Preserve Image Quality When Saving in Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Inserting images into Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents can greatly enhance your content. However, you may notice image quality degradation when saving the file. This results in blurry, pixelated images that look bad.

Fortunately, there are settings in Microsoft Office applications to preserve image quality on save. Follow this simple guide to keep your images looking crisp.

Why Image Quality Loss Occurs in Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint compress images on save by default. This reduces file size but comes at the cost of lower image quality.

The amount of compression depends on the default resolution setting. The lower the resolution, the smaller the file size but the worse the image quality.

For example, the default resolution in PowerPoint is 96 dpi (dots per inch). This produces heavily compressed, low-quality images. Print publications, however, require images of at least 300 dpi for sufficient quality.

Step 1: Use High Quality Source Images

Before inserting any images, ensure you are using high quality source files. Using low resolution images like web graphics will incorporate quality issues from the start.

Ideally, source images should have a resolution of 300 dpi or higher. Using original images straight from your camera or scanner provides images with the maximum quality to work with.

Step 2: Insert Images Instead of Pasting

When adding images to Office documents, use the Insert > Picture command instead of pasting. Pasting can result in unexpected compression or resizing of images.

The Insert command adds images at 100% scale retaining the original resolution and file size. This provides the highest quality to start with.

Step 3: Set Default Resolution to High Fidelity

Now let’s preserve quality upon saving your document.

In Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, go to File > Options > Advanced > Image Size and Quality.

Under Default Resolution, choose High Fidelity instead of the default option. This tells Office not to compress inserted images.

You can apply this setting to just the current document or all new documents created.

Step 4: Disable Image Compression

For maximum quality retention, also check the “Do not compress images” option under Image Size and Quality.

This will keep images uncompressed at their original resolution when saving the document.

Combined with High Fidelity default resolution, your inserted images will now retain their pristine condition when saving the file.

Alternative: Save Document as PDF

Another way to preserve image quality from Office documents is to save as PDF instead of the native file format.

PDF files retain all formatting and images at their original quality. To save as PDF:

  1. Click File > Export
  2. Select Create PDF/XPS Document
  3. Click Create PDF/XPS
  4. Choose file location and click Publish

The resulting PDF will contain all images at their full inserted resolution without degradation.

Troubleshooting Image Quality Issues

Follow these tips if you still encounter image quality loss after saving:

  • Double check you have High Fidelity resolution enabled in Options
  • Verify the “Do not compress images” box is checked
  • Try saving as PDF instead of Word/Excel/PowerPoint format
  • Ensure source images inserted are high resolution (300+ dpi)
  • Insert images using Insert > Picture instead of pasting

And that’s it! With these simple steps, you can now maintain pristine image quality when saving documents in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.