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Choosing an Insert Method for Pictures

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Choosing an Insert Method for Pictures.

It is common practice to insert pictures into Word documents. (You know—a picture is worth a thousand words.) When inserting JPG images into Word documents, you should strongly consider using the Picture option from the Insert menu, rather than doing a simple copy and paste. The reason for this is that Word handles pictures differently when they are cut and pasted compared with when they are inserted. When they are cut and pasted they are treated as TIFF files, which are typically much larger than JPG files, even if the original photos were JPGs.

For example, a twelve-page document with no photos takes approximately 72.5 KB on disk. Adding two photos using cut-and-paste techniques resulted in a file that was 435 KB in size. The same document, when the same photos had been inserted correctly (using Insert | Picture), shrank to 146 KB.

By inserting pictures in this manner you can save enormous amounts of hard disk space and communication bandwidth if the document has to be e-mailed. In addition, the file will load faster and you can make edits quicker.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1463) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Choosing an Insert Method for Pictures.

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