Mac Users – Are Your Word Files Huge?

Recently we began receiving reports that Word files using graphics from our products, being created on Mac computers, were becoming outrageously large. For example, a file which would be about 300kB when created on a Windows version of Word was about 40MB on a Mac.

Our investigations indicate that Microsoft has made a change to the Mac version of Word which causes it to internally save graphics in the extremely inefficient TIFF format. On a Windows machine, Word saves the exact same image in the highly efficient PNG format. This difference accounts for the huge file size discrepancy. This problem is nothing to do with Efofex products, any image placed on the clipboard will be treated in the same way. Our products just tend to highlight the problem (so we get the blame). We have NO idea why Microsoft has made this change.

While we have reported this strange behaviour to Microsoft, we are not expecting any action soon – Microsoft simply does not work that way. We anticipate that, at some stage in the future, Microsoft will reverse this change and file sizes will revert back to what they should be.

While we have no way of changing Microsoft’s software, we can help mitigate the problem. In the latest versions we have included a new beta feature which compresses docx Word files. We do this by opening up the file, finding all of the graphics stored as TIFF files and converting them to PNG files. This can often lead to file size reductions of up to 99% with no loss in image quality.

As this is a beta feature, we have made it non-destructive. If you use the compressor, you will see a new version of the file created in the same directory (Geometry Test.docx would become Geometry Test (compressed).docx.) Your original file is untouched and we implore you to check that the new file opens BEFORE deleting the original file.

The new feature is available on both the Mac and Windows versions of our products.

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About efofexsoftware

Efofex Software produces graphic production software designed specifically for secondary mathematics and science teachers.
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