Saving Images from Microsoft Word

Moving content from a Microsoft Word document to another format is not always a straightforward process.   If you are lucky, you can simply select all of the Word content, then use the copy/paste process to move the content into the new format in a single step.  Often the copy/paste method will move the text but not the images.  To move these images, you need to save each image individually to the hard drive and insert the image into the new format.  The following Tech Tip will describe three ways to save images from a MS Word document to your local storage for use in other document formats.

The Right Click

The right click method is the easiest way to export images from a Word document.  This method is great when there are just a few images to extract.  For this method, click on the image in the Word document using the right mouse button.  From the pop-up menu, choose Save as Picture and then choose a directory to save into on your local drive.

Save as Picture menu

When there are a lot of images, this method can be tedious. For instance, the Using Cura for Printing Protein Models – Chimera.docx document requires 25 right-click and save operations to extract all of the images.

We can make this process a little easier by using one of the next two methods.


By changing the file extension of the Word document from .docx to .zip, we can access all of the images in the document all at once in a single directory.  Follow the steps shown below.

  1. In your file browser (File Explorer for PC, Finder for Mac) Right click on the Word document and select Rename from the pop-up menu.

    rename file menu
    rename file menu

  2. Change the .docx on the end of the file name to .zip
    rename file menu
    rename file menu
  3.  For PC users:
    To access the images, double click the .zip file to open the ZIP directory and browse to the word\media directory.
    images directory location

    For Mac users:
    You will need to extract the zip file to a local directory using the Archive utility and then browse to the word/media directory using Finder.

Save as HTML

The last method that we will explore is the Save as HTML method.  The first step in this process is to click the File menu/tab in Word, click Save As, select the Web Page (*.htm, *html) as the file type, then click the Save button.

save as html menu

Then browse to your save location using File Explorer (PC) or Finder (Mac) and open the directory labeled with your original file name with _files appended to the end.
new file name

All of the Word document images can be found in the new directory.