Cannot View Graphics in a Document

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 3, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Elizabeth ran into a problem with Word after updating to Word 2003 SP2. For some reason she can no longer see any graphics in her document. She knows they are still there because the text wraps around them, but they are not visible. They do print OK, however.

The first thing to check is to make sure that picture placeholders has not somehow been turned on. You do this by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Clear the Picture Placeholders check box.
  5. Click OK.

If the check box was selected, then Word doesn't display graphics. Clear the check box, and they reappear, as you would expect. The problem could also have to do with how you are pasting images in your document and the viewing mode you are using. Basically, if you pare pasting images as anything other than "inline" and you are using Normal or Outline viewing modes, you won't be able to see the pictures. Microsoft discusses this problem in their Knowledge Base:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/285957

If this doesn't fix the problem, then it could be related to problems with a device driver or conflicts between your device drivers. Chances are good it is not a problem with the printer driver (you can print the graphics without problem), so it is probably a video card driver. You'll want to determine what type of video card you have and then visit the Web site of the manufacturer to procure the latest download.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (323) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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