro it (does XP do macros anymore?) -
select the image,
cut it out of Word,
paste it into <image editor of choice>,
resize to <appropriate percentage>,
select all,
paste back into Word.

And some PDF generators don’t shrink images to smaller resolution - they contain the full source bitmap then tell the PS printer/renderer to display at the desired size. or the generator renders the image as a .bmp or something equally inefficient (uncompressed TIFF, maybe).


Our engineers always paste screen shots directly into word docs and the size of the doc soars. I make a copy of each original image in Photoshop, index them and save them in tiff format. Then I insert the tiffs into the document after deleting the originals. The doc size shrinks dramatically. Just one directly-pasted bmp can sometimes add a couple megabytes. I’m assuming you don’t have Photoshop, but I believe you can do the same in the native Windows image editor (Paint? Or has it changed names? – Just looked: still called Paint, and it allows you to save as tiff.)

If the Word file does not contain sensitive info, I don’t mind doing it for you.

Thanks for the offer, but unfortunately the large size is probably going to make it unmanageable to send (that’s actually the problem in the first place)