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Trim the Size of Graphic Content

We’ve established that what clogs up Word, making downloading slow and dragging at navigation, is the file size. Graphic content is a major contributor to large files, so you may be able to reduce the size of your file by trying one or more of the following techniques.

  • Some graphic file types use less memory than others. Where feasible, use a .gif instead of a bitmap.
  • Change embedded or linked objects to graphics (by selecting and clicking Ctrl+Shift+F9). The nifty editing and linking functionality of embedded and linked objects is a serious memory-muncher. Use them only if you must, and use linked rather than embedded where possible.
  • Compress images for maximum file-space savings:
    1. Right-click the picture and click Format Picture in the pop-up menu.
    2. Click Compress to open the Compress Pictures dialog box (see Figure 11).
    3. Choose the desired options and click OK, and then click Apply.
Figure 11

Figure 11 Compress pictures wherever possible to use less memory in long documents.

One of the compression options allows you to compress all the pictures in the document, but unless the graphics are all of the same type, I like to check each as I go to ensure that I’m not losing image quality. Also, for print documents, I test sample output to make sure that I’m not trading faster files for degraded print quality.

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