Help uploading files
This page will help you understand different file types, and give advice on reducing file sizes if you need to send documents to us online.
- File sizes
- File types
- How to prepare digital copies of your documents
- Tips for compressing/reducing the size of a file
- Tips for converting to a different file type
There is usually a limit on the size of files you can upload to any online system. This is usually expressed in megabytes (MB) for example 10MB (10 megabytes).
From smallest to largest, the file sizes are usually expressed in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB).
If you’re not sure of the size of your file, you can always check out the ‘Properties’, ‘Details’ or the ‘Info’ it includes – this is different based on the device you’re using.
Below are a couple of links that will help you find more information on storage capacity, file sizes and how to check the size of your files:
The following common file types are recommended for sending files to us:
- Image file types:
- JPG (.jpg or .jpeg)
- GIF (.gif)
- PNG (.png)
- Other file types and documents:
- Adobe PDF (.pdf)
- Word (.docx)
- Excel (.xlsx)
- CSV (.csv)
- Zip Files (.zip)
Check the link below for more information on file types:
If you need to upload a document to one of our online forms, but only have a paper version of it, you will need to prepare a digital copy (i.e. digitalise it).
There are two main ways to do this:
- take a picture of the paper version with your camera, phone, iPad or any digital device with a built-in camera
- scan your document and save it as image or in PDF format.
To ensure that the file size is kept to a minimum, please check your camera or scanner settings and make sure you're taking your pictures at a medium-low resolution. Tips on reducing the size of a file are available below.
Important: you will need to have the digital document available on the device from which you are completing the e-form, so if - for example - you are completing the form on your laptop and took a picture of the document using your phone, you will need to transfer the file to your laptop first (via Bluetooth, USB), send it to yourself via email or just make sure it's available in your cloud (DropBox, Google Drive, etc.).
If the size of your file is too big then you will need to find a way to reduce it.
Below are some general tips on how to reduce file sizes.
Images/photos (JPG, GIF, PNG and TIFF formats)
- If using a scanner, scan your document at a lower resolution, expressed in DPI (dots per inch).
- If using your phone camera, use a lower photo quality or resolution.
- If you have an image editor crop/remove all empty space around the image.
- Reduce the image size.
- Reduce the image quality.
- Recreate the PDF using smallest file size settings.
- Remove any unnecessary images.
- Ensure that any images in the PDF are set to 96 DPI (dots per inch).
Microsoft Office documents
- Crop/remove the unnecessary space around the image(s) included in your document.
- Compress any images included in your Word, PowerPoint or another Office document.
There are a number of online tools that can reduce file sizes for you too. Do a web search for 'reduce file size' or 'compress image' and you should find some free and commercial tools (note we take no responsibility for these websites - do make sure you trust the sites before uploading any sensitive documents).
For more tips on reducing file sizes, check out the following:
- How to compress a PDF file – Adobe support (external link)
- Compress a PDF file – Apple support (external link)
- Resize an image – Apple support (external link)
- Reduce the file size of a picture in Microsoft Office – Office Support (external link)
If the type of file you have is not supported by our system, then you can try converting it into another format.
There are many tools online that will do this for you – try searching for ‘How to convert [file type] into [file type]’ or ‘free online file converter’.
Below are some links that will help you find more information on how to create PDFs:
- Save a document as PDF on Mac – Apple support (external link)
- Save or convert to PDF – Office Support (external link)
- Create PDFs from Office documents – Adobe support (external link)
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