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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2009
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    Unhappy Keeping size of document down
    We are about to send out a News Years letter to our friends. We wnt to send it out as an attachment to an email, so keeping the size small is a benefit to us and those who receive it (some are overseas and on dial-up). My wife created the letter in Word for Mac as a .doc document. It has seven lo-res photos in the letter, each of which is no more than about 50-60Kb.

    As a .doc document, however, it weighs in at 20 Mb (yes, MEGAbytes). That seems bizarre to me as the only things that are in the two-page letter are the seven photos (420 Kb max) and some text. We have sent is back and forth to each other and it takes FOREVER (we have standard DSL, which at times is a bit cranky).

    I had always understood that converting a document to PDF would reduce its size. So I used the print command to convert it to a a PDF, which then weighed in at 140Mb!

    So I am quite puzzled and really in need of some guidance on how to get this bad boy shrunk down to a reasonable size so we can send it before the New Year turns into Valentines Day.

  2. #2

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Wish I knew. I was working on a Word file yesterday that started out at 2MB. I checked the size later, and it was 12MB!

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
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    I had always understood that converting a document to PDF would reduce its size. So I used the print command to convert it to a a PDF, which then weighed in at 140Mb!

    So I am quite puzzled and really in need of some guidance on how to get this bad boy shrunk down to a reasonable size so we can send it before the New Year turns into Valentines Day.
    When converting a document to PDF that has graphics and\or photos it will expand it in size as you found out. The only time that PDF should be used is when you're trying to achieve compatibility between formats.

    One way to send a Word or any Office document and keep it smaller is to use XML format and not *.DOC. Which means saving the file as *.DOCX rather than *.DOC. Of course that creates a problem for the user if they don't have a compatible program to read the files.

    Another way to shrink your greeting letters is to compress them by zipping them. Again, that means the recipient has to do work in order to read them. (unzip)

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    G'day and welcome to the forums.

    Unless your friends and relos are on high speed ADSL2 broadband you are not doing them any favours with seven photos. Perhaps just send without the photos. There is no short way around your problem alas.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5

    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    Actually you can save the document as a PDF and use preview to lower the resolution...which would make the file smaller. However, the pictures will not look as good. In fact they might end up looking terrible.

    You can also try optimizing your images so that they are smaller as well. I can get some pretty small jpeg files even at 800X600px 72 dpi around 33KB.
    死神はリンゴしか食べない。

  6. #6

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post

    Another way to shrink your greeting letters is to compress them by zipping them. Again, that means the recipient has to do work in order to read them. (unzip)

    +1 for this.

    Have a look @ Stuffit Expander as this is made to Optimise Images, PDFs and Audio Files. Worth a try and look, and its easy enough to use . . . .
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  7. #7

    vansmith's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what version of Word you're using but 2011 has the ability to compress pictures in a document (previous version may have the same feature as well). Click the picture and in the ribbon, click the "Compress" button (you may have to click the "Format Picture" tab). In the dialog that shows up, click the "Picture Quality" drop down box. One of the options is "Best for sending in e-mail". You can apply it to all the pictures in the file as well (as opposed to having to do them one at a time).

    I just tried this and these were my results:
    Document, 6 pictures, uncompressed: 9.2MB
    Document, same 6 pictures, compressed: 631KB
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  8. #8

    chscag's Avatar
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    @Van

    Looks like that's only available in Office 2011. Unless it's hiding somewhere else (very possible) I can't seem to find a way to compress pictures from Office 2008.

    Also, it appears he's trying to include photos (he says seven lo-res photos in his original post) in the document. Since the photos are likely in JPG format, I don't believe you can compress them further. Did you actually compress photos in Word 2011 or just some graphics (pictures)?

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2009
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    Thanks, everyone. Please note that the photos are already lo-res (each is max 60Kb) which multiplied times 7 is only 420Kb. Yet I am ending up with a total file size of 20 MEGAbytes, which expands to 134Mb as a .pdf.

    So if my math is correct, it is not the photos that are a problem. Something else is going on. I'd still love to know what it is.

  10. #10

    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Weird. Here's something, maybe you could use command + shift + 4 to take a screenshot of the text documents, then just email them the screenshot. A screenshot of my entire screen is only 224KB. Much less than 20MB.

  11. #11

    McBie's Avatar
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    To break down the problem ....
    Make a copy of the document that includes the pictures.
    Open that document and remove the pictures
    Save the document and look at the size.
    if it is still several megabytes, then the issue is inside the document, not with the pictures.

    You can also try to create a new document, based on the 'normal' template, don't type any text and insert the pictures.
    Look at what the size is.

    I am only trying to narrow down the problem.

    Cheers ... McBie
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  12. #12


    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2009
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    The solution came from a friend in Europe. Here it is:

    Convert .doc to .pdf.

    Open .pdf in Preview.

    Click on Save As

    On Save As dialogue, pull down menu from Quartz Filter.

    Click on Reduce File Size.

    Brought it down under 1 Mb.

  13. #13

    McBie's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting back a solution ....

    I did not know this option was available in Preview.

    Cheers ... McBie
    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

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