Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

How to: Export pictures from Word documents

A picture of words...

Imagine the scenario: you ask someone to email you a photo, and rather than just attaching the image file and sending it, they insist on sending the image embedded in a Word document. Thankfully, there are ways of extracting image files from Word documents.

1. Take a screenshot

The obvious way is to get the image as large as possible, and then press the Print Screen key (on Windows) to take a screenshot. You can then use an image editing program like IrfanView to crop the image to size. The disadvantages of this are that you lose any metadata in the image, such as the time and date the photo was taken, camera model and light settings, and the resulting image may be smaller than the original if you haven’t got a big screen. It’s a crude method and best avoided.

2. Copy and paste

In Word, click on the image to select it, and then copy it to the clipboard. Then, again in a tool like IrfanView, paste the image, and then save the file. As with the method above, this may result in the image’s metadata being lost.

3. Right-click and save

If you have Microsoft Word 2010 or better, you can simply right-click images to save the files. Word 2007 and earlier versions don’t have this feature, unfortunately.

4. Extract the file from the Word document

This only works if the document is one of the newer .docx files. That said, if you have a .doc file, and have a copy of Microsoft Word 2007 or better, then simply open Word and save it as a .docx file. .docx files are actually zip files, with XML data about the document inside. Open the document in an archive program like 7-Zip (although the one built into Windows may also work), and then browse to word/media – all of the images that are embedded in the document will be here. You can then simply extract these files.

5. Save the file as an HTML document

If you have Microsoft Word, then open the document, and save it as a HTML file. Word will then create a subfolder with the same name as the document, which will have the images saved inside it.

Post updated as I didn’t realise Word 2010 added a right-click option to save pictures. Thanks to @welshcuriosity for the tip.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks so much, I’ve been going nuts the last half hour trying to get a picture out of a Word 2007 document (I believe it was originally created in OpenOffice) – the html method worked brilliantly!