How to reduce the size of image rich files

The problem: A friend emailed to say her Word document newsletter file was too big and even when she PDF’d it, the file size didn’t decrease. She was stumped. It had never happened before.

The solution: Unexpectedly large files with images are almost always due to the one or more embedded images being over-sized. Finding the problem image can be tricky, especially if images have been cut and pasted from different sources. Word doesn’t provide a way to analyse the size of embedded images.

The first step is to try is is Word’s image compression option. Sometimes this is enough to solve the problem.


1 Click on any image in the Word document

2 From the Format menu select Compress Pictures

3  In the dialogue box that pops up, uncheck Apply only to this picture and press OK. This will compress all the images in the file.

4 Check the file size.

If it’s still too large, here’s how to get a list of the file sizes for all the images.

1  Save the document as a html file (select Save As and select web page html as the file type)

2  The new html format file will display and Word will change your View to Web Layout. Use the View menu to change it back to Print Layout.

3. Close the html file. You don’t need it any more.

4.  Use File Explorer to go the folder where you saved the html file. In addition to the html file you will see a new folder with _files at the end of the file name.


5. Open this folder and you will see a list of all the images files embedded in your Word document.

6. If you are not in Detail view in File Explorer, change to Detail view. You will see the file sizes.


7  Reduce the size of the offending file using a graphics program like or Photoshop

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