RE: Clarification on "word bloat"

Subject: RE: Clarification on "word bloat"
From: "Claire Conant" <Claire -dot- Conant -at- Digeo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 08:56:47 -0700

Arroxane wrote:
>At least two of you mentioned "word bloat" as a result of not using (or

>frequently changing within paragraphs) styles. Can you explain how
>setting up a group of styles and applying them would "protect" a
>document? I didn't realize this could have such an impact. How does the

>size of a document change when I choose to italicize a specific line or

>leave body paragraphs as "normal"--instead of setting these up in

About four years ago, I worked with Word (Word 2000) as my primary
authoring tool and had documents increase in size up to 60 MB or larger.
I learned from the Microsoft Word MVPs ( that Word
stores all those changes you make at the end of each paragraph, and also
in the very last paragraph symbol in your document (which is also why
Word can "undo" so many changes.) To reduce the file size, I had to copy
everything in the document - except the last paragraph marker which
never goes away - and paste it into a clean template. This is also when
I learned the benefit of using styles properly.

I also learned there are other reasons for file bloat - here is a list
of them from a MSFT Word expert (Microsoft office community post)

There are a number of reasons for excessive file size, including:

1. Fast Saves: Disable this at on the Save tab of Tools | Options.

2. Preview Picture: Clear the check box on the Summary tab of File |

3. Versions (File | Versions): Make sure Automatically save version on
is not turned on.

4. Revisions (Tools | Track Changes):
Highlight Changes: Make sure Highlight changes on screen is turned
(or that Final Showing Markup is displayed).
Accept/Reject Changes: If Accept or Reject is available then
revisions are present; accept or reject all changes, then turn Track

5. Embedded True Type fonts (Tools | Options | Save); embedding fonts
be avoided wherever possible.

6. Embedded graphics: When feasible, it is preferable to link the
That is, when you insert the graphic, click the arrow beside Insert in
Picture dialog and choose Link to File rather than Insert or Insert and

7. Embedded objects: These are even worse than ordinary graphics saved
the document. If you see an { EMBED } code, the graphic is an OLE
Unless you need to be able to edit the object in place, unlink it using

8. File format: Make sure you are saving as a Word document; in some
..rtf (Rich Text Format) files are significantly larger than .doc files.

9. Document corruption: See

Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA
Word MVP FAQ site:


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