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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Updating linked graphics in Word 2007/2010

    I have lots of words files with links to multiple graphics files.

    In Word 2003, if a change was made to a linked graphics file, the display of document could be updated just by selecting the graphic and hitting F9.

    In Word 2010 this does not happen. The only way I can make the changes in the graphic file appear is by closing the document and reloading it.

    Is there anything I've missed here?

    Supplementary to this, in Word 2003 the graphics file address used to be stored inside a field. This could be revealed using Alt+F9. This no longer happens.

    Thanks for any help ...

    Jim B

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    I do not yet have Word 2010. That said, I have a question about this:

    Quote Originally Posted by JVBNZ View Post
    Supplementary to this, in Word 2003 the graphics file address used to be stored inside a field. This could be revealed using Alt+F9. This no longer happens.
    Do you get any field code at all if you select the graphic and press Shift+F9 (e.g., INCLUDEPICTURE, LINK, EMBED)? Is there any difference from the type of field that Word 2003 inserted?

  3. #3
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    No, there seems to be no way of making field codes visible.

    (Actually the same behaviour occurred in Windows 2007, although I know longer have it installed.)

    Thanks for your interest in the problem.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVBNZ View Post
    (Actually the same behaviour occurred in Windows 2007, although I know longer have it installed.)
    In Word 2007, you can update links here:

    Office button > Prepare > Edit links to files

    Not sure where that is in Word 2010.

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    It is for this reason, amongst others, that I have not moved to Word 2007. I need to be able to control the filepath of hundreds of linked images from within the document, and I know how to do this with 2003. By the way, another problem along the same lines is that 2007 and onward automatically convert local/relative filepaths to global filepaths, so that if my coworker opens a file, the linked images for which are stored in a Images folder in the same parent folder in which the file resides, ON HIS COMPUTER, then when I get the commented document back, all the filepaths are useless on my computer. For that reason, I've taken to sending coworkers commentable pdfs and "manually" integrating any comments, corrections, or image insertion or modifications. I'd love to be shown how I can upgrade yet retain the control I need. Anyone?

  6. #6
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    I've used Word since version 1. I had to upgrade from Word 2003 to 2010 and struggle constantly to do the things I used to do. For the casual user, 2007/2010 might be great, but for an advanced user, many things take longer. That said, I have no trouble updating linked images in old or new documents. Alt+F9 toggles code display for all images, and F9 updates. When I am working on a project consisting of several documents, I tell Word the file location and the clipart location (Options>Advanced>File Locations at the very bottom), and always do File>Open (rather than double-clicking file in Explorer). This seems to keep the image paths relative & seems to keep Word from getting confused as to where the images are located.
    I have seen Ravyehoshua's problem (image file paths incorrect). I fixed the document with Find & Replace for the paths; doesn't take that long. Sometimes when I send a document for review, I embed the graphics instead of linking. Of course, that destroys the whole point of linking, but with inexperienced users it is best. For an advanced user, I send the Word document and the image folder.
    Last edited by JNLange; 2011-01-27 at 13:54.

  7. #7
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    Hi JVBNZ,

    The links should update automatically if you go to Word Options|Advanced and check the 'update automatic links at open' option. Another safeguard is to go to Word Options|Display and check the options for 'update fields before printing' and 'update linked data before printing'. With these things done (and possibly even without all of them), a Print Preview should also be sufficient to get most things updated.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    IncludePicture fields are still part of the Word 2010 object model and Word will still create this type of field when inserting a link to a picture in a Word 97/2000/2003 *.doc document in Compatibility Mode. These can be manipulated using the F9 (+shift or +alt) commands you mention.

    The object created when you click "Insert | Picture | Link to File" in a native *.docx document is an InlineShape of the type wdInlineShapeLinkedPicture. It cannot be manipulated using the F9 commands.

    If you insert this type of linked picture, then open the source picture in an editor (such as Photoshop), make some changes, save the picture, then try to update the picture in the Word using the "File | Edit Links to Files | Update Now" command, nothing happens. The picture will not be updated in the Word document until you close and re-open the document.

    Furthermore, even though the object model exposes a method called "Update" for InlineShapes (Selection.InlineShapes(1).LinkFormat.Update), this also fails to update the picture.

    This seems to be a case of Microsoft replacing a tried and working technology with something buggy and broken.

    I can think of three work-arounds:

    1) Work with *.doc documents in Compatibility Mode
    2) Use the command "Insert | Quick Parts | Field | IncludePicture"
    3) Use macros to access and manipulate the "wdFieldIncludePicture" field type in the object model

  9. #9
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    I agree with the last post re Word 2010. The feature is buggy and broken. Also, it is undocumented. The "Edit Links" dialogue is ridiculous. It takes a QA customization to even get there. What is shown in the dialogue sometimes makes no sense. Sometimes the links cannot be deciphered because the box is not wide enough to show the entire path. Links to files occupy only a portion of the list, and the rest of the list is useless. There is no way to match up the links shown to any particular picture. Sometimes upon opening the box the highlighted link corresponds to the selected picture, sometimes not. The checkbox "embed picute in file" makes no sense; it can be selected even when the picture is linked but not inserted. None of these operations is documented; it is not clear what anything is for. I have wasted hours attempting to reverse-engineer anything useful out of this feature but its behavior is not consistent enough to do that.

    Normally I would be willing to give Microsoft an E for effort, but I think they deserve an F this time. What could they be thinking? If they are trying to get us to adopt some new method for keeping track of linked pictures, I wish they would tell us what it is.

  10. #10
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    Many thanx to Ray Culp. I have been working with Word since version 2.0, but I was not aware of the difference between "Insert Image / Link to file" and using the good old way of using fields... I have often wondered why the linked images were still visible even though I had switched to showing field codes, now I know!

    Having said that I would like to comment on another statement in this thread: "For the casual user, 2007/2010 might be great, but for an advanced user, many things take longer." I would even put it further: Since version 2007, Word is no longer a tool suitable for professional work. I have used Word 2003 as a Web editor (don't laugh, it was quite OK!). But now... everything that made Word 2003 a good choice for professional work has been removed, deeply hidden or been made ridicilously time-consuming. Just think of:
    - freely configurable toolbars in 2003 (not just a single lousy extra toolbar)
    - effective working with styles
    - menus instead of ribbons (no, I am not against ribbons per se - it is just so that they cause longer mouse distances)
    - many things are simply buggy or appear broken
    Why did they not just convert the file format of Word to XML and kept the GUI... Anyway thanx for your help regarding the images.

    Torsten

  11. #11
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    Here's a macro you can use to both retrieve and update a given object's path & name:
    Code:
    Sub UpdateObjPath()
    Dim StrPath As String, Resp
    With Selection
      If .InlineShapes.Count > 0 Then
        With .InlineShapes(1)
          If Not .LinkFormat Is Nothing Then
            While Dir(StrPath) = ""
              Resp = InputBox("Please input the new path & name" & vbCr & _
                "for the first selected inline object", _
                "Link Updater", .LinkFormat.SourceFullName)
              If Resp = "" Then Exit Sub
              StrPath = Resp
            Wend
            .LinkFormat.SourceFullName = StrPath
          Else
            MsgBox "The first selected inline object is embedded, not linked."
          End If
        End With
      ElseIf .ShapeRange.Count > 0 Then
        With .ShapeRange(1)
          If Not .LinkFormat Is Nothing Then
            While Dir(StrPath) = ""
              Resp = InputBox("Please input the new path & name" & vbCr & _
                "for the first selected floating object", _
                "Link Updater", .LinkFormat.SourceFullName)
              If Resp = "" Then Exit Sub
              StrPath = Resp
            Wend
            .LinkFormat.SourceFullName = StrPath
          Else
            MsgBox "The first selected floating object is embedded, not linked."
          End If
        End With
      Else
        MsgBox "No object selected"
      End If
    End With
    End Sub
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  12. #12
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    To refresh images in Word 2010

    Select all, then press F9. (Just in case you forgot)

  13. #13
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    What you cut is [not] what you paste?

    I just discovered another oddity. In Word 2010, when you cut an INCLUDEPICTURE field and paste it back in, it magically transforms into a wdInlineShapePicture object. Has anyone else observed this behavior?

    Ray

  14. #14
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    Hi Ray,

    That probably depends on your paste options. See File|Options|Advanced > Cut, copy & paste.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  15. #15
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    Hi Paul,

    I can apparently preserve the INCLUDEPICTURE field by selecting "Keep source formatting" when pasting. Is there a way to set this as the default past option when pasting fields so I can just use CTRL+V? I have looked at the copy/paste options, but didn't find anything.

    Thanks

    Ray

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