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Consider the following scenario. You insert an object or a file into a document, presentation, spreadsheet, or other Microsoft Office 2003 or Microsoft Office XP file. To do this, you use one of the methods in the following examples:

  • You drag a .txt file into an Office file from Windows Explorer.

  • You click Insert, click
    Object, and then click Create from File in an Office program.

In this scenario, the icon for the OLE object that was created is blank. The Office program only displays a blank picture with caption.

Note This issue occurs in all Office 2003 and Office XP products, in Microsoft WordPad, and in third-party products.


This issue occurs because Office uses the CreateMetaFile function in the Ole32.dll file to obtain the object preview picture. The CreateMetaFile function is limited to Windows Metafile Format (WMF) pictures. Therefore, the picture only contains 16-bit color at most.

Some file types use 32-bit color icons in Windows XP and in Windows Server 2003. If Windows uses a 32-bit color schema, the CreateMetaFile function cannot obtain the appropriate WMF preview picture in the Ole32.dll file. Therefore, the CreateMetaFile function returns a blank picture.

Note This issue occurs in any application that uses the CreateMetaFile function.


To work around this issue, change your color quality settings to 16-bit color. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the desktop, and then click

  2. On the Settings tab, select Medium (16 bit) in the Color quality list.

  3. Click

  4. Try to insert the object again.

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