How to Remove Images from a Word Document

They say you learn something new every day… well today that adage has proved correct for at least the next 24 hours.

Over lunch I have been working on a document that is around 200 pages in length (I say “around” because I have never really trusted Microsoft Word’s pagination since my days at University, ’93 to ’96.  To try get the page count down I decided that I needed to remove all the graphics from the document, they’re just not necessary.

Before blindly wasting the remaining 27 minutes of lunch (3 minutes to make a cup-a-soup, mmm, I can feel the pounds sloghing off) I decided to serach the internet to see if there was a quick fix; I wasn’t really expecting a toolbar or menu option of “Delete All Graphics” but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

The resulting response was so simple that I have not only shrunk my document to 130 pages but i also bought time to write this here and share the answer.

Firstly, credit where credit is due.  The solution came from a lady named Meryl K. Evans, who offers us:

After searching — surprisingly longer than I expected — I found the answer. Too simple.

  1. Do Find and Replace (CTRL+H) in Microsoft Word.
  2. Enter ^g in the “Find what” box.
  3. Enter whatever you want to replace with in the “Replace with” box or leave blank to simply delete all the images.
  4. Click “Replace All.”

This worked a charm, Thanks Meryl.

It also got me thinking; if there is a handy code to find graphics within a document then presumably there are other codes. So I took a look.

Microsoft Office 2010 Help didn’t; help that is but a quick google brought up a couple of near identical pages containing a section titled Use codes to find letters, formatting, fields, or special characters (for Office 2003 and 2007)

This offers us our original ^g option along with a whole host of others.

Carat G
Code that works in the “Find What” box only (When use wildcards is turned on)

There are a whole host of other options though, for instance: there are these that can be used to find tabs or characters by their ASCII value and that kind of thing.

Codes that work in the “Find What” box or “Replace With” box.

More specific options are available, although I’m not sure I can think of a time I would need to use them.

More Carats
Codes that work in the “Find What” box only (When “Use Wildcards” is turned off)

Finally, and possibly of the most interest in line with my original line of inquiry.

Carat Ampersand
Codes that work in the “Replace With” box only.

These are codes that can only be used in the “Replace With” box.

So in theory, we could run through the exercise above, having copied a new image to the clipboard, and use ^c to replace all images in our document with the image in the clipboard. Which could be handy.


15 thoughts on “How to Remove Images from a Word Document

  1. Pingback: This Blog in 2010 « Armaitus on…

  2. Thank yoooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu soooooooooooo much…………For solving my problem………..”GREAT SITE”

  3. Pingback: Probably The Most Useful Feature of SQL Server 2008… Ever! « Armaitus on…

  4. If you’re replacing a character, you have to put something in the “replace with” box, even if it is just a space. Otherwise it won’t find the character. This has been my experience, anyhow.

    Thanks for the site–Very helpful for an editor/writer!

  5. Your ^g helps me a lot………

    Otherwise I have to spent a 2-3 hours for deleting from 2000 pages. there are images more than 2000 in each page, but your trick solves my problem in 1 sec.

    Thank you for saving my time

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