How to Fix Huge MS Word Docs

Last week we showed you how Bullet Lists can crash MS Word documents, especially if you cut and paste from several different documents. We outlined some techniques to reduce the file size, mostly by creating pre-formatted bullet lists and re-creating bullet lists the correct way.

How to fix Corrupt & Damaged MS Word files

But what happens if you’re given a document that’s already oversize and looks like it will damage your Word settings?

Here’s what to do.

  1. Open the document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Cut and paste every graphic from the document into an image-editing tool, such as Snagit. Create a naming convention, (e.g. Page1-A.gif, Page1-B.gif etc) and name each graphic using the same naming convention.WARNING: DON’T SAVE THE FILE YET!
  3. In Word, select File, Save As HTML.
    Name the file with an HTML extension, e.g. Proposal.html and then Exit Word.
  4. Re-open Word.
  5. Select File, Open and open the Proposal.html file.
  6. Now, save the file using File, Save As. In other words save Proposal.html with a .doc extension, e.g. Proposal.doc.TIP: This process of converting the Microsoft Word file into HTML and back into Word, removes unnecessary (usually corrupt) code in the file and will significantly reduce the file size.
  7. Insert the images back into the document.

I’ve seen Word files larger than 20 MB reduced to less than 3MB in less by using this technique.

Might be worth a try!

The reason you don’t save the file at Step 2 is because this would trigger Word into action (e.g. I WILL now save this file etc) and as it.

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