Minimizing Graphics File Size by Compressing Pictures

Now that Word is increasingly used as a Web editor, controlling the file size of images is becoming even more important. Word provides a Compress Pictures feature that gives you greater control over image size, in both Web pages and conventional documents.

To display the Compress Pictures options that Word provides, display the Picture toolbar and click the Compress Pictures button. The Compress Pictures dialog box appears (see Figure 13.30).

Figure 13.30. The Compress Pictures dialog box.


If you have selected a picture, Compress Pictures will compress only the selected picture, unless you choose the All Pictures in Document radio button.

You can then change the resolution of one (or all) images in the document. If you choose Web/Screen, Word cuts the image's resolution to 96 dpi?adequate for screen or Web, but not for print or other applications. If you choose Print, Word cuts the image's resolution to 200 dpi?adequate for desktop printing or Web, but not for high-resolution professional offset printing.


After you use Compress Pictures, Word discards excess file information stored in your document. You cannot reverse this except by removing an image and reinserting it using the source image file.

If you Compress a linked picture, Word does not compress the source image.

If you check the Compress Pictures check box, Word applies JPEG compression to the images you have selected. Because JPEG is a "lossy" image compression technique, this reduces image quality?though, in many cases, the reduction is not serious.

If you check Delete Cropped Areas of Pictures, Word deletes the image information associated with areas you've cropped. The images are smaller, but you can no longer uncrop them.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word