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Images in Word documents

Posted on 2005-04-19
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Hi,

We are putting together word documents with a lot of screenshots.

 > Print screen > MS Paint > Past > select part of image > copy > paste into word document.

The issue is that these documents are getting to be HUGE and working with them has become cumbersome, i.e. saving them etc. Once converted to a PDF they shrink by as much as a 50th of their original size.

Is there a more efficient way of constructing the word docs with the required images so as tho keep the Word doc file size down to a minimum?

Thanks,

Jonathanr
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Question by:jonathanr
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LVL 76

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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 13819835
Well for a start, Alt-Print screen will only capture the selected window.
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 13819842
That means you can paste the screen shot directly into Word
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by:jonathanr
ID: 13819848
Thank you. This option is already being emplyed. It still however does not address the size of the documents in relation to the images pasted therein.

jonathanr
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 13819909
I have just tried that first way, and also pasting into Paint Shop Pro, saving it as a JPEG and inserting the picture.
The first direct pasting method gave a Word file of 51KB. The saved JPEG was 91KB and the Word with the inserted JPEG file was 112KB, so I guess that direct pasting is not so bad.
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by:NicksonKoh
ID: 13820900
Hi Jonathan,

I wouldn't recommend at all to paste large amt of screen shots to word directly. Reason being they are pasted as bmp with the original pixel resolution! This can easily result in very VERY large document sizes!

Zipping up the file will help reduce the size momentarily because zip can compress bmp files. However, on unzipping the problem comes back and u got a problem opening the that large document.

The way to go abt it is to convert the captured screens to jpg as u have done it. Use PaintShop Pro to capture the area u want. Then save the picture as a jpeg (80% quality is usu good enough but it depends on u). After saving (I stress must be after saving to jpeg) then select the entire capture and copy. Now paste it in Word and u will have the image in jpeg copied to Word.

Zipping up the word with those jpeg images is not really necessary since jpeg dun get compressed in zipping.

That's all I got to say.

cheers
Nickson
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LVL 21

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by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 13825859
Instead of copying from Paint, save the cropped images. Then, in Word, use the Insert | Picture, From File... dialog. Navigate to where the picture is, then instead of clicking the default "Insert" (which will put it into the document), choose the "Insert as link" option. This will insert a filed code with a link to the image so it hardly adds anything to the size. I'm currently working on a 21-page document that is only 120KB -- but has links to 6 images that in total are >8MB.

Keep in mind that your Word file will need to have access to the images if you ever move it. I recommend setting up a subfolder (say, "Images") so the links are relative to the Word file. This way, the field codes will look something like {INCLUDEPICTURE "Images/fig03.jpg"}, and as long as you keep the Images folder one level 'below' the Word file, everything will work just fine. Use Alt-F9 to toggle the view of the field codes and the images they represent.
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by:Xanadu_1
ID: 13825938
have you tried using special paste and selecting the image that uses the least amount of memory?
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by:jacquesb
ID: 13828527

The large filesize is caused by capturing the picture from the screen. The number of pixels and color information needed for the screen is much more than what you need for storing an adequate representation of the picture on disk. If you want to continue the fast-working-way (screencapture, cut and paste), you might consider temporarily changing the screen-resolution (less colors, less pixels). I did not try it, so no guarantee it works...

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by:haikle
ID: 13830311
If ultimately the documents will end up being PDFs, then I would suggest making smaller Word documents such as one document per chapter. Then convert them to PDFs and combine them into larger PDFs.
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by:haikle
ID: 13832320
You could also try saving the images in a repository, then link to them from the Word document.
Choose Insert > Picture > from file...
Select the image to insert, then from Insert Picture dialog, Insert button, choose Link to File.

I could link to 60 large images and the doc file is still 50 kb and opens and scrolls very fast.
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realitybytes earned 200 total points
ID: 13838333
the large picture file size is caused by the fact that windows saves the screen shot as a .bmp file - these have zero compression. Try using a free utility that I use almost daily - Gadwin PrintScreen. It will allow you to save those screenshots as .gif or .jpg files (I prefer .gifs). The size difference will be huge. here's a link:

http://www.gadwin.com/printscreen/
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by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 13838712
Whether or not the images are saved in an efficient format or not, the Word file size will still be larger if you paste or insert the images into it instead of using Insert as link (the INCLUDEPICTURE field with the \d switch). I routinely work with documents of many 100s of pages that are loaded with images. By using this method, I seldom have Word files more than 1-2MBs (even though some require close to 100MBs to back up on a CD when I include the image files).

If you use "insert as link", your files will be MUCH smaller -- and you should not need to split even quite a large document up to manage it. (However, as I mentioned above, you will, need to keep the images saved relative to the document.)
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by:NicksonKoh
ID: 13863242
Hi Jonathan,

How come u gave the pts to RealityBytes when I mentioned the same thing first?

I mentioned abt u pasting the screen shots as bmp and that u could save u screen shots in jpeg with ur existing tool?

Nickson
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Author Comment

by:jonathanr
ID: 13863339
Hi NicksonKoh,

You are correct. However realitybytes did point me in the direction of the great little tool, Gadwin. I do not and have never used PaintShop Pro.

Would you consider sharing the points with realitybytes?

jonathanr
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by:NicksonKoh
ID: 13863363
Hi Jonathan,

It's ok. Just that I thot you had paintshop Pro. Didn't realise it was MS paint u had.

Nickson
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by:Eric Fletcher
ID: 13866815
No issue about the points Jonathan -- and using a utility like that will be useful in any case -- but don't overlook my tip about avoiding having the images in the document at all. If you ever need to prepare documents with really big images for high quality printing, this is the best way to do it. Reducing the image file is okay for screen viewing or low-quality printing, but can give you disappointing results if you send the file out for printing.
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by:realitybytes
ID: 13868875
just an fyi - I paid for a premium membership at this site because I often find it to be a very useful reference tool. I couldn't care less about getting "points". So if you want to award the points to someone else who actually needs them, please do so. I am glad that I could be of some help.
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