How to Reduce MS Word File Size – Tip 2


In the last article, we discussed how multiple bullet lists can corrupt your Microsoft Word files. We outlined some techniques to reduce the file size, mostly by creating pre-formatted bullet lists in advance.

But what happens if you’re given a file that’s already bloated to massive proportions. It’s too late to create fancy new styles at this stage. This requires some drastic action.

Here’s what to do.

1. Open the Word file in Microsoft Word, if possible.

Tip: If this is not possible, try opening it with Internet Explorer – sometimes this works!

2. Cut and paste every graphic from the file into an image-editing tool. Create a naming convention, (e.g. Page1-A.gif, Page1-B.gif etc) and name each one accordingly.


3. Do File | Save As HTML. Name the file with an HTML extension, e.g. ProposalTemplate.html. Exit Word completely.

4. Re-open Word. Do File | Open and select the ProposalTemplate.html file.

5. Do File | Save and save with ProposalTemplate.html with a new Word .doc extension, e.g. ProposalTemplate2.doc.

This simple process of converting the Microsoft Word file into HTML and back into Word, removes all the unnecessary (i.e. corrupt) code in the file, and will significantly reduce the file size.

I’ve seen Word files larger than 20MB reduced to less than 3MB in less than one minute by using this technique.

Might be worth a try!

These are some secrets we learnt from the tech doc frontline. What’s been your experience?

PS: The reason you don’t save the file at Step 2 is because this would trigger Word into action (i.e. I WILL now save this humongous file) and, as it struggles to save the oversized file, will probably crash the entire application.