Tag Archives: images

Delete All Images from a Word Document

Mac users click the down arrow beside the Find field in the Find and Replace pane to select the Graphics option. (Do not select the gear icon.)

Images can be integral content in a manuscript: graphs convey huge volumes of data and information about their relationships; flowcharts relay sequences and relationships; pictures convey context and describe scenes. Images need to be seen while developing a manuscript or reviewing one, because they are so important. But images can also make files enormous to the point of crashing Word or email. Rather than deleting images one by one so that you can work with the file, delete them all at once with this simple Find and Replace in the Find/Navigation panel:

  1. In the Find field, select Graphic from the drop-down menu. Or, type the special code/regular expression ^g in directly.
  2. In the Replace with field, type nothing at all.
  3. Click Replace All.

You’re done! Now your file contains no images or graphs!

Windows users click the down arrow beside the Search document field in the Navigation pane to select the Graphics option.

Insert Placeholders in That Click, Too

Instead of replacing images and graphs with nothing, you may want to write [image placed here] in the Replace field. These replacement words won’t say which image or graph appeared there in the manuscript, but it will alert you that one was present!

Troubleshooting

book cover cropped to banner size
Find out more tricks for working with Find and Replace starting on p. 45 of the book.

Save a backup of the original file.

Tables, shapes, and equations created in Word will remain in place. They are not treated as a graphic. “Smart Art” elements created in Word will be erased.

While working with embedded images can be helpful during the development process, the images in that docx are not likely to be good enough resolution for the designer to work with. Make sure you have a folder full of original images at high resolution (note that means at least 300 dpi for print and about 120 dpi for modern hi-res screens).



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Copyediting Visuals

Visuals and figures are catch-all terms that describe any content that is not body text or a heading. These can include photographs, diagrams, drawings and other art, as well as graphs and sometimes charts or tables. Copyediting means changes to the labels or sometimes to the display of values (such as fixing the length of bars on a graph; see the full list in the link below). Sometimes it’s possible and helpful to edit these visuals right in the MS Word manuscript. Here’s how.

Editing Graphs

Sample graph

If graphs are linked Excel creations, it’s often possible to double-click on the graph and then navigate within the visual to fix some titles and some labels while still in Word. Editing the source file is necessary to fix category labels, data points, and the like. If the Excel source file is available on your computer, double-clicking the image in the Word file may launch Excel and give you full access to the contents. Be sure to note that changes were made, as Word won’t track that.

Editing Diagrams & Tech Art

Sample tech art

When diagrams and technical art such as flow charts were created in Word — perhaps using the Smart Art function on the Insert ribbon — it’s usually possible to edit them directly, right in the Word manuscript. As with graphs, click on the element once, and then click again to access the contents.

Editing details such as font type and size, or the colour scheme might be futile, as Word changes these aspects “responsively” when visuals are resized or at other whims, and because the designer may be making grand changes later. So ask if you should bother or not.

Editing Photos

This is not something that copyeditors do nor is Word appropriate software for doing that. Leave a comment with the requested changes.

Check out this checklist for editing visuals so you don’t miss a thing.

Commenting

screen capture of name tag on a Comment and a Tracked Change in Word 365

Leave a comment about the changes that were made, as Word will not mark up the changes itself. Avoid fancy letter formatting to indicate changes (e.g. underlining, colouring, etc.), as this requires someone to clean it all up as laboriously as you applied it. It is likely to get missed and end up in the final product.

Word does not like to attach a comment to a visual. If you must leave a comment — to request changes, for example — either attach it to the figure number or to another character immediately before or after the visual. In the comment, refer to the visual by number or another defining feature such as its title.

Troubleshooting

Figures are often not editable in Word. And when they are, it’s rare that editing them in Word will give the best results or that the changes will be picked up by the formatter. The design team may be working from a folder of original art rather than with what’s in the Word manuscript. Most often, it’s best to leave a comment requesting changes, rather than making the changes.

Right-click a shape to access the Edit Text option from the context menu.

Double-clicking a figure opens a different function: a pane on the right that lets you change attributes of the “shape,” but not its contents. Either click slower or right-click on the visual and select Edit Text from the menu that pops up.

For changes to non-text contents of visuals, it can be more effective to create a PDF and draw on it to describe your requests. After all, designers are visual communicators, and long prose describing changes can be lost on them.



Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.


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By practicing one tip each week, you can invest 13 hours this year into professional development. To search the blog, use the orange bar right above this.


© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!