15 page document without image is 11MB in size?



I have a Word document that consists of text, tables, a few formulae in
these tables, and some formatting in various pages, but no image or
visible embedment. The file is over 11MB in size! How can that be?

Is there any way to find what causes the bloat?

Or to reduce its size?

Suzanne S. Barnhill

There are a number of reasons for excessive file size, including:

1. Fast Saves: Disable this at on the Save tab of Tools | Options.

2. Preview Picture: Clear the check box on the Summary tab of File |

3. Versions (File | Versions): Make sure "Automatically save version on
close" is not turned on.

4. Revisions (Tools | Track Changes):
Highlight Changes: Make sure "Highlight changes on screen" is turned on
(or that "Final Showing Markup" is displayed).
Accept/Reject Changes: If "Accept All" or "Reject All" is available then
revisions are present; accept or reject all changes, then turn Track Changes

5. Keep track of formatting (Tools | Options | Edit). This is reportedly a
major cause of file bloat in Word 2002 and above.

6. Embedded True Type fonts (Tools | Options | Save); embedding fonts should
be avoided wherever possible.

7. Embedded linguistic data (Tools | Options | Save).

8. Embedded graphics: When feasible, it is preferable to link the graphics.
That is, when you insert the graphic, click the arrow beside Insert in the
Picture dialog and choose Link to File rather than Insert or Insert and

9. Embedded objects: These are even worse than ordinary graphics saved with
the document. If you see an { EMBED } code when you press Alt+F9, the
graphic is an OLE object. Unless you need to be able to edit the object in
place, unlink it using Ctrl+Shift+F9.

10. File format: Make sure you are saving as a Word document; in some cases
..rtf (Rich Text Format) files are significantly larger than .doc files.

11. Document corruption: See


Thanks for the checklist.

Found out what caused the bloat - #3

While the function wasn't turned on, there were versions saved that
apparently dated back to 2004, probably. Deleted these versions and the
file size dropped to 277 KB.

Thank you again for your help.

Suzanne S. Barnhill

Glad you got that sorted. That still seems extremely large, though, for the
document you describe, which I would expect to be well under 50 KB.

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