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Reducing Filesize

The file size limit for sites hosted on Washtenaw County servers is 5 MB. This is a reference guide designed to help reduce file sizes.


You've reached this page because you have attempted to upload a file to a Washtenaw County server that exceeds our 5 MB limitation.  We have imposed this limitation as a way to keep our websites functioning like well-oiled machines.  Larger files tend to slow things down, both for users and for webmasters.  Recognize, however, that this restriction doesn't necessarily mean you can't post your desired content.

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your media can be uploaded.  The following numerical lists are in order of usefulness, starting from the top.


  1. Save as PDF in Word 2007Derive from the source - If you would like to post a Word document, or something similar, be sure to save the file from the source.  In Word 2007, for example, there is an optional add-on that you can download from Microsoft's website that will allow you to Publish As PDF.  Another option is to print to PDF if such an option is available on your computer (be aware, however, that any links in the document will be lost in translation).
  2. Configure for smaller file size - When saving as a PDF, you'll usually encounter a quality setting.  In Word 2007, such a setting is available right on the Save As window (see the screen shot to the right).
  3. Split your document up - If your PDF file exceeds 5 MB, chances are that it's got a good amount of content.  One possible solution is to split up your document into sections, linking to each of them on your site.  This has an added benefit of increased usability, as the consumer will be able to find what they're looking for more easily.


  1. Lower the resolution - The #1 reason for images to exceed 5 MB relates to digital cameras.  Cameras with more megapixels produce larger images.  This is wonderful for printing, but on the web, high image quality is less of a concern.  Image editing programs like Photoshop Elements have ways of changing the size of the image, which is measured by width and height in pixels.  A common example of this is 2048 x 1536, which is produced from a 3 megapixel camera.  Nowadays, even this is small, as most consumer digital cameras are up to 8-10 megapixels.  A general rule of thumb is to keep your resolutions in the triple-digits (example: 800 x 600).
  2. Lower the quality - When you go to save images, in most programs, they give you a slider which rangers from poor to excellent quality.  On the web, the generally accepted place in this scale is between 1/2 and 3/4 quality.
  3. Use JPEG - Images can be saved in a number of file formats (examples include bmp, png, gif, etc.), but the generally accepted standard is jpg/jpeg.  If your source image is anything else, you may want to consider converting it.


  1. Use a video sharing site - When it comes to multimedia, your concern should be focused around quality and accessibility.  Both of these things can be accomplished by using sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Veoh, Dailymotion, and many others.  These sites have infrastructures that are designed to serve video to consumers.  As an added benefit, they're free!  You can post your video to any of these sites and embed them in your website very easily.  Anyone with Flash on their computer will be able to play it, and, contrary to things like Microsoft Windows Media or Apple Quicktime, Flash has a much higher percentage of users.

Need Help?

We have only touched on the most common files that are uploaded to our sites.  If you need assistance with other files, or with these files, feel free to call the Help Desk at 222-3737.


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