RE: Format of graphics in Word documents

Subject: RE: Format of graphics in Word documents
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: "Downing, David" <DavidDowning -at- Users -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2008 13:32:06 -0600

Downing, David wrote:

> Where I work, we actually insert graphics into our documents, rather
> than linking them. We been told to save graphics as GIF files rather
> than BMP files to keep the Word documents from getting too big. But
> it really make a difference? I thought Word converted a graphic into
> own proprietary format within a document, and that that format was the
> same regardless of the format of the original graphic. Is that so?

I'm not a Word guru, but I'm pretty sure (unless it's changed with 2007)
Word puts raster (bitmapped) graphics inside a WMF (Windows Metafile)

IIRC, Word's native bitmap format is a compressed version of BMP. But
I'm not sure if it converts GIF, PNG, etc., to BMP and then stuffs that
into the WMF wrapper, or if it stuffs whatever format you give it into
the wrapper.

Why not do a little experimenting? Note a Word doc's size, insert
several BMPs of known size, and save the doc (be sure Fast Saves isn't
turned on). Compare the size increase of the doc with the total size of
the imported BMPs. Then save those BMPs as GIFs and repeat the
experiment. Maybe do it again after converting them to PNG.

Or you could just switch to import by reference. :-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom


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Format of graphics in Word documents: From: Downing, David

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