Word: Unlinking linked images

March 18, 2008

Question: How do you permanently embed linked images so they stay with the document when you move it?

Answer: While you can do this manually for each image (Ctrl+Shift+F9) or with a macro, there’s a much quicker way.

Word 2003

  1. Press Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
  2. Select Edit > Links from the menu (or press Alt+E+K).
  3. Select the Save picture in Document check box.
  4. Click OK.

Word 2007

There’s an issue with *.docx files and this function, so you have to save the document as a *.doc file first, then do these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+A to select the entire document.
  2. Click the large Microsoft Office button in the top left corner, select Prepare, then click Edit Links to Files (or press Alt+E+K).
    All links should be selected—if they’re not, then make sure you’ve saved the document as a *.doc file, OR select all the files listed by scrolling to the end of the list and then using Shift+click to select the last in the range.
  3. Select the Save picture in Document check box.
  4. Click OK.

Done! You can now send your document to someone else without sending all the images as separate files, or without the recipient opening the document to discover only red crosses where the images were.

See also:

[Steps updated to incorporate Word 2007, 21 August 2008; link last checked November 2012]


  1. Very good for creating/saving a new .doc but what if some gremlin has busily changed an existing .doc with embedded .jpg images into link code?
    How does one restore coded links as images, code for which shows up when using above method.
    I use Word from historic 2003 Office shareware in Windows 10, hence I have volumes of word documents and emails that have been ruined in many cases. I suspect an official update has caused this annoying glitch, as it swept thru my computer recently, affecting new saves as well as existing work.
    When will MS learn to leave us ‘home premium users’ to blunder around as we will?

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