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Word file size growth with JPG photo

Posted on 2004-08-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
When I use "INSERT" "PICTURE" to insert a JPG photo into a word document the size of the word file grows about 10 times the size of the JPG photo.  Is there a way to insert a photo into a word document while limiting the size of the new word document file to the sum of the photo file plus the original word document file?
Question by:chiefeng
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 11747589
Not that i know of.  In past experience, it appears Word does it's own formatting once you insert a picture and incredibly enough it is always more than the sum of the picture and the doc before the picture was inserted.  Maybe a lower quality picture, a smaller size, or a different format may help.  If size of the Word doc is a concern because of transferring it over e-mail ... you may just have to use Winzip or Winrar to compress the doc.
LVL 81

Expert Comment

ID: 11747827
Hi chiefeng,
With Word 2003, I just inserted a 36 K JPG into a blank document (original file size 19.5 K) and the resulting file size was 44 K.

Following the advice in "Dreamboat on Word", I selected the picture, cut it, and reinserted it using Edit...Paste Special....Picture (Enhanced Metafile) and the resulting filesize was 244K. According to the book, it was supposed to decrease file size. And perhaps this technique does on older versions of Word.



Author Comment

ID: 11750050

I use Word 2000.  I just now tried a little experiment.  I tried three methods of adding a photo to a blank Word doc.  The jpg photo file size is 1.2MB.  When I "cut/paste" the doc size is 10.3 MB.  When I "cut/past special" (as byundt suggests) the doc file size is 3.8 MB.  When I "insert picture" the doc file size is only 1.2 MB  (this is different than my original question above).  Does anybody know what is going on?
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11750923
I think what is happening is that when you cut and paset it basicaly pastes in an un compressed image (BMP), the enhanced metafile is compressed therefore the file size is smaller and the JPG is the smallest.

Expert Comment

ID: 11751556
as far as i understand it, it is thanks to two factors:
1. the metadata (which ensures that when u click on a inserted as paintbrush object etc etc thing....u get paintbrush open and can edit it away).
2. the format (differences between bmp, jpg etc).

when u jus insert a picture for the smallest case, i guess word compresses it to a small size format as also reduces teh size of the image to the one we actually use. (in some other cases, though we see a small sized image stored, the actual image that is present in teh doc could be a bigger, more clear in resolution one.)

that would be a bit like having a large image in an html file shown in a small sized frame....
the actual file(img) is big...but the showed pic doesnt req. so much

Accepted Solution

AndrewGW earned 1200 total points
ID: 11752506
What you should try to do is resize the photo to the actual size you need in Word (if you have a picture editing program that is...), also keep the resolution of the photo to around 150 pixels per inch - this is more than high enough resolution for the average ink jet printer.   This will help reduce the size of the file to start with.

Then the next trick is to do the following after you have inserted the picture using Insert-Picture...
Cut the picture (Ctrl-X) and then do a Paste - Special - as Picture (JPEG).  (This option will give you the best compression).

This will drastically reduce your file sizes - I have taken a 5MB file (with lots of pictues) down to under 500KB using this technique.

All I can assume is that when inserting a picture, Word save the raw data of the picture which would be quite bulky but by cutting and pasting using the compression of JPEG you remove all the extra data and are left with the true compressed image data.

Obviously, if you picture is very large to begin with you may not be able to reduce it as much as you want, that's why I suggest sizing the picture to approximately the size you want it to be - err a little on the larger size if you're not sure as reducing the size in Word slightly won't affect the quality but trying to enlarge the picture in Word definitely will.

Hope this helps,
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 11752613
The best way to keep the file size down -- and avoid all the potential problems with any change in image format -- is to link to the image instead of having it within the document. If I have a 26KB Word file and link to a 15MB image within the document, the file size stays virtually the same (it went to 27KB when I tried it just now).

In the Insert | Picture, From File dialog, chose the "Link to file" option instead if "Insert". If you toggle the field code view (Alt-F9), you'll see the "\d" switch in the INCLUDEPICTURE field: this causes the picture to be "recalculated" when the field is updated. The image doesn't get saved with the Word file so it doesn't add any more than the field to the file size.

I commonly have large documents with many images (400+ pages with 60-100 TIF images) but the Word files are seldom much over 1MB. Large image files can slow down the preview and editing but if that is an issue, I simply batch reduce copies of the images to the same size but with extreme compression and saved with the same name. The assembly is then quite quick and when I'm ready for final print, I just copy the originals over the compressed versions and recalculate the links (Ctrl-A, F9).

Expert Comment

ID: 11753176
Eric's suggestion is perfect if you are only using the files yourself...

It also becomes an issue if you are sending the file to someone else - now you are emailing not just one but a number of large files and unless the person at the other end saves them all to the same folder more than likely the links will break.  The same can happen if you save them to disk or CD - unless you are careful the links may not work properly when you reopen the file on another computer.

I have a 300+ page catalog with 2 to 4 pictures on almot every page that I often email to clients (broken down into sections - as all clients don't need all the sections) - and the biggest section is 457kb and the pictures print fine on any office ink jet.  When I started, each section was between 2MB and 5MB.

If you are only working on the files in house - then I would go with Eric's suggestion to link - I use this method all the time in my design program (Illustrator) but if you need to transport or share your files then try to embed the images and keep them as small as possible using the techniques I mentioned above.

Author Comment

ID: 11758787
Thanks for the "trick".  I tried it on a recent document I was working on and it reduced the file size by about 30% (don't know the file size without the photos so this may be the absolute minimum size possible).  I accepted your suggestion, thanks for your help.

Thanks for the great suggestion but (as Andrew pointed out) I wanted the doc to be self contained (which you had no way of knowing) so I can easily move or share it.  This is a great idea though for future tasks where appropriate.  Thanks for your help.

Expert Comment

ID: 11762904
Your welcome chiefeng...
Thanks for the points and grade...

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