Correcting Bloated Images in RTF Templates

HotDocs, DealBuilder and GhostFill all work with RTF Templates.  On occasion, a template may include an image for a watermark, a logo, or some other purpose.  Thanks to an ingenious feature of Word, when you some a document to rich-text format (RTF) the images are converted to a useless, but huge windows metafile.  This ensures compatability with ANCIENT word processors, but does nothing for you.  In fact, a simple company logo can expand the size of a short letter from 20K, to 1,200K (or 1.2 MB).  And that is before you start adding text.  The solution is a simple change in the registry for WORD on each machine.

To keep Word from saving two copies of the graphic in your template:

  • Close Word (if it’s running.)
  • Click Start > Run . The Run dialog box appears.
  • In the Open box, type regedit and click OK. The Registry Editor opens.
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Office > Version > Word > Options. (Replace Version with the version of Word you are using.)
  • In the right pane of the window, right-click and choose New > String Value. A new string is created called New Value #1.
  • Rename the value to ExportPictureWithMetafile. (To do this, you can choose Rename from the shortcut menu.)
  • Once the name is changed, right-click on the string and choose Modify. The Edit String dialog box appears.
  • In the Value data box, enter 0.
  • Click OK.

Now, you need to remove the graphics (save them to another document if you have more than one). Then save the document without the graphics.  You should exit Word and then restart it.  Now paste your images back in.  Check the file size.