Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Turning on Picture Placeholders.

Turning On Picture Placeholders

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 6, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you are working with a document that has quite a few graphics, and you don't have the latest and greatest fast computer, you have probably noticed that Word slows down quite a bit when displaying the graphics. This can be particularly distracting, especially if your graphics are quite detailed.

You can speed up the display of your document by using picture placeholders. This results in Word displaying boxes where your graphics would normally appear. This means that Word does not have to redisplay the complete graphic, and therefore your display will be much faster. To turn on picture placeholders, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. You will see the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the View tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Use the Picture Placeholders check box to control whether picture placeholders are used by Word. Click on the check box to turn the capability on and off; if the box is selected it means picture placeholders are enabled.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (395) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Turning on Picture Placeholders.

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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