An author emailed me recently and said that he couldn’t understand why CreateSpace was telling him that the images in his book did not meet their requirements. He had made sure that they were all 300dpi and they were all large resolution files. He’d made sure to insert them into his Word manuscript rather than using copy and paste, so as far as he was concerned all should have been well when he loaded his PDF file. He hit the ignore button and went ahead with publishing his book as it was. When he received his proofs though, he realised that something had gone wrong with image quality after all.
One thing that a lot of new to paper publishing scribblers don’t know is that Microsoft Word will always try to automatically compress any images in your document to 220ppi. Often we’ll just assume that CreateSpace is mistaken as we are quite confident that our carefully edited and sized images are just hunky dory, and then we click on ignore and publish away. Unfortunately CreateSpace is highly unlikely to be mistaken with this, so we are actually publishing low definition images after all. The thing to do is to get rid of the automated compression in your manuscript before saving as a PDF file, and double check again before doing that too. Here’s what to do.
(Click on images to enlarge)
Insert your image into your document.
When your Picture Tools menu appears, click on Compress Pictures.
Uncheck the Automatically perform basic compression on save box and click OK.
Once you’ve made sure that this box is unchecked for all the images in your manuscript, it’s time to save the whole thing, whereupon Word could once again try and compress your pictures. To be sure that it won’t we’ll do a bit more unchecking of boxes.
Rather than just simply saving the document, use the Save As feature from the Microsoft icon in the top left hand corner.
Click on Tools below, and select Compress Pictures.
Here once again, uncheck the Automatically perform basic compression box on save and click OK before saving.
Once you’ve saved your manuscript this way, you can then save it as a PDF file and it should load up to CreateSpace with no image resolution problems.