Edit Images in a Word Document

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At work today I needed to modify an image that was embedded in a Word Document, I thought it should be quite simple to export the image somehow or simply just right click on the image and edit it with an image editor such as Paint or Photoshop.

Unfortunately Microsoft Word does NOT have any functionality to allow you to remove or edit images that have been embedded into a document. This is very disappointing as you would think in 2014 this would be possible with ease.

However I do have a solution, if your document is .docx you can very easily follow the below guide to extract, modify and embed the image back into your document. However if you have an old .doc file then you will first have to convert the file to .docx by using “Save As” in Office 2007/2010 or Office 2003 Compatibility Pack.


Step 1: Convert to ZIP

The first thing you will need to do is convert your .docx format file to a ZIP document, a ZIP document is just a collection of files compressed into one file, useful for grouping files and saving space on your hard drive.

Fortunately a .docx file is just a ZIP file in disguise! All you need to do is rename the extension to .zip and you can now access the ZIP file with Windows Vista/7/8 instantly (with Windows below Vista you will need 7-zip or Winrar).

Once renamed to ZIP, open the ZIP and locate the media file you wish to modify in this directory:


Note: images are in the format .emf, if you are having trouble viewing the images I suggest you download IrfanView.


Step 2: Convert Your Image & Edit It

You will need to extract the file and convert the .emf file to a format such as .png if you would like to modify the file in photoshop, to do this I used a quick online tool named zamzar. (do not use IrfanView to convert your image as it lowers the quality considerably).

You can now edit your image or replace it completely, your choice. Once done you can use IrfanView to convert the image back to .emf


Step 3: Replace Image

Once you have your new .emf file, you can simply drop the new file back into the .zip document, make sure you overwrite the original file.


Step 4: Convert File Back to .docx

Once complete just rename the extension of your .zip file back to .docx, open the file in Word and you should now see the modified image in your document!


Yes it was that easy 🙂

Author: Dean Williams

I'm a Web Developer, Graphics Designer and Gamer, this is my personal site which provides PHP programming advice, hints and tips