Document file size increases with EMF, PNG, GIF, or JPEG graphics in Word

This article is a consolidation of the following previously available article 262464: WD97: Document File Size Increases with EMF, PNG, GIF, or JPEG Graphics
Important This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When you save a Microsoft Word document that contains an EMF, PNG, GIF, or JPEG graphic as a different file format (for example, Word 6.0/95 (*.doc) or Rich Text Format (*.rtf)), the file size of the document may dramatically increase.

For example, a Microsoft Word 2000 document that contains a JPEG graphic that is saved as a Word 2000 document may have a file size of 45,568 bytes (44.5KB). However, when you save this file as Word 6.0/95 (*.doc) or as Rich Text Format (*.rtf), the file size may grow to 1,289,728 bytes (1.22MB).


This functionality is by design in Microsoft Word. If an EMF, a PNG, a GIF, or a JPEG graphic is inserted into a Word document, when the document is saved, two copies of the graphic are saved in the document. Graphics are saved in the applicable EMF, PNG, GIF, or JPEG format and are also converted to WMF (Windows Metafile) format.


Warning If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To prevent Word from saving two copies of the graphic in the document, and to reduce the file size of the document, add the ExportPictureWithMetafile=0 string value to the Microsoft Windows registry.

To have us fix this problem for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Then click Run in the File Download dialog box, and follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.

  • This wizard may be in English only. However, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
  • If you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Then, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Quit Word.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click to select one of the following registry keys, depending on your version of Word:
    • For Microsoft Office Word 2007, locate and then click HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Options
    • For Microsoft Office Word 2003, locate and then click HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Word\Options.
    • For Microsoft Word 2002, locate and then click HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Word\Options.
    • For Word 2000, locate and then click HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\9.0\Word\Options.
    • For Word 97, locate and then click HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\8.0\Word\Options
  4. After you select the key that is specified in step 3, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click String.
  5. Type ExportPictureWithMetafile, and then press ENTER.
  6. Right-click ExportPictureWithMetafile, and then click Modify.
  7. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
  8. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.
Now, when you save a Word document that contains an EMF, a PNG, a GIF, or a JPEG graphic in a different format (for example, Word 6.0/95 (*.doc) or Rich Text Format (*.rtf)), Word does not retain two copies of the graphic and does not dramatically increase the file size of the document as compared to the Word version of the file.

Did this fix the problem?

  • Check whether the problem is fixed. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this section. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.
  • We would appreciate your feedback. To provide feedback or to report any issues with this solution, please leave a comment on the "Fix it for me" blog or send us an email.