Error message when you open a .design document in Expression Design: "Missing Image Report"


When you open a .design document in Microsoft Expression Design, you receive an error message that resembles the following error message:
Missing Image Report

Cannot find 1 image fill files.

Please move the missing files to the specified folders and reopen the Design document. You may also reapply the image fills to the specified objects.

Cannot find image fill file: File_Name.jpg

Expected folder: Path

Image fill will be ignored for object: [4 points]


This problem occurs if the following conditions are true:
  • The .design file contains a shape that has an image fill.
  • Expression Design cannot locate the image file that represents the swatch that is used to fill the shape.
Note You are more likely to experience this problem when you open a .design file that was created on a different computer.

In Expression Design, the image fill files that are used in a particular .design file are stored by using absolute file references and by using absolute path references. For example, an image file might be stored by using the following path and file name:
When you open a .design file that contains an image fill, Expression Design tries to locate the appropriate image fill file by using the path that is stored in the .design file. If Expression Design cannot locate the file by using the path that is stored in the .design file, you receive the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section.

Additionally, if Expression Design locates a different image file that has the same path and file name as the file that is used in the .design file, Expression Design uses that different image file as the swatch to fill the shape in the .design file.

Currently, this problem is a limitation of the file format that is used in Expression Design.


To work around this problem, use one of the following methods:

Method 1: Use a shared network location

If you have to share the .design file among different computers, store all the image files in a shared network location. When you do this, the .design file has the same path for the image file regardless of which computer you use to open the .design file.

Method 2: Create the same path on the destination computer

If you have to open the .design file on another computer, create the same path for the image files on the destination computer as the path on the computer from which you created the .design file.

For example, if the image files are located in the C:\Images\CustomImages\ folder on the source computer, copy the image files to a C:\Images\CustomImages\ folder on the destination computer.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

Steps to reproduce the problem

  1. Create a folder that has the following path:
  2. Paste an image into the CustomImages folder.
  3. Start Expression Design, and then create a new document.
  4. Insert a rectangle shape into the document.
  5. In the Properties pane, click More Swatches, click Swatch options, and then click Add Image Swatch.
  6. Locate the image that you copied to the CustomImages folder, and then click Open.
  7. Click More Swatches, and then double-click the new image that you added to fill the rectangle shape.
  8. Save the document, and then copy the .design document to a different computer. Verify that the destination computer does not have a C:\Images\CustomImages\ folder.
  9. Start Expression Design, and then open the document.
You receive the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section.


For more information about Expression Design, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Article ID: 937355 - Last Review: May 21, 2007 - Revision: 1