How to Compress Images in Microsoft Word

633804 How to Compress Images in Microsoft Word

Adding images to Microsoft Word documents can enhance your files visually. However, large image sizes lead to increased file sizes, which can make sharing and transferring Word docs difficult. Compressing images is an easy way to reduce Word document file sizes while maintaining image quality.

In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the steps to compress images in Word on both Windows and Mac operating systems. We’ll also discuss alternative options for resizing images in Word. Follow along to learn how to optimize your Word documents through image compression.

Why Compress Images in Word Documents?

Here are some key reasons why you may want to compress images in a Word document:

  • Reduce File Size for Sharing – Compressing images reduces the overall file size, making documents easier to email and share digitally. Large files are difficult to attach and send.
  • Faster Download Times – Smaller Word docs with compressed images load faster when opening or downloading the file. This improves the experience for anyone accessing the document.
  • Take Up Less Storage Space – Compressed Word documents use less hard drive or cloud storage space, allowing you to store more files.
  • Look More Professional – Pixelated, low-quality images make documents look unprofessional. Compressing images optimizes quality.

The ability to compress pictures is built right into Microsoft Word, making it a seamless way to optimize Word documents.

Compress Images in Microsoft Word on Windows

Compressing images in Word for Windows is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your Word document and select the image(s) you want to compress. To select all images, press Ctrl+A on your keyboard. Select images in Word you want to compress
  2. Go to the Picture Format tab at the top of Word. In the Adjust group, click Compress Pictures. Go to Picture Format tab and click Compress Pictures
  3. A Compress Pictures dialog box will open. Here you can customize compression options:
    • Choose to compress all images in the document or only selected images.
    • Adjust image resolution. Higher resolution means larger file size.
    • Delete cropped areas of pictures to further reduce size.
    Compress Pictures dialog box in Word
  4. Once you select your preferences, click OK. Word will compress the image(s) accordingly.

And that’s it! The compressed images remain in your document at a smaller, optimized file size.

Compress Images in Microsoft Word on Mac

The process is very similar for compressing images in Word for Mac:

  1. Open your Word document on Mac and select the image(s) you want to compress. You can also select all images with Command+A.
  2. Go to the File menu and choose Reduce File Size. In Word for Mac go to File, Reduce File Size
  3. In the drop-down menu, select the desired image quality. Lower quality leads to higher compression and smaller file size. Reduce File Size options in Word for Mac
  4. You can also hold the Shift key while selecting images to compress only certain pictures, leaving others untouched.

The Mac version of Word has fewer tuning options but offers an easy way to quickly compress all or some images in your documents.

Alternative Options for Resizing Images in Word

In addition to the built-in compression tools, there are a few other ways to resize images in Word documents:

  • Change Default Resolution – Adjust the default resolution for inserted images in File > Options > Advanced. This will resize future image additions.
  • Use Lower Resolution Images – Insert lower resolution pictures to start rather than inserting high-res images and compressing afterward.
  • Change Format – Convert images from PNG to JPEG to reduce size, as JPEGs use higher compression.

Play around with resolution settings and image formats to find an optimal balance between picture quality and file size for your documents.


Being able to compress images within Word is invaluable for optimizing document file size while maintaining quality. Use the compression tools to easily reduce all or selected images.

On Windows, access compression options through the Picture Format tab. On Mac, use the Reduce File Size menu to select image quality.

Along with built-in compression, tweak default resolution or swap image formats like JPEG to further control document file size.

Compressing images makes sharing Word files much easier without sacrificing appearance. Employ these simple techniques for resizing pictures in your next Word document!

Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions about compressing images in Word. I’m happy to help!