Microsoft

Office challenge: What's that red x and where are my graphics?

Learn the solution to last week's Word challenge and test your skills with a new Word challenge regrading little read Xs where images should be.

Have you ever opened a document and found little red x's where graphics should be? There's a reason and fortunately, it's easy to fix. What would you tell a user about fixing the graphics and what would you recommend they do to avoid the problem in the future?

Last week we asked… Why is there always an extra blank page at the end of this document? Jbenton was the first to respond with the reason: There's always an extra paragraph mark at the end of a table. This particular paragraph mark goes with the end of the document and contains formatting for the whole document (or the last section). Jbenton and Robinjanekluz both suggested formatting the final paragraph mark as 1 pt and that does work! The problem with hiding it is that you can easily forget it's there and it can play havoc with placement later on, if you add text. If the document's finished, it's a good simple fix.

You can also apply the Hidden format to just that last paragraph mark as follows:

  1. Select the last paragraph mark and choose Font from the Format menu. In Word 2007/2010, click the Home tab. Then, click the Font group launcher.
  2. On the Font tab, click the Hidden option in the Effects section.
  3. Click OK.

You'll still see the paragraph mark on screen in its own blank page (except in Print Preview) but your printer won't push through a blank sheet of paper for it when you print the document. Users might be confused by the blank page on the screen and attempt to fix a problem that you've already fixed.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

9 comments
doug.sims
doug.sims

I hope someone comes up with answers that work - I have searched and searched the web for this. In my case (On Windows Vista)the red x shows up in emails and web pages and my wife's desktop alike. The funny thing is, my profile works fine but the profile I set up my wife suddenly starting doing the red x thing about a month ago.

allan.pettie
allan.pettie

This usually arises if you copy and paste an image and by some bizare reason Word inserts a link to an image, especially copied from the web. To securely add an image always save the file to a local drive and then use Insert > Picture > From file

stapleb
stapleb

I have only experienced this with emails, and usually signatures. In that instance it is usually that the graphic is not inserted in the email but a link provided to display it. If you do not have access to the drive containing the graphic to which the signature is linked, it will not display.

dogknees
dogknees

In Word 2007, go to Options, Advanced, Show document content and untick "Show picture placeholders".

Ray Baker
Ray Baker

My company uses Lotus Notes 7 and users complain that their emails all show red x boxes in place of most of the email. My research shows that this was fixed in Lotus Notes 8 and 9. The problem is authors are using .png images. However the company does not want to upgrade now, $$. One fellow found a work around. Tell the spam blocker that the emails are spam. The spam blocker will show the emails with the images!

derwil
derwil

Thanks for this post. It works perfectly for me. I have been trying to find the answer to this issue for a few weeks.

Ohsolost
Ohsolost

I find if I 'forward' the email I can see all the graphics. I would love a real solution to this!

sandra.scrivens
sandra.scrivens

I agree. Turning this option off is a great way to speed up the process when working with a large document containing multiple graphics such as the manuals I have to produce.

RU7
RU7

With the type of documents you describe, leaving this checked while you are working with the text would speed up your work. The boxes hold the space for the graphics so the text formats as it will with the graphics visible, but the graphic content doesn't have to load. Scrolling especially should be better.