I have a word document in which I note down things I learn, some of which are accompanied by images. I recently noticed the size of my document had rocketed, so renamed it to a .zip and looked at its contents. In the word/media folder, I found that many of my images had been saved in the PNG format, when they had originally been embedded as JPG images.

I did some experimenting and found that when I add a plain JPG and save my document, the image stays as JPG inside the document, but when I add a drawing canvas, and add the image to that, the JPG gets converted to PNG which is much much larger.

I use a drawing canvas so I can arrange my images and text boxes within it easily.

How can I prevent word doing this; if I can't, is there any alternative to using a drawing canvas?


Yes. Office Word provides the high fidelity feature for users to insert a pictures with the minimal compression. You may even find that the Word file size gets larger if you increase the width or height of your inserted picture.

To deal with this issue, go to File -> Options -> Advanced and find the Image Size and Quality section. Choose 96ppi in the default resolution drop-down list. Click OK to apply. Then try it again.


  • Thanks for taking the time to respond. Sadly, in Word 2007 that section isn't present...word 2010 is the earliest version that has it (see here) any idea how to do it in 2007? – Wad Jan 5 '18 at 15:06

OK in Word 2007 the image needs to be selected, then in the picture tools toolbar we can click "Compress Pictures" (on the far left) and choose 96DPI there.

EDIT: I have also found out that if we add an image to a textbox, then put that text box in the drawing canvas (hence the image too), the image does not get converted hence there is no massive increase in document size! I don't know why this trick works, but it does!

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