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I have a Word document with some images and Word keeps visibly downsampling them even though I've set File > Reduce file size... > Picture Quality: Use Original Quality. I also unchecked "Delete cropped areas of pictures".

When I first insert an image, it looks fine. Once I save the document, however, it decreases in quality.

Is there some other setting I don't know about? This is Word for Mac version 16.46.

EDIT: FWIW, I just noticed that when I quit word and then reopen the document, the setting under File > Reduce file size... > Picture Quality is magically set to "High Fidelity (Maximum PPI)" (which I'm guessing is lower than "Use Original Quality". And "Delete cropped areas of pictures" is checked.

EDIT 2: To answer 1NN's questions in the comments:

Are you using the latest file version to save your document? docx or some other format?

docx

Does "save as.." and choosing the latest word document format (docx) change the behaviour?

It's already docx but I tried going through that dialog anyway, just in case. No dice.

do you insert the images with copy-paste, or through the insert... dialogue?

Neither – I drag them from Finder into the document. But I tried both, same result.

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  • Are you using the latest file version to save your document? docx or some other format? Does "save as.." and choosing the latest word document format (docx) change the behaviour? Please edit the answer directly in your question.
    – 1NN
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 19:36
  • Second question: do you insert the images with copy-paste, or through the insert... dialogue?
    – 1NN
    Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 19:37
  • @1NN See edits above. Commented Jul 9, 2021 at 20:32

1 Answer 1

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I figured it out. Word does have another setting. After opening Word's settings (cmd+,), I clicked on "Edit". Under the section "Image Size and and Quality" the option "Do not compress images in file" was not checked. There's also an option for "Default resolution" that I set to "High fidelity".

Now, whenever I save, Word retains the images' original quality. I can't speak to whether the options I mentioned in the question can conflict with these other settings I found. It's definitely confusing to have settings related to image quality in two separate places.

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  • There is a screen shot of what you said here (but unfortunately this option is not available for Mac): support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/…
    – giardia
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 20:20
  • Note that you have to delete the image and then insert it again. You cannot right click and just "Change image" Commented Feb 4 at 20:00
  • BTW, if printing to PDF you may need to use Adobe PDF printer and set up new job options to 1. Not downsample, 2. Store images using ZIP compression. That really preserves fidelity and most scientific illustrations are very compressible in zip format. Commented Feb 4 at 20:02

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