I was creating a file with MS Word 2007 where I included a number of images. I didn't compress them as I was putting them into the file. I managed to save the file, but have not been able to reopen it ever since, as it says that I have exceeded the 32 MB limit. I am working on an old Macbook (OS X 10.4.11). I have tried to open the file in both OpenOffice and LibreOffice, but it just causes those programs to crash. Is there any way of reducing the file size without opening the document?
The answer depends on whether the document was saved as one of the "new" office formats.
If it is saved as a .doc then no, you wont be able to do this on your old Mac. I suggest that you find a friend or colleague with a 64-bit Windows/64-bit Office installation and plenty of memory. That combination will probably be able to open the file.
If it is one of the new formats such as .docx, then you could try to hack the file. Rename the file so that it ends with .zip (e.g. filename.docx.zip), you can then open with 7zip or something similar and get to the files within. You could then try copying the images out and deleting them from the archive. Be warned though that you will probably corrupt the file along the way, you will probably have to change the index file that is also embedded. Take a copy before trying this!