Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Choosing an Insert Method for Pictures.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 21, 2016)
It is common practice to insert pictures into Word documents. (You know—a picture is worth a thousand words.) When inserting JPG images into Word documents, you should strongly consider using the Picture option from the Insert tab of the ribbon, rather than doing a simple copy and paste. The reason for this is that Word handles pictures differently when they are cut and pasted compared with when they are inserted. When they are cut and pasted they are treated as TIFF files, which are typically much larger than JPG files, even if the original photos were JPGs.
For example, a twelve-page document with no photos takes approximately 72.5 KB on disk. Adding two photos using cut-and-paste techniques resulted in a file that was 435 KB in size. The same document, when the same photos had been inserted correctly (using the Picture tool on the Insert tab of the ribbon), shrank to 146 KB.
By inserting pictures in this manner you can save enormous amounts of hard disk space and communication bandwidth if the document has to be e-mailed. In addition, the file will load faster and you can make edits quicker.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10274) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Choosing an Insert Method for Pictures.
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