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Optimizing Images in Microsoft Office

The size of a file on the web impacts the time it takes to download that file and is an issue that affects everyone using the web. Users with slower Internet connections and users of the latest mobile technologies are particularly impacted by the issues of file size and download time.

On the public website we will not post files > 5 MB, (5000 KB)
Any file larger than 1MB shall list its file size in MB
Use this tool to determine how long it will take a file to be downloaded.

Three things that affect image file size:

Bit Depth - the number of possible colors each pixel can contain

Resolution - the number of dot (pixels) per inch in your image.

Image Dimensions - the physical dimensions of the image.

How to Optimize Images

One of the ways to shrink the size of files is to compress, (optimize) the images contained in them. Compressing can reduce resolution for the Web and discard unnecessary information.

The Hard Way - Use external programs to optimize images

  1. If you are inserting scanned images, make your original scans at low resolution

  2. File size is directly related to the number of colors in the image. Minimize the number of colors for smaller file size.
  3. Computer monitors can only display images at 72 dpi. Therefore, images destined website should have their resolution reduced 72 dpi.

  4. When a picture has been cropped or resized inside an office document, the "hidden" parts of the picture are stored in the file. Crop your image before inserting it in an Office document. Free Tools: picassa

Free Tools:

  • Picassa - crop, resize, adjust quality
  • IrfanView - crop, rezize, decrease color depth, resample resolution
  • PhotoPlus - crop, resize, export optimizer

The Easy Way - with Office 2007+

  • Double Click on the image (or object), the Picture Ribbon will appear at the top of the window, select "Compress Pictures".
Picture Tools Ribbon: Compress Pictures
  • Choose the settings as shown in the image below.
Compress Pictures: Settings

More Ways to Reduce File Size

Last Updated: December 10, 2013
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