RE: Need tips on reducing Word file size

Subject: RE: Need tips on reducing Word file size
From: SIANNON -at- VISUS -dot- JNJ -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 13:30:1

Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't the filesize
mystery the product of a combination of the following factors (?):

-- Windows 2000 graphics handling:
Windows 2000 handles graphics differently from other
(at least previous)Windows versions. (I remember having
to save a Word doc from W2K to '97 format for a copy center
to process it, and it went from a little over 2 Mb to over
20 Mb, due to the embedded screenshots and tables and such.)
One little glitch I once found with an early version of W2K
resulted in a viable screenshot showing up as a 0 Kb file,
supposedly due to the "threading" thing W2K does with its
metadata storage. I think this contributes to the "how does
a 4 Mb graphic fit in a 2 Mb file" question.

-- Word's graphics filters:
Word uses different graphic filters to "translate" imported
graphics into whatever the embedded binary format is (I
remember dealing with it when I had the painful conversion
of a 50+ page manual from Quark Xpress on a Mac to MSWord
on a Win'95 PC). Aside from using different conversion methods,
I suspect a lot of the images are decompressed in the process.
What I'm curious about is where the data for a graphic is
stored in a Word file...if it's a compression algorithm, part
of the multi-threading thing, or what.

-- Vector vs. bitmap conversion mistakes
IIRC, Word pastes even vector graphics as bitmaps unless
expressly told to paste them as either an EMF or WMF. That
may be one part of the Visio problem (I get smaller filesizes
when I use Paste Special --> Picture(Enhanced Metafile) than
if I just paste as a picture...I do have to reset the image
to In Line With Text, and resize it, but it's worth the
extra steps)

-- Embedding OLE metadata
If a graphical element is copied from one of Microsoft's OLE-
enabled programs, and pasted directly in, instead of using
Paste Special and specifying a format, the metadata (code)
used to call the program from which the graphical element
came is also stored in the document file (thus the heavier
corruption rate of docs with many embedded Excel grids,
Powerpoint or Visio graphics, etc.)

Again, these are just things I've stumbled across when I've tried to figure
out "Why the &*%)$ is it doing this?" during my own jousts with Word. I
have no quantifiable proof these are the significant culprits I've felt
them to be, although I would welcome either confirmation or rebuttal on any
of these potential contributiing factors.


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