2 ways to quickly copy graphic files in Word or PowerPoint

Saving many graphic files for reuse is easy if you know these two tricks.

Image: Andrey Popov, Getty Images/iStockphoto

Finding a Word document or PowerPoint presentation with graphics that you can reuse is a bit like finding buried treasure.

Saving them presents a bit of a conundrum, too. You can save each graphic manually, one at a time, but that's tedious and time consuming. In this article, I'll show you two ways to alter the file's extension and magically expose all of those graphics as individual files.

I'm using Office 365 Word (desktop), but the instructions will work in earlier versions. The example document is provided by Microsoft: Click the File menu, choose New, and then click Take a tour. You can work with any Word or PowerPoint file that has multiple graphics.

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Save graphic files one at a time

Saving a single picture is easy. Simply right-click the picture and choose Save As Picture (Figure A) from the resulting submenu. Doing so will open the familiar File Save dialog. Choose a location, enter a file name, change the file format using the Save As type options if you like, and click Save. You can use the picture as you would any other graphic file. It's a simple process, but if you want to save all of the graphics and there are a lot of them, this quick task would quickly become tedious.

Figure A

Save a graphic file.

Save as a web page

You could spend some time writing a macro to save all the graphic files, but macros require specialized knowledge that you might not have. Besides, what I'm about to show you is quicker—save the file as a web page. Doing so saves all graphic files to a folder—with one quick save. You now have all graphics saved to your local drive. (Note: You can't use the browser edition to save a Word document as a web page.)

Let's run through this now using the example Take a Tour Word document:

  1. With the Take a Tour document open, click the File menu and choose Save As.
  2. Click Browse and then choose a location. It doesn't matter where, but it should be a location that makes sense to you and will be easy to find later. For our purposes the Desktop is fine, but you can save it to your local drive, to the cloud—anywhere you want.
  3. In the resulting Save As dialog, enter a file name, say, Welcome to Word Graphics.
  4. From the Save As type dropdown, change the format from .docx to Web Page (*.htm;*.html), as shown in Figure B.
  5. If asked to confirm for compatibility purposes, click Continue. Word will display the document in Web Layout, but at this point, you don't need the open file in any format, so close it.

Figure B

Save your graphic-filled Word document as a web page.

Press Windows+D to quickly display the Desktop. You'll see a folder icon named Welcome to Word Graphics.htm, as shown in Figure C. Double-click the icon to open the folder. In Figure D, you can see all of the graphic files in the original Word document.

Figure C

Use File Explorer to find the web page.

Figure D

You can use these graphic files as you would any others.

You're probably wondering why there are two of each: I don't know and if I speculate, I'll just sound silly. If you save as a filtered web page, you'll get one instead of two, but the resolution is reduced.

Save as .zip file

Saving the file as a web page won't work with a PowerPoint presentation but saving the .pptx file as a .zip file will. In fact, this method works for Word and PowerPoint. Because you must change the file's format, always work with a duplicate, not the original file. After making a copy, find it using File Explorer. (You don't want to open it.)

Rename the file by replacing only the .pptx extension with .zip. To do so, click the .pptx file twice, slowly. Doing so will allow you to edit the name. (If the file opens, you clicked too fast.) Simply select the extension, as shown in Figure E and type .zip. Confirm the change by clicking Yes.

Figure E

Change the presentation's extension.

To find the files, double-click the new ZIP file. Double-click the ppt folder and then the Media folder. You'll find all the graphic, movie, and audio files in the Media folder.

The easiest

It's easy to reuse graphics once you save them as individual files. If they're in a Word or PowerPoint file, you can use one of these easy methods to quickly save them individually. Neither method is superior; both require changing the file extension.

Send me your question about Office

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About Susan Harkins

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.

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