How to Compress and Reduce the Size of a Word Document

A large Word document can present a series of problems when sharing the Word document or uploading the document online. Here are some things you can do to reduce its file size.
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written by posted on Nov 2, 2021

We do not have to stress just how essential Microsoft Word has been. Word documents come into use everywhere and, therefore, we make sure our Word documents are useful at all times. A problem that you experience with Word documents is the file size of the document. Word documents can be massive, sometimes for no reason at all. However, the file size of a Word document is typically larger than it has to be when it is filled with objects such as large images, long text, and embedded fonts.

A large Word document can present a series of problems when sharing the Word document or uploading the document online. Here are some things you can do to reduce its file size.

How Can I Reduce the File Size of a Word Document?

Here are some tips to reduce the size of your Word document.

  • Insert content correctly
  • Compress pictures in the Word document
  • Avoid using embedded fonts
  • Save your Word document as a .docx file

Insert Content Correctly

When creating a Word document, one of the most important steps is inserting content correctly. It is advisable to insert content of a smaller size. If you need to copy text from other documents or websites, we do not recommend simply copying and pasting the content in Word. The content you need to add to your Word document usually results in more data because it comes with a source file format.

Here is what you should do:

  • Copy the text you want to add to your Word document
  • Paste the text into a text editor
  • Copy the text from the text editor
  • Paste the text into your Word document

If you need to paste one or more pictures in Microsoft Word and perform a few edits on the pictures, here is what you should do:

  • Copy the picture you want to add to your Word document
  • Paste the picture object in an image editor
  • Save the picture in the image editor
  • Copy from the image editor and paste it into your Word document

If you need to add pictures to your Word document without performing any edits, there is a better way to achieve this than the copy and paste technique. To add the image to your Word document, do the following:

  • Click on Insert in the menu
  • Select Picture and choose the image you want to include in your Word document

Compress Pictures in the Word Document

Word documents can become huge quickly, especially when they are exceptionally long, complex documents that consist of embedded images and fonts. Before you know it, your word document has grown out of hand for apparently no reason at all. When you have a Word document that’s too large, one of the first things you can do is compress the images in the Word document. Images always seem to excessively increase the size of a Word document.

Text may not always make up the bulk of your Word document, it is the pictures and other objects that you’ve included in your document that take up the most drive space. A method that you can use to reduce your Word document’s file size is to compress the pictures. Here’s how pictures can be compressed in Microsoft Word:

  • Click on an image in your document
  • Once you have selected an image to compress, you will see a set of Picture Formatting options on the Microsoft Word taskbar in the Adjust group. One of the options you will see is an option to Compress Pictures. Click on it.
  • After choosing this option, you will see a different dialog box. In this dialog box, you will need to uncheck Apply only to this picture option. To successfully reduce the size of your Word document, you need to apply the changes to all the pictures in the document.
  • Leave the Delete cropped areas of pictures box checked. If you delete the cropped picture data, you will not be able to restore it
  • Under the Resolution setting, the majority of the options will be grayed out. We recommend that you choose Use default resolution.

Another method that may be successful in a case such as this is to insert pictures into Word as media objects. Typically, the file size will be smaller when you insert pictures instead of copying and pasting them.

Don’t Embed Fonts

Microsoft designed embedded fonts so they don’t look unnatural when someone who does not have the fonts installed opens your Word document. The embeds take up significant file space. Embedded fonts can lead to huge file sizes, and this is why we recommend disabling the option to embed fonts. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Go to File  > Options > Save
  • Under Preserve fidelity when sharing this document, ensure that the Embed fonts in the file box is not checked
  • If you need to embed fonts, you may check the box and select Embed only the characters used in the document (best for reducing file size) and Do not embed common system fonts.

Save or Convert Your Word Document as a DOCX File

Do you remember when .DOCX became the default file format for Word? If you are using a version other than Word 2007, you can try saving your Word document under a different file format. Your Word document will be changed from .doc to .docx. Since Word 2007, DOCX is now the default format for saving Word documents, you might not need to apply this option if you are using a more recent version of Microsoft Word.

However, you will need this when you save your document in DOC format, usually for backward compatibility. How can you save your file as DOCX?

Here’s how to change DOC to DOCX:

  1. In the Word menu, click the Office button.
  2. Select Save As.
  3. Choose Word Document and save.

How can you convert your file format from DOC to DOCX?

  • Go to File > Info.
  • You will see a Convert option.
  • The .DOCX file will serve as a ZIP folder which will compress a significant amount of data in a file of a small size. By converting a .doc file to the .docx format, will make your document smaller.

Reducing file size is one way of saving space on your device. Reducing the file size of your Word document is only one way to enhance your device’s performance. For maximum performance, you may need to optimize other aspects. If your West Michigan business needs a boost in computer performance, call Envizion IT today. We offer IT services that make your technology work for you. Talk with a specialist today at (616) 741-1144.