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Microsoft Office Tips

Extracting Graphics from Word or PowerPoint Files

When you need to extract graphics that have been embedded (usually via cut-and-paste) into a Word or PowerPoint document, do the following:

  • Make a copy of the file
  • Change the file extention to .zip from either .docx or pptx
    Note: if the file has just a .doc or .ppt extension, open the file into version 2007 or higher and save as .docx or .pptx
  • Extract the zip file
  • Open the extracted folder and look for the doc or ppt folder
  • Inside that folder, you will find a media folder; your graphics will be inside.


Auto-Updating Content in PowerPoint


Create the charts in Excel--the different data/charts can all be in the same workbook but on different sheets. Copy the chart. In PPT, paste but select Keep Source Formatting and Link Data option or the Use Destination Theme and Link Data option (to keep PPT look). Update your Excel data as needed. In PPT, the charts should update automatically if file is open. If not, click on chart, and under the Chart Tools area, click Refresh.

Text & Tables

Use PPTs Insert tab and then Object. You can insert Excel tables or Word text if you click "Create from file" option and then click Link. If the original source is updated, your PPT file will be updated.


Use the Insert tab and click Picture. Then change the lower-right option from the default "Insert" option to "Link to File". It is better to put all your graphics in a single location if possible.

Editing in Word for Publishing

If your Word document is meant to be published, that is, imported into a layout program such as FrameMaker, InDesign, or QuarkXPress follow these tips:

  1. Use paragraph and character styles.
    Don't make any manual adjustments to the type formats; make any adjustments by editing the style settings. For example, if you want the text double-spaced, don't select the text and click the double-space button; edit the style to be double-spaced. Manual formatting kills the whole benefit of using styles.
       An exception to avoiding manual formatting would be the editorial use of bold and italic formatting -- however, Word supports character styles in addition to paragraph styles. For example, rather than using italic for company names, create a character style called "Company Name" and set its format to italic. Then apply the style to the appropriate text.
       If creating custom styles, don't base any of them off of the Normal style. Change it to "(no style)".
       If using any layout program other than InDesign, the style names must match exactly between Word and the layout program -- coordinate with the layout person. (InDesign allows independently named Word styles to be matched up to InDesign styles.)
       If styles are used properly (and exclusively) some layout programs can link to the Word file, so additional edits to the Word file will be reflected automatically in the layout file.
    TIP: Remove all non-style formatting in Word by selecting all and pressing Control-space.
  2. Use tabs correctly
    Don't use multiple tabs (tab-tab-tab) to move text over when one tab on the ruler will work. NEVER use multiple spaces in place of tabs.
  3. Don't double return between paragraphs.
    Use paragraph spacing instead (ideally, through the style settings).
  4. Don't double space after sentences.
    Typography normally uses single spaces.
  5. Use First Line Indent to indent paragraphs,
    rather than using spaces or tabs.
  6. Don't use multiple tabs or spaces to align (center- or right-align) text.
    If on a single line, use paragraph alignment. However, if on a mixed line (some text is align left and some center or right), use tabs set to the proper alignment.
  7. Don't use multiple columns or manual page breaks.
    They usually don't mean a thing in the final layout. If you need them, you can set page breaks as part of the style formatting.
  8. Generally, complex tables are better done in Excel.
    Be sure to use named regions in Excel if only importing part of the table.
    If you need the table placed in Word, import it as an object.
    Word and Excel tables are best left unformatted when importing into a layout program, however, the text in the table can still be formatted with styles in Word.
  9. Do not embed graphics into the Word document.
    Be sure to save them as separate graphic files. If you need to see them in Word for editing purposes, *insert* them as a *linked* graphic file. Never cut-and-paste graphics into Word. TIP: To extract embedded graphics, save the document in a 2007 or higher format (docx). Close the document. At the desktop, change the file extension from docx to zip. Extract the zip file contents. Inside the contents, look for a Word folder and then a Media folder. The graphics are inside. Note: This works for PowerPoint (pptx) files too.