For any PC or smartphone user, conserving what’s best described as valuable storage space is a topmost priority; external storage devices (hard drives, flash drive, and even memory cards) don’t come cheap. One effective way to avoid the added expense of purchasing extra storage, that’s aside from deleting unnecessary files, is to make sure your necessary data doesn’t use too much space in the first place. How to do that? It’s simple, store your files in formats that take less storage space.
To help you do this, we’ve outlined all the best space saving file formats lined up for your reading pleasure.
Most text-based applications are by default designed to conserve space when saving new documents. Microsoft Word, for instance, has the inbuilt ability to trim down file size to the barest minimum when saving data in its native DOCX file format. When the document is entirely text-based, these default space saving mechanisms work well to cut down document size. They, however, fall short when the document to be saved contains a significant amount of rich formatting or graphics-based content. In this case, the document size increases drastically with each additional image or rich content.
That’s when you need PDF – short for portable document format. Like the ‘portable’ in its name tag subtly lets out, the PDF format, unlike traditional text-based formats, is designed to compress documents regardless of how large their constituents are. And the best part is virtually every kind of text-based document can be compressed and converted into a PDF file; emails, word documents, presentations, you name it.
Music files can also take up a great deal of space. Thankfully, one of the more popular music file systems – the MP3 format – checks out as a potent storage saving option. The WAV format also performs pretty well in the storage saving department, although it’s fair to note that this format is majorly compatible with laptops and desktop computers.
Image files are naturally large; this is especially true for high res TIFF or RAW images where even the minutest detail is preserved. For a relatively small trade-off in quality, however, the size of these inherently large files can be scaled down drastically by converting them into a PNG or JPEG image.
If your image files are already in the JPEG (JPG) configuration, toning down the image quality with the help of an online file converter can further reduce its size, just be careful not to ‘over-depreciate’ the quality of the image
Like images, videos take up a huge chunk of storage space especially when they’re high quality (HD, 4K, etc.). Again, as was the case with images, space-saving video formats trade off a bit of video quality for exponential storage savings. The most popular of these formats include the RealVideo, MPEG-1, WMV, MKV and Quicktime formats.
Overall, while it’ s sometimes difficult to quantify just how much space you’re saving by sticking with these file types at the get-go, over time and like raindrops on a rainy day, the seemingly small bytes of data spared with each save will quantify to substantial gains in storage space. You just have to be consistent.