Database ?

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

For the past several years, I have kept track of my plants in a Word document, which is essentially one big table and includes photographs of each plant. I am now receiving an error message saying I cannot open the file because it exceeds 512 megabytes, presumably the culprits are the inserted photos. Couple questions: 1) What can I do to open my file? 2) Assuming I can open the file, what can I do to reduce the size so opening it in the future is not a problem? 3) Any suggestions of converting the Word file to some sort of plant-oriented database program? I do not have Access, nor have I used that program for about 10 years. It would of course be nice to be able to convert my Word file to a database, but I'm not totally opposed to just re-entering the information. I have a hard copy of the Word file (I typically print it out in the fall after making changes over the growing season).

Thanks for any insight.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I use Open office which is now libre office. I just tried generating a file larger than 512 meg saving it in office 97 format and reopening it. It appears to me that the 512 is a format limit as it won't display the pictures when I try to open it. The reason it is so huge in the first place is that I believe it saves the pictures in a bit map format opposed to something like a png or jpg format. This results in files that are 30 times as large as the original jpeg.

There's a couple of things you can do.
Put all the pictures in their own folder and link them to the document. This will reduce the size of the document immensely.

You can also try out Libre office. ( It has besides a word processor application, a spread sheet, presentation (think power point) and a database. I've never used the data base. The spread sheet and word processor I use all the time. In it's native format the picture done seem to save any larger that the started.

From some testing the MS word formats don't seem to like to deal with large pictures at all.

I put "how to open a word document larger than 512 mb" without the quotes in google. You can try some of the things the links suggest.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

Typically Word actually reduces pictures (probably JPEG) vs. bit map. But an older version of Word may keep it in bitmap? If you save a snapshot (print screen) into Wordpad for example, the file will grow very large, very quickly. Opening that same file in Word and saving it in Word format reduces the file size tremendously. It's a shame Word didn't give you any warnings about limitations before you exceeded them.

Here is an interesting article. According to the person with the problem, LibreOffice opens the huge file but very few pictures are there.

This link from MS shows a workaround:

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