Archive for the ‘File Compression’ Category

Convert Media Files with Format Factory

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Format Factory is a handy tool for the Windows platform that allows you to easily convert media files from one format to another. Whether you need to reduce the size of a media file for uploading to the Web or you need to convert files for iPod or iPhone compatibility, file conversion software can be incredibly useful. With a free download of Format Factory, you can convert common video formats such as AVI, MOV, WMV, and SWF to another video format.  You can also convert image and audio files to popular formats.

Easily Convert to PDF in Office 2010

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

As a new feature in Microsoft Office 2010, you can easily convert your document to a PDF from any Office program (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). In previous versions of MS Office, you needed to have additional software installed to create a PDF. Now when you save your document, PDF is among the file types to choose from:

The PDF format is useful for sharing documents because all of the formatting is preserved and the file is protected from further editing.  Remember to keep your original Word document if you will need to edit it later.

Reduce the Size of Large PowerPoint and Word Files

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

With Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, large files are almost always caused by images.  You might have high resolution digital photos from your digital camera that you’ve inserted, high quality scans, or uncompressed graphics all throughout your file. Reducing file size helps alleviate complications later such as your colleague not being able to open your email attachment or lengthy download times.  If you have a Word or PowerPoint file containing images that you plan to attach in an email or post to Blackboard then it’s worth compressing the images within your document.

PC users

There is a built-in option for compressing all of your images at once in Office 2003 and 2007.  Follow these steps to compress your image in Word 2003/2007 and PowerPoint 2003.

  1. Right-click on a picture, then click Format Picture on the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Format dialog box, click the Picture tab, and then click Compress.
  3. Under Apply to, click All pictures in document.
  4. Under Change resolution, click Web/Screen.
  5. Under Options, select the Compress pictures check box and the Delete cropped areas of pictures check box.
  6. Click OK.
  7. If prompted, click Apply in the Compress Pictures dialog box.

If you are using PowerPoint 2007, the steps vary slightly:

  1. Single-click on a picture, then click the Format tab from the menu options on the upper right.
  2. Click the Compress Images button on the upper left.

Mac Users

Microsoft Office does not have a built in compression feature for the Mac. However, if your image files are too big, consider converting them to JPG. You can easily convert images on a Mac by opening them in the Finder and saving them to the JPG format. You can also lessen the quality to reduce file size when you save images from the Finder.  You can also use any photo-editing program such as Photoshop to reduce the size of an image.  If you do not have a program like Photoshop installed on your computer, see a previous Tech Tip on free photo-editing tools.

A Guide to Understanding Image Formats

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

If you’ve ever worked with photo-editing software, you’re probably aware of the numerous file formats for saving digital images, ranging from JPG to GIF to TIFF.  Some formats are proprietary to specific software, while others can be used across programs and platforms.  There are several factors to consider when selecting an image format, such as how the image will be used (prints, slideshow presentation, Web) or whether or not you will need to continue editing the image later.  In this week’s tech tip we’ll provide some basic information and best uses for the more common image formats.

Saving Images
When you click on an image to view it, a photo-editing program that came installed on your computer such as Windows Picture and Fax Viewer or Apple Preview may open it.  If you have a digital camera or scanner, the software that came with your device may open your image. Or you may use Adobe’s higher end tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator. The images that your digital camera produces are most likely JPEGs, however when you download an image from the Web, it can be in a variety of formats.  If you wish to change the format of an image, click Save As in the image-editing program that you are using. Before changing the file type, keep in mind how you plan to use the image.  Follow the guide below to help you choose the best file format for your image. 

Common Image Formats

BMP (Bitmap)
An older format typically used for graphic elements on Microsoft applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Paint, etc.. BMP files are uncompressed, meaning they can create extremely large files. Keep in mind that bigger files can be less versatile for email transfer and posting to the Web and can also take up more disk space.   

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
Typically a Web-based format, GIF allows images with fewer than 256 colors and little pixel information to be displayed at a higher quality. It’s ideal for graphic images with few colors such as logos or Web page navigation icons that you want to place on the Web.

JPG/JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group)
JPGs are a commonly used format for photographic images (most digital cameras output JPG images). Compression rates for JPGs are adjustable; JPGs that are moderately compressed lose very little quality from the original image.  JPG images also have a 24-bit color scheme, which enables subtleties in complex images to be displayed. JPGs are very versatile and can be used for photo prints, slideshow presentations and Web-based applications. 

PDF (Portable Document Format)
PDFs are generally used to maintain both textual and graphic information such as a newsletter or brochure. PDFs are a standard for making such materials available on the Web for download.  

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
This format was developed to replace the older GIF format for use on the Web. However, unlike a GIF formatted file, PNG allows for a wider range of color use.

PSD (Photoshop Document)
This format is used to save Photoshop projects midway through completion. It is especially helpful with multi-image or multi-layer projects that you have not completed or may want to return to edit later. Do not use this format to save an image you wish to use outside of Photoshop.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
Generally used for print images, the TIFF format allows varying degrees of compression and a 24-bit color scheme. Because it allows for a completely uncompressed file, it is most often used for professional printing of high-resolution images.

Compression
If you intend to email an image or post it to the Web, it’s a good idea to reduce to the file size for accessibility purposes.  Here are links to previous tech tips that provide information on free photo-editing software solutions and steps for resizing images.

Free Photo Editing Tools

Resize Photos Fast

Resizing Photos and Making Banners with Paint.NET

Resize your Digital Photos in Windows XP

How to Zip Multiple Files

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Sending a picture or a document as an email attachment is an easy way to share files between computers. But what if you have many files that you’d like to send, or an entire folder? Well, you could attach each item individually in an email; however this solution can be time-consuming for you and cumbersome for the recipient to download fifteen separate files. Zipping your files makes it possible to have multiple files squeezed down to one smaller file that can easily be sent via email. Also, if you have a large folder that includes media, such as audio or video, zipping reduces size and saves space. Many people don’t realize how easy it is to zip files in Windows XP and in Mac OS X. Support for zipping is built right in to both of these operating systems!

PC Users

1. If you want to zip multiple files, either create a folder that contains all of the files or highlight the batch of files.

2. Right-click on the file(s) or folder you wish to compress.

3. From the drop-down menu, click Send To > Compressed (zipped) folder.

Windows Menu

4. Now you can attach the .zip file in an email. Keep in mind that at Loyola we limit both inbound and outbound email attachments to 20 megabytes (20mb), which means the complete size of the email cannot exceed 20 mb, including the body of the email and other attachments.

5. To open a zipped file, double-click the .zip file then click on Extract All Files.

Mac Users

1. If you want to zip multiple files, either create a folder that contains all of the files or highlight the batch of files.

2..Control + Click on the file(s) or folder you wish to compress.

3. From the pop-up menu, click Create Archive then the zip file will appear in whichever folder you are working in (i.e. your desktop or documents folder).

Mac Menu

4. Now you can attach the .zip file in an email. Keep in mind that at Loyola we limit both inbound and outbound email attachments to 20 megabytes (20mb), which means the complete size of the email cannot exceed 20 mb, including the body of the email and other attachments.

5. To open an archived file, simply double-click the Archive.zip file.