Picture is displayed as a red X in a Word 2002 document

This article was previously published under Q291346
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
For a Microsoft Word 2000 version of this article, see 244202.
For a Microsoft Word 97 version of this article, see 162349.
For a Microsoft Word 98 version of this article, see 189858.
In Microsoft Word 2002, when you open a document that contains pictures and that was created in an earlier version of Word, some of the pictures may be displayed as a partial red X or an entire red X.
This problem can occur if both of following conditions are true:
  • The Word document was created in a version of Word earlier than Microsoft Word 97 for Windows, Service Release 1.
  • The Word document contains inserted bitmap (.bmp) files or pasted pictures.
NOTE: This behavior also can occur with other graphics formats.

Word uses either a red X or a generic picture (a circle, square, and triangle) to represent any graphic or picture that it cannot display. Word cannot display corrupted or damaged pictures; also, Word may lose picture data in low-memory or low-resource situations.
After you open the document in Microsoft Word 2002, you must manually restore the pictures in your document by following these steps and methods.

To correct this problem, follow these steps first:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Save tab.
  2. Clear the Allow fast saves check box.
  3. On the File menu, click Save As, and then save the document with a new name. Restore the pictures in this new document, and use this new version of the document from now on.
Follow these methods to determine the nature of the problem and restore the pictures.

Method 1: Replace the Picture from the Original Source File

Follow these steps:
  1. Select and then delete the red X from the document.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click From File.
  3. Select the original picture file, and then click OK.

Method 2: Open the Picture in Picture Editor; Paste It Back in the Document

Follow these steps:
  1. Double-click the picture to open it in the picture editor.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  3. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  4. On the File menu, click Close & Return to document.
  5. In Word, click Paste on the Edit menu.

Method 3: Refresh the Field Results

If the picture is linked, refresh the field results.

For example, when you view field codes, you see a field similar to either of the following fields:
{IMPORT C:\\Clipart\\Picture.pcx}


{INCLUDEPICTURE C:\\Clipart\\Picture.pcx}
NOTE: To view field codes in your document, press ALT+F9.

Make sure that the picture file (in this example: Picture.pcx) exists in the Clipart folder. Select the field, and then press F9 to update the field.

When the field is updated, the graphics filter reads the picture again. When this occurs, the picture display is refreshed, and the red X is replaced with the expected picture.

Troubleshooting Steps If You Continue to See a Red X

In some cases, a red X is displayed in your document for reasons other than those described in the "Cause" section of this article. An image can be displayed as a red X if any of the following conditions is true:
  • The image is a GIF or JPEG image that contains complex formatting options such as animations, sounds, or progressive displays.
  • The directory specified as a temporary directory in Windows does not exist.
  • The image has been damaged, or some other aspect of the document has been damaged.
  • There is insufficient free space on your computer's hard disk.
To determine whether any of these conditions is causing the display problem, use the following methods.

NOTE: A document that was created in the pre-SR-1 release of Microsoft Word 97 for Windows will continue to display red Xs until you repair the pictures. That is, the damaged pictures are not corrected automatically when you open your document in Word 2002. In this case, use the steps and methods in the "Resolution" section of this article to recover the missing pictures.

Method 1: If the Image Is a GIF or JPEG Image

Many JPEG or GIF images that are downloaded from the Internet contain complex formatting options such as animations, sounds, or progressive displays. Word does not use these options. To modify the picture so that it includes only those elements that Word uses, use a picture editing program to save the picture in a simpler format:
  • For a GIF graphic, lower the complexity to CIS GIF 87 or 87A rather than GIF 89A.
  • For a JPEG picture, save the picture in the "simple" or "baseline" format, without any progressive redraw features.
For more information about these picture formats, see the documentation that accompanies your picture editing program.

Method 2: Verify That You Are Using a Valid Temp Directory

Verify that the SET TEMP and SET TMP lines in your Autoexec.bat file are pointing to valid folders. To verify the SET TEMP and SET TMP lines in the Autoexec.bat file, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Run box, type sysedit and then click OK. This command opens the System Configuration Editor.
  3. Click the Autoexec.bat window.
  4. In the Autoexec.bat file, look for a line that begins with SET TEMP or SET TMP. These lines, if they exist, should be set equal to a valid directory. Make note of any directory that is referenced.

    NOTE: If the Autoexec.bat file does not contain a line that starts with either of these commands, proceed to the next method.
  5. Right-click the Windows Start button, and then click Explore.
  6. In the Windows Explorer, verify that the directory that you noted in step 4 is a valid directory.
If your computer is running Microsoft Windows NT, also verify the following:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click System, and then click the Environment tab.
  3. On the Environment tab, verify the values for TEMP and TMP under User Variables. These values are the path to a directory. Note the directory that is listed.
  4. In the Windows Explorer, verify that the directory noted in step 3 is a valid directory. If the TMP setting is using wildcards (% signs), create a directory called TMP in two places: C:\Tmp and C:\Winnt\Tmp.

    NOTE: If your computer is running Microsoft Windows NT version 4.0, verify that Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later is installed. This resolves a problem in which the SET TMP in user variables can be accidentally reset.
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to obtain the latest Windows NT 4.0 service pack

Method 3: Verify That Your Graphics File Is Not Damaged

If you see a partial re-draw of the picture before it becomes a red X, or if the size of your graphics image is not what you expect, the image may be damaged (corrupted).

To see the size of your graphics file, follow these steps:
  1. Click the picture to select it.
  2. On the Format menu, click Picture.
  3. In the Format Picture dialog box, click the Size tab.
  4. Verify the size of the picture by using the numbers under Original Size near the bottom of the dialog box.
If the size reported is not what you expect the intact picture to be, the graphics file may be damaged. If the size reported is 1-inch-by-1-inch, there is a different problem, and you must try some other workarounds to resolve the problem.

To restore the picture, follow these steps:
  1. Open the picture in a graphics editing program, such as Microsoft Photo Editor.
  2. Save the file in a different file format.
  3. Attempt to insert the saved file back into your document.
In some cases, a red X in your document indicates that some other aspect of the document has been damaged. If you receive an "unable to open file" error message, or if you receive an invalid page fault (IPF) when you open the file, some other aspect of your document may be damaged.

Method 4: Verify That There Is Sufficient Free Space on the Primary Hard Disk

To verify how much free disk space exists on your computer's hard disk drive, follow these steps:
  1. Double-click My Computer on the desktop.
  2. Right-click the primary hard disk (for example, drive C).
  3. Click Properties.
  4. The amount of free disk space should be 20 megabytes (MB) or more.
There is no minimum amount of free disk space required to run Office programs. However, most computers require a certain amount of free space (usually around 20 MB) to open, close, and save files and to print documents.

If your computer's hard disk has less than 20 MB of free disk space available, you may consider removing unused data files, temporary files, or temporary programs. After you free 20 MB or more on the primary hard disk, restart Windows and open the file again.
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Article ID: 291346 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 01:09:20 - Revision: 2.3

Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition

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