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Related Info - For Students

Reducing file size

Large files can cause problems. For example, students need to keep files under 100MB for Turnitin submissions. For staff, file sizes should be kept low to help students downloading Minerva files on their mobile devices - the larger the file, the longer it will take to download (and some students will have low data allowances).

Large images are often the problem. These can usually be reduced in size without affecting quality. Files can also be compressed. Various compression strategies are used to algorithmically reduce the total amount of space required to store or transmit a file.

Resize and compress images

IT clusters have Corel Photo Paint Pro which can be used to resize and compress images. Staff can also request this programme.


  1. See the visual size of the image by clicking the Actual Size icon: 
    Actual size button
  2. Select Image from the top menu and then Resize.
  3. It is easiest to resize by Pixel Dimensions and Percent: 
    Resize options


Photo quality images may be saved as JPEG format to achieve very high compression levels without losing too much quality. Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo includes a useful image optimisation wizard to enable to you compare compression levels and see how they affect the quality of your file.

From the Corel Paint Shop Pro menu:

  1. Select File, then Export, then JPEG Optimizer
  2. On the Quality tab, you can adjust various settings until you find a balance of acceptable quality and smaller size: 
    Screenshot of the JPEG Optimizer dialog
  3. Select OK then Save your file.


There are ways to quickly compress images within Office programmes such as Word and PowerPoint.

Office 2010 files (Using Windows 7)

  1. Click on an image in the document.
  2. Under the Format tab, in the Adjust section of Picture Tools, click Compress Pictures or Compress image as relevant (you will only see this option when an image is selected).
    Picture Tools
    Compress Pictures highlighted in Office 2010
  3. Review the compression options. Check the option to only apply compression to the selected picture is not ticked. Select the appropriate target output. Finally click OK.
    Options to compress image

Office 2007 files (Using Windows 7)

  1. Click the Office Button:
    Office Button icon
  2. Select Save As
  3. Click on the Tools button to the left of the Save button
    Office Tools button icon with Compress Pictures.. highlighted
  4. Select the Compress Pictures menu option
  5. On the Compress Pictures dialog, select the Options button and choose your compression settings
    Compress Pictures dialog
  6. Click OK and then OK again to apply your settings

Compress Audio Files

We recommend you save audio files as MP3s for use in Minerva. The MP3 format is ubiquitous and well supported by various web browsers and operating systems. File size can be reduced by modifying the compression level - the higher the compression, the lower the quality of the resulting recording. There is inevitably a trade off between quality and file size.

A popular software for recording and editing sound authoring MP3s is Audacity. Audacity is also available in IT clusters and on the staff IT desktop.

This video shows how to compress a file by reducing it to 64 bit-rate in Audacity:

Getting Audacity
  1. Download and install Audacity (download Audacity).
  2. Download and install the free LAME MP3 encoder

The Audacity Wiki has additional tips and detailed information.