Stump the PC Club is a free tech-advice column written by members of the North Orange County Computer Club, which has been in existence since 1976. Visit the club’s site at noccc.org.
QUESTION: When I create a Microsoft Word document that includes pictures the file size is many megabytes. Am I doing something wrong?
PC CLUB: It’s not a question of right and wrong, but a question of efficiency. It’s basically inefficient to insert full size pictures into Word, PowerPoint or even into an email. Some email programs show the picture so large that the user has to scroll to see it which is annoying.
You only need full size pictures for printing but most other applications can use small or medium sized ones. When you insert a picture with a file size of 5 megabytes into Word, for example, the Word document will increase in size by that amount even if you make the picture smaller in Word. Word behaves this way to allow you to restore the picture to its original size. This is true in PowerPoint also.
To avoid this, always resize your pictures prior to inserting them into an application. One of the best programs for doing this is available for free at http://bit.ly/resizephoto. There is a 32-bit and 64-bit version. Once you download and install it you will have an option to Resize Pictures whenever you right-click a picture. There are preset sizes available but if you click the Advanced button you can use any custom size. There is an Advanced option that will let you overwrite the original file so use care before proceeding.
There are other ways to resize pictures including using Picasa and Photoshop Elements.
When you use Picasa to email a picture it allows you to choose a size. Would you believe that you can do this on line also – why not? Go to http://www.shrinkpictures.com/ and use it for free. The web site at http://www.picresize.com/ offers several options including adding a frame and cropping.
If you should resize a picture prior to emailing, it takes less time and uses less space on the recipient’s PC. Be sure to tell them that if they wish to print it you will send them a full size picture.
Ed Schwartz is a member of the North Orange County Computer Club. To send in a question, go to edwardns.com and click the Contact Me menu. Archives of previous columns are also on the website.