How to Hide or Mass-Delete All Images in a Microsoft Word Doc

How to Hide or Mass-Delete All Images in a Microsoft Word Doc
Screenshot: David Murphy

“Find and Replace” is one of the most fun tools for getting data organised, fixed, and in whatever final state you need, and our friends over at How-To Geek have turned up another great use for the feature: getting rid of images in your Microsoft Word documents.

As to why you would want to do this, perhaps you just want to look at the actual text of a document instead of dealing with any images or graphics someone else has inserted to pep it up. Maybe your version of Word is slowing to a crawl because of all the images in a document. You could also just hate images; and that’s fine, too.

Whatever the reason, removing then all en masse is simple. To start, launch Find and Replace by clicking the Replace button on your Ribbon.

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

In the box that appears, you’ll want to enter ^g under the “Find” line. Leave “Replace” blank, and then test to make sure this little trick works by clicking “Find Next” a few times. If you jump to image after image, then you’re set. Click on “Replace All” to nuke all of your images and replace them with nothing — though, I should clarify that I’m using the word “images” liberally. This little trick will delete all graphs, charts, images, and other graphics in your document.

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

If that’s too drastic a step for you, and you’d like to preserve the images in the document, but simply not see them, you have another option. Click on File > Options, and then select Advanced from the left-hand menu. Scroll down a bit until you see the “Show document content” section, and check the box for “Show picture placeholders.”

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

Now, your document’s images will be replaced with empty boxes. They’ll still be there for anyone else you send your document to; you just won’t see them, and they won’t be a resource hog for your system.

 

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