Tips for Reducing the Size of Word Documents

When you’re involved in modern business, Word documents are your go-to solution for quick documentation and communication. Within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem though, Word documents can quickly get bloated and oversized. Oversized documents can cause hassles with an email attachment or file-sharing and eventually monopolize far too much virtual real estate on your servers as they build up.

There are, fortunately, ways that you can reduce the size of your Word documents so that you aren’t taking up too many resources with just text. Below, we’ll discuss a few ways that you can try to slim down especially large documents.

Don’t Use Embedded Fonts

When using embedded fonts, your document contains all the information necessary to display those fonts even for those who may not have them installed on their system. While it can be handy for someone to see your document as you originally wrote it, embedded fonts can cause a big increase in file size.

To save your document without embedded fonts:

  1. Navigate to “Save” under the File Menu.
  2. Find the options for “Preserve fidelity when saving this document”
  3. Uncheck the “Embed fonts in file” box

If you need to have the font information conveyed with your document, then you can alternatively check the box labeled “Embed only the characters used in the document.” This won’t eliminate all the size increases from embedded fonts, but it should reduce them significantly.

Compress Images Contained in the File

Any images contained in your document have to be included in the space taken up by your document, so cutting down on the size of those images may help reduce the overall document size.

To compress images within your document:

  1. Select an image in your document and click the “Picture Format” tab that becomes available
  2. Under “Adjust”, choose “Compress Pictures”
  3. Under Compression options, uncheck “Apply only to this picture” if you want it to apply to any images throughout the document.
  4. Check “Delete cropped areas of pictures”.
  5. Under “Resolution” in the same window, ensure “Use default resolution” is checked.

This will get the images in one specific document to take up less space and reduce the overall file size. Making the images within the document more efficient is one of the most reliable ways to reduce bloated Word document sizes.

Reduce the Image Resolution Across the Document

Another way to reduce the space that images demand of your documents is to simply save images at a lower resolution. Typically, images are far higher resolution than they need to be for a simple Word document, and that access data could be what is taking up a lot of the space in your documents.

To reduce the resolution of images:

  1. Under the File Menu, Navigate to “Options”, then “Advanced”
  2. Under Image Size and quality, you can choose to “discard editing data”. This works just as we discussed above, but it will be applied globally across your document.
  3. Deselect “Do not compress images in file”
  4. Under “Default Resolution” select a lower option. Usually, a resolution of around 150 PPI should be sufficient for most business’s Word documents.

These options will help make sure that all images in your file are added at a lower resolution so that you aren’t adding unnecessary bulk to the final file.

Other Helpful Tips to Reduce Document Size

While the above tips should significantly help reduce and control the file sizes of your Word documents, there are some other tricks that you could try for slimming them down more. Unlike the above common-use tips, these may only work in certain situations. Temporary troubleshooting is great, but if you continue having problems after the above methods, you should consult an expert IT manager about what may be causing your issues.

Copy and Paste Everything into a New Document

This almost seems too trivial to make much of a difference, but as you type in Word, your work is being backed up and logged. This all can cause the file size to grow. Many organizations’ IT departments will disable many of these redundancies to cut down the file size, but copy and pasting into an entirely new file is a simple way to start from scratch without all the data clutter of your old document.

Remove the Document’s Thumbnail

Text documents don’t take up many bytes, so even media as small as a thumbnail within a file could multiply the size of your file. You can disable this option by navigating to “Info” under the File menu, then “Properties”, then “Advanced Properties”. Instead of any preloaded thumbnail, the document will now simply appear with the Word Document logo.

Insert Images into Word Instead of Pasting Them

Pasting an image into Word results in the image automatically being converted to a BMP file in most cases, which is one of the largest sized formats for images. If you’re working with an original in a more trim format, like JPEG, then choosing “Picture” under the Insert menu is the way to preserve the space conservative traits of your original image.

Making Microsoft Work for Your Business

Digital advances have enabled much faster-paced and more competitive business practices, but bulky and wasteful Word documents can be incredibly problematic for an organization. There are definitely ways to address the issue of document bloating, but if you’re having systemic issues, you eventually need to address the root cause. Microsoft 365 offers extremely sophisticated and powerful tools to empower your business, and an IT consultant could help you use it to its fullest potential.

Here at 4it, we’re a trusted tech resource throughout the Central Florida community. From our offices in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, we’ve helped many businesses reach new levels of success by leveraging better managed IT services, cybersecurity services, and collaborative solutions. Our expert technicians are highly skilled in every aspect of Microsoft 365 and are happy to help you get the most out of your software at any time of day. Contact us today to learn more about how 4it can help supercharge your business with better tech solutions.

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