Avoid Document Corruption and Bloating in Microsoft Word
In a previous article,
we tell you how to recover a document from corruption or near-corruption. Please
read it first.
we hope to provide some tips on avoiding the corruption in the first place. In
order for this article to make sense, you might first want to read the other
Tip: A newsgroup reader (Dave Hazel) reported that
repagination would go into a never-ending loop and that saving as RTF resolved
it. Later he found that this removed the Save Picture Preview in the Properties
of his document, so he turned it back on and the problem recurred. You may want
to check (or rather UNcheck) this in your document properties by choosing FileàProperties
and unchecking it.
Save Preview Picture
A very small setting under FileàProperties can
considerably increase file size. Uncheck Save Preview Picture.
If you must use Microsoft Office drawing tools, create your drawings in
PowerPoint. Use one slide for each drawing. When the drawing is complete, hit
Ctrl+A, group the objects using the DrawàGroup
menu options. After grouping, copy the object, then go to Word and hit EditàPaste
special, and choose Picture (Enhanced Metafile). For some reason, Word just
can't seem to keep track of lots of drawing objects. This way, you can save the
PowerPoint presentation for editing of the drawing objects you create. As long
as you don't choose Paste Link, there is no need to send the presentation with
your document. Choosing Enhanced Metafile creates a nice image that's not too
big electronically in size.
Careful Table Usage
If you must use tables for your layout—and
sometimes they're invaluable—then be sure to create
them "cleanly". What I mean by that is this... determine a layout for your
tables before you begin creating your document. Rather than merging and
unmerging, etc., while you build your tables, try to find a nice clean way to
make them. It seems as if as soon as you begin merging and unmerging cells in
tables, they just get out of hand. If you, for instance, create a table layout
where you merge some cells, then create a new row based off that, and then split
some cells, then a new row and merge...Word seems to get lost after while.
Better that you should create a bunch of the same rows, and merge or split them,
than to create new rows based on previously merged and/or split rows. Does this
make sense? Regardless, if you use lots of tables, it will NEVER hurt to save
your file as RTF from time to time as you work on it. Then reopen and save again
as a DOC file.
One of the most common causes of file bloating is inserting pictures that are
just plain too large electronically. I'm no hardware geek, but I know there's
settings on digital cameras for resolution and, the higher the resolution, the
higher the electronic size. However, there are image programs out there capable
of compressing images, and still retaining a very good quality. Try
Irfanview. Heck, it'll even let you batch
compress, rename—all kinds of cool tools—and
best of all, it's FREE.
Screen captures can be big, too. At the bottom of every article (in my web
footer here), I mention SnagIt by
TechSmith. They do not pay me for that! I mention their product because it far
exceeds any other screen capture program I've used. If you use Windows Print
Screen button, you get a bitmap (BMP). These are often much larger in size than
something like SnagIt will produce, but SnagIt even lets you capture at
different resolutions, capture it right to the clipboard, add a certain amount
of drawing objects (arrows, text, etc.), and even capture a lot of things you
can't capture when you hit the Windows Print Screen button. That's also how I
capture the dropped-down menus in all my articles.
I just tested, and Windows Print Screen gave me a 117KB image. SnagIt gave me
a 104KB. It may not seem like much, but when you use it as much as I do, it sure
adds up! I'm also taking my SnagIt screenshots at a whopping 1200 DPI. I have no
idea what the DPI is on a Windows screen capture. If you do, please submit a
this article and I'll update it!
Embedded and Linked Objects
People want to embed or link a whole bunch of objects. Time to get real. No
application can handle that kind of communication, so don't be upset when Word
can't handle it either. I'm not talking about an Excel spreadsheet or two. I'm
talking about where you try to link an Excel file from 15 different worksheets
in it. I assume a document of this proportion is important. So take the time to
do it right. In this particular instance, I would automate the process of
getting the items from Excel into Word using automation. You can hire me or
someone like me to do that for you. Or you can work it out yourself.
for the VBA code that can get you started.
Like many of the articles here, this one is likely a work in process. Check
back if this topic interests you!
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