SUMMARY: graphics size in Word files (was RE: HELP!) -- longish

Subject: SUMMARY: graphics size in Word files (was RE: HELP!) -- longish
From: Laurie Little <llittle -at- GSALINK -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 09:56:33 -0400

Thanks to all who responded to my query (recap below):
> This was a timely suggestion; I just yesterday resaved my
screens as
> .GIFs (from BMPs) in hopes of paring my document size (Word
> The graphics went from an average 800K to about 10K, but
> enough, my Word file grew instead (from 5 mg to 7 mg).
> I unlinked them (a suggestion I found in the archives), but it
> reduced the size by about 200k. The graphics must be embedded
> the documents are in SourceSafe and many people need to access
> I've been told that there is no way to link graphics from
SourceSafe to
> the Word doc (is this misinformation?)
> Any suggestions? They were saved as 8-bit images in Hypersnap.

I received the following suggestions. Unfortunately, none solved my
problem (see my comments in <>, but perhaps they will be useful to
others. I've decided that we can live with the big files for a while
yet, because we are switching to Word 97 within the next few months, and
I understand it handles graphics better. Besides, 7mg is small compared
to the 30mg files I get from other users who just do Alt-Print Screen
and drop screens into their documents at high resolution!

*** be sure Allow Fast Saves is off <I always do> Geoff Hart explained
in detail why: Fast save doesn't actually save a new copy of the
document, but rather
appends changes to the end of the document. When you reopen the file,
Word rebuilds the document. This is VERY DANGEROUS because Word gets
confused after a while and ends up corrupting the file. Disable this
option immediately, and never use it again. Then do a "save as" for
your current file, and give it a new name. Word will do a real
save, and will rebuild the file as it does. You should see a huge
decrease in file size, Word should work with the new file much
faster, and you'll get many fewer bugs when working with the file.
... and Byron Hills added this tip: I use Tools, Customize to change
the print tool on the toolbar to always do a "Save As" to ensure the
file stays as small as possible (this means I have to press Enter each
time, but it's a small price to

*** use Save As instead of Save; try cut&paste into a new document <no

*** Use Word-friendly image types (BMP's and WMF's)
*** How many colors? With a BMP, size differs greatly between 16 color,
256 color, 16 bit color, 32 bit color... Try saving your images as 16
color bitmaps.... or even 2 tone if color and contrast is not needed.
<files were originally 16colour BMPs. GIFs were smaller, so I tried that
but the file didn't get any smaller -- this was the original problem. I
tried WMFs, but no difference>

*** Consider saving the graphics as WMF files (they scale better) and
the color pallette. I don't know if this option is available in
but it's a feature in Paint Shop Pro that I use a lot.

*** all graphics are saved inside MS Word in two formats, the original
format, and WMF. The trick is to include the graphics as "Link to
file" withOUT "Save image in document".
For further tricks and details, take a look at my "Tip of the month"
from November 1997, see URL (Internet address) below.
- the "User Friendly Manuals" website with links, bibliography, list
of prof. associations, and tips for technical writers:
<the files must be embedded, not linked, because other people need easy
access to the doc to print it. Also, they do not have Check Out
privileges to the doc folder in Source Safe, so they can't check out the
linked graphics with the doc.>

*** Renée LaPlume and Dave Neufeld addressed the SourceSafe issue:

Renée uses MKS Source Integrity (a competitive product to SourceSafe):
If SS works similarly, you should be able to include both the *.DOC file
and graphics files as members of the SourceSafe project. To make sure it
can find the linked files, follow these steps (taken from some of our
internal company procedures):

In Word, use 'Insert/Picture' to insert a picture into your document.
Make sure, that 'Link to File' is checked and 'Save with Document' is
NOT. Switch to view field codes (Alt-F9).
This will show a field like {INCLUDEPICTURE
"D:\\images\\thumbnail\\02ILL037.jpg" \* MERGEFORMAT \d}.
Remove the path in front of the image file name, so you're left with
something like {INCLUDEPICTURE "02ILL037.jpg" \* MERGEFORMAT \d}. This
makes the link generic so that someone else can open the document and
the external link in the current directory, assuming that the images
are stored at the same level as the corresponding Word document.

<I responded that this didn't work, and Renée replied thusly:>
Try replacing the path with the full network drive path where working
copies of the graphics files are located (use the volume names instead
of drive letters in case
some users have volumes mapped to different letters - unless you happen
to know that all users at your company have everything relevant mapped
to the same letter).

In the example from my earlier posting, this would mean replacing:
{INCLUDEPICTURE "D:\\images\\thumbnail\\02ILL037.jpg" \* MERGEFORMAT \d}
with something like (note this starts by volume name, not drive letter:

It seems to me if the other users have View access to both the DOC and
graphics files, and all these files are under control by SourceSafe,
that this should work. If not, maybe someone at your organization that
understands SourceSafe
well could help you out further. It's possible that there are
differences in how SourceSafe versus MKS Source Integrity works that
keep this solution from being of help to you.

Dave Neufeld uses VSS:
I link all my line art in as EPS files. Occasional BMP screen shots are
embedded or linked; I don't have many of them. In my document project in
VSS, I put all graphic files that are referenced by the Word file in a
sub-project. Source research material and native application graphic
files are in other sub-projects. When checking out a document, I check
out the entire project folder, not just the Word file. <Only I have
Check Out privileges; others can only view>

Because Word uses absolute, instead of relative, path names to
referenced files, it's a big pain to use these on someone else's
computer if they don't put them in the exact same drive and path name as
on my local drive. I had to build some kludgy word macros to solve this,
but its not perfect. Word's use of external template files is also a
pain when dealing with archived documents on VSS.

<I tried using the VSS path name, and no path name at all with the
graphics in the same folder, to no avail.>

I'm off to California (and the conference) for two weeks, and am setting
Techwr-l to nomail. If anyone wants to contact me, please reply directly
to llittle -at- gsalink -dot- com -dot-

Thanks again everyone!
Laurie L. Little From there to here, from here to there,
llittle -at- gsalink -dot- com Funny things are everywhere <Dr. Seuss>
416-593-6262 x 533
Toronto, ON

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