Make this Word document smaller please
May 24, 2012 2:22 PM   Subscribe

[Probably a dumb question filter] How can I shrink this Word file? It has no graphics.

Attaching a resume to online job site that has a limit of 100 kb per file.

As it is now, the file is apparently 113 kb. It contains no graphics and is a pretty much straight ahead two page resume.

I have tried saving the document as a new one and copying and pasting it into a new file, in case there are some weird old versions or something mysterious to me mumbo jumbo!

Googling this problem has not helped me, in fact, from what I can understand, a regular Word doc should be about 15kb! but maybe, besides not knowing obvious things about Word, I also don't know obvious things about google?! Or kilabytes? Obviously, I have no idea what I'm saying about anything at this point. Hope me!
posted by latkes to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Change your fonts?

Go with Ariel or Times New Roman, Courrier if it comes to it!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:24 PM on May 24, 2012

Do you use a lot of formatting? (For a résumé, you shouldn't.) Export it as plain text. That'll be small, and just as readable.
posted by supercres at 2:26 PM on May 24, 2012

Are you saving it as a .doc or as a .docx? docx files are much smaller than doc files.
posted by brainmouse at 2:29 PM on May 24, 2012

Resume's usually require a lot a lot of formatting and most people format as they go which means every apparent style change is associated whereever it is used. You could try defining text and paragraph styles to reuse throughout your document. It may or may not help. It may be a huge pain to set up.
posted by wobh at 2:50 PM on May 24, 2012

docx. I was hoping you were going to say they are bigger!
posted by latkes at 2:50 PM on May 24, 2012

Turn it into a PDF? On a Mac, this is easiest from word just using print to PDF.
posted by advil at 2:52 PM on May 24, 2012

See if using the Document Inspector to remove things helps get it below 100k
posted by deezil at 2:55 PM on May 24, 2012

100k for a two-page document sounds really strange to me. Two further things you can try:

1. Look for hidden images or shapes. If you go to "page layout" and "selection pane" (that's Word 2010, don't know where it is in earlier versions) you can see a list of these.

2. Try copying the text and pasting it as unformatted text ("Paste special..." in the arrow under "Paste" and then "Unformatted text") in a new document. It should be much smaller, and if it isn't then there's something else weird going on.
posted by Paragon at 3:02 PM on May 24, 2012

Use styles instead of old-school formatting. Much cleaner so probably results in a smaller file (guessing).
posted by headnsouth at 3:11 PM on May 24, 2012

I agree that you should copy the bare text into a new, template-free file.

Looking around on my computer, a 3 page document with solid paragraphs of text and a couple sections with distinctly different formatting, and it's only 17.6 KB as a DOCX. A different 3 page report with smart numbering and other formatting is only 36 KB as a DOC. My 1 page resume is a 29.5 KB DOC file.

Copying and re-copying formatted text can add a lot of hidden weight. If you're on Windows, I suggest using the free program TenClips, which provides an easy way to paste format-free text, and allows you to have 10 clipboards at once. If you don't want to bother with a weird clipboard thing and the "Paste special" series of steps is a bit convoluted, you can open Notepad, copy your resume from the large file, paste it into Notepad, copy that text, and paste it into a new, fresh Word document. Notepad doesn't keep any formatting, and is my go-to for juggling text, if I don't have TenClips available.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:14 PM on May 24, 2012

Crud, I'm on a mac. Trying notepad trick now...
posted by latkes at 3:23 PM on May 24, 2012

Perhaps you could Save As... a Rich Text Format-formatted document. This is a more flexible formatting option than Word DOC or DOCX.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 PM on May 24, 2012

SO weird, copy and pasting unformatted still comes out to more than 100 kb. Playing with other suggestions here.
posted by latkes at 3:40 PM on May 24, 2012

OK, converting to PDF was my solution. Weird, I always assumed PDFs were bigger than Word docs.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
posted by latkes at 3:47 PM on May 24, 2012

Another thing to try, especially if it was requested as a Word file - Save As RTF, then close Word, open Word, import the RTF, and Save As DOC (not DOCX).
posted by caclwmr4 at 3:53 PM on May 24, 2012

I don't know enough about Macs to verify this, but here's a way to start TextEdit with a plain text file, and with such, I think you could try the notepad trick in TextEdit that I mentioned.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:58 PM on May 24, 2012

Did you have track changes on?
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:19 PM on May 24, 2012

If you want to send it to me, I'll see if I can reduce the size.
posted by theora55 at 5:50 PM on May 24, 2012

Actually, "back-in-the-day" a common trick with Microsoft Office-type files was to "Save As" and entirely new name, and it would re-write the file, ommitting change history, discarding embedded junk, etc.

Weird that DOCX is so big, considering it is just a ZIP (well... CAB) file containing XML, it should compress smaller.

Recently I had a similar problem - I prefer to send-out a PDF, because I have a special vendor award logo embedded. The original DOCX is 118kb (18-pages, using tables for some formatting - sue me...) - but the PDF is 735kb.
posted by jkaczor at 7:00 PM on May 24, 2012

A handy OS X utility I can't live without is the free utility FormatMatch (App Store). When it is active, text copied to the clipboard is stripped of all formatting, so pasting is always plaintext. You can quickly deactivate/reactivate with a hotkey or with the app's toolbar icon.
posted by at 8:59 PM on May 24, 2012

Weird, I always assumed PDFs were bigger than Word docs.

It depends a lot on what is in the PDF, but a PDF contains only layout / text / graphics, so if the problem in the word file is with Extra Microsoft Stuff, then that will go away. PDF files with raster graphics, e.g. scanned documents, can be quite large, because they are often generated with very high resolution images embedded in them. PDFs with vector graphics only are usually fairly reasonable, and that is what should typically come out for a document like a resume.
posted by advil at 7:26 AM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

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