How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size


This wikiHow teaches you how to reduce the file size of a Microsoft Word document. If your Word file is too big, it's often because the images in your document weren't inserted properly or aren't compressed enough. You can reduce the size of a Word document by inserting images properly (not using copy and paste), compressing the images, deleting any auto-recovery versions, turning off thumbnails, and turning off embedded fonts.

Part 1
Inserting Images Properly

Inserting Images Properly on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's a tab in the menu bar at the top of the screen. This will reveal a new set of options at the top of the page. It's better to use the "Insert" option to add images to a Word document instead of using Copy & Paste. When you copy and paste an image you lose compression, change the file type, and bring in extra data that can increase the file size.[1]

Inserting Images Properly on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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Click the "Pictures" button that resembles a photo with a computer screen on the bottom-right corner of it. It's located at the top of the menu to the right of the "Table" icon. This will open a file browser where you can browse and select the images you want to add. On Mac, this opens a small drop-down menu. Select Picture from File... in the menu.

Inserting Images Properly on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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Use the file browser window to navigate to the location of an image and click the image file to select it.

Inserting Images Properly on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the button on the bottom-right corner of the file browser window. This will insert the image into the Word document in a format that works best with Word documents, without copying any unnecessary extra data.

Part 2
Compressing Images

Compressing Images on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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Click on any image on the page of your Word document to select it. This will open the "Format" menu in the blue menu bar at the top. On Mac this tab is labeled "Picture Format" at the top of Word.

Compressing Images on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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Click the "Compress Pictures" button which resembles a photograph with blue arrows on each corner. It's located in the top-left section of the menu at the top of your Word document. On older versions of Word, click Format at the top and select Compress Image from the drop-down menu.

Compressing Images on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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If you want to apply compression to all the pictures in the document, select "All pictures in this file" unchecked. If you only want to compress only the image you selected, Select "Selected pictures only". If you've cropped any images in Word you can also check the box for "Delete cropped areas of pictures" which will delete the cropped areas permanently. This will reduce the file size, but you'll no longer be able to adjust the cropping.

Compressing Images on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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Click the radio button for the level of compression you want to use, ranging from HF (Maximum image size), (HD 330 PPI) to Email (96 PPI). The lower the PPI, the more you will lower the file size of your Word document which will also decrease the image quality of the picture as well. Some options may be unavailable if the images in your document are already compressed below the higher PPI resolutions. Lower PPI resolutions are designed to be viewed on a computer screen. The image may look fuzzy in print format.

Compressing Images on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's at the bottom of the window. This compresses the images in your document which will reduce the file size of your Word file.[2]

Part 3
Deleting Auto-Recovery Versions

Deleting Auto-Recovery Versions on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the first option in the top-left of the blue menu bar at the top of Word.

Deleting Auto-Recovery Versions on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the first option at the top of the blue column on the left.

Deleting Auto-Recovery Versions on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the icon with several yellow pages and a magnifying glass. This will open a drop-down menu.

Deleting Auto-Recovery Versions on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the option on the bottom with the icon of three yellow pages and a red "X." This will delete all the recent copies of any unsaved auto-recovery versions of your document.

Part 4
Turning Off Thumbnails

Turning Off Thumbnails on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the first option in the top-left of the blue menu bar at the top of Word.

Turning Off Thumbnails on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the first option at the top of the blue column on the left.

Turning Off Thumbnails on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's at the top of the right side of the page. This opens a small drop-down menu with one option.

Turning Off Thumbnails on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the only option that appears next to the icon of a small bullet-point list. This will display the Properties window for your document.

Turning Off Thumbnails on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the second tab at the top of the window.

Turning Off Thumbnails on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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" It's at the bottom of the "Summary" page. If your document has a lot of images, disabling this feature will reduce the file size of your Word document even more.

Turning Off Thumbnails on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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This will save the changes to your document.

Part 5
Turning Off Embedded Fonts

Turning Off Embedded Fonts on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the first option in the top-left of the blue menu bar at the top of Word.

Turning Off Embedded Fonts on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's the last option at the bottom of the blue column on the left. This will open the main settings for Microsoft Word.

Turning Off Embedded Fonts on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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Click the "Save" tab on the left-side column to open all the settings to customize how Word saves your documents in the pane on the right.

Turning Off Embedded Fonts on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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" When this option is turned off, fonts that are not on the computer will not be used in the document, which can reduce the file size of your Word document if you used uncommon fonts.

Turning Off Embedded Fonts on How to Reduce a Microsoft Word File Size

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It's at the bottom of the Save menu. This will save your changes in Microsoft Word. When this option is disabled, use only the standard common fonts in your Word document so other users will not have problems viewing your document correctly.