You receive a "Publisher cannot complete the operation" error message when you import pictures in Publisher 2002 and in Publisher 2000

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Article ID: 218675 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you insert or scan a large picture into Microsoft Publisher, Publisher may display only an empty picture frame. In addition, you may receive the following error messages:
Windows is low on memory. Please save your work and close other programs before you continue working.
When you click OK, you receive the following error message:
Publisher cannot complete the operation.

CAUSE

This error is a result of the way that Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition handle memory for Microsoft Publisher. Picture files larger than 16MB may not be imported properly. This error does not occur on Windows NT.

NOTE: The amount of disk space that is required to store a graphic file has little relationship to how much picture data that an image contains. For example, Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) files are extremely compressed. In other words, a JPEG file that has a file size of 300 kilobytes (K) might contain more than 25 MG of data. On the other hand, an AutoCAD Data Exchange File (DXF) image may require 2 MB of disk space and contain only 60KB of picture data.

WORKAROUND

In most cases it is not necessary to use very large graphics in Microsoft Publisher. You can reduce the resolution and color depth of the image and not sacrifice quality by using one of the following methods.

Method 1: Crop the Image Before Importing It Into Publisher

If you do not need to use the entire picture, you can use a photo editing or paint program, such as Microsoft Photo Editor or Adobe Photoshop, to select only the part of the image that you want to use.

Method 2: Reduce the Color Depth Of the Picture

If you are printing to a black and white printer, you can reduce the file size by converting a color image to grayscale. Or, in some cases, you can reduce a 24-bit (16.7 million) color image to 256 colors without any noticeable loss of quality.

Method 3: Reduce the Size of the Picture

If you scanned an 8-inch by 10-inch picture to use in a 4-inch by 5-inch picture frame, rescan the image at a smaller scale.

Method 4: Scan the Image at a Lower Resolution

While many scanners scan at 600 dots per inch (dpi) or higher, you should scan a color or grayscale image at no more than 300 dpi. An exception to this is if you are scanning a very small image and you do not want the image to become distorted, grainy, or jagged when you enlarge it in Publisher.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

MORE INFORMATION

When you import large pictures into Windows NT, you may receive a similar error:
System Process - Out of Virtual Memory
Your system is running low on virtual memory. Please close some applications. You can then start the System option in the Control Panel and choose the Virtual Memory button to crate an additional paging file or to increase the size of your current paging file.
If you click OK, and wait long enough, your picture should insert properly. The following table gives the estimated size of a 16 MB graphic, depending on its size, color depth and resolution.

Properties

Article ID: 218675 - Last Review: November 7, 2005 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Publisher 2000 Standard Edition, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows 95
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Publisher 2002 Standard Edition, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
Keywords: 
kberrmsg kbtshoot kbbug kbgraphic KB218675

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