Trim The Size Of Inflated Spreadsheets

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. A lot of my spreadsheets contain macros, which, of course, fatten the files. But when I delete the macros, the files don’t shrink back to their original size. That not only makes for very sluggish Internet transmissions but also stuffs my hard drive. Is there some way to return the spreadsheet to svelte size?

A. Microsoft is routinely criticized for writing bloated software code and for designing files that just seem to grow fat as they age. Here are two solutions that often work, but don’t be surprised if they fail.

After removing excess data from a file or deleting the macros, reopen the file and save it, using File , Save As , under a different name. If the file has shrunk, delete the fat, old file and rename the slimmed-down one with the original name. If that doesn’t work, try this: Copy each individual worksheet to a new workbook.

If you have the problem in Word, check to see whether there are any graphics in the document. Some graphics, because of their formatting, are just naturally fat. It’s not hard to change their formatting to one that’s much leaner. Instead of just copying a graphic into a document with Paste (Ctrl+V), use the toolbar’s Insert command ( Insert , Picture , From File ). That way, Word automatically converts any graphic to the JPEG format, which provides good resolution without bloat.

If those methods fail, I’m sorry to say your only recourse may be to write a letter of complaint to Microsoft. Enough complaints might produce some remedial action.

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