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Office Software Thread, Word 2007 "Black Boxes" in Technical; Recently I have migrated all of our computers from Office 2002 to Office 2007 and have come across an odd ...
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    Word 2007 "Black Boxes"

    Recently I have migrated all of our computers from Office 2002 to Office 2007 and have come across an odd problem. Opening an old .doc with embedded pictures some of the pictures display fine and some are just displayed as black boxes.


    The document is a purchased 113 page document so it means no re-inserting the images and the pictures are not links. This occurs on the XP machines and my Vista one and I’ve updated the machines in the last 4 weeks so they are pretty much up to date, certainly they have Office SP1. Saving it as a .docx doesn't solve the issue, it just saves my boxes.


    Any ideas?
    Last edited by Stuart_C; 12th January 2008 at 10:21 AM.

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    TechSupp's Avatar
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    Can't offer a solution only sympathy I'm affraid as we have had that problem at one of my schools (they use office XP though and XP). Sometimes they send things to print and they just get a black box where the table or picture should be, then try it again and its just fine!

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    There is a known issue with the Adobe PDF plugin and Word 2007 that displays embedded pictures as black boxes but I don't think it sounds like the cause of your particular problem.

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    bizzel's Avatar
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    Have you tried bringing up the image properties and scaling it to a slightly smaller size (try 99%) and seeing if they reappear. I've had that happen before and perhaps resizing caused word to somehow redraw the image differently.

    Edit: Also, I've seen this crop up as a graphics driver problem. Do you get the same results on a different spec machine?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Could you open the file on an Office XP machine and then save the functioning document to PDF for future use. As long as they don't need to edit it that may solve your problem.

    That or you could install the compatibility pack and try to save it as a .docx from Office XP if it lets you do this.

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    Tried it from two different spec machines (oddly both with Adobe Acrobat) one XP one Vista with the same problem. However we have tried it on a machine without Acrobat and it doesn't work. Also I have just tried ANTOHER machine with the same problem.

    I had seen some issues relating to acrobat but I have yet to install the PDF maker plug in. Whilst the document is most likely to have been opened on a machine with acrobat it occurs on all machines. It also goes wrong when the document is opened off the original CD on machiens with and without Acrobat.

    Resizing the picture has no effect also.

    The balck boxes occur on the print out but they occur on screen before printing (and with different printers selected)

    Have just tried opening in on an Office XP machine and it works, save as .Docx no problems so far, try it on an Office 07 and the black boxes are back.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Maybe some of the images are embedded objects that require active x stuff or file interpreters that are not present on the later versions. If it opens fine on an XP machine I would try saving it to a PDF using something like CutePDF (I'm sure someone can provide an open source solution as well). This will act like a virtual printer that you can print the document including all of its images to a file. So long as it prints to a printer in XP it should work with this method and will convert everything into a readable format.

    You may even be able to convert it back to an Office document using something like Open Office if required.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    I would try saving it to a PDF using something like CutePDF (I'm sure someone can provide an open source solution as well).
    It's openoffice, but if he was using it, he wouldn't have the problem in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    It's openoffice, but if he was using it, he wouldn't have the problem in the first place.
    I was simply suggesting a way to convert it back to a editable type on a single computer so that it could be used without any extra hassle on all of the other computers.

    I did this as it is still not clear whether they need to edit the document in future or not. By the sounds of the document relies on some unsupported embedded elements. These may not render on OpenOffice either so it is unclear whether using it would have solved his problem in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    These may not render on OpenOffice either so it is unclear whether using it would have solved his problem in the first place.
    Indeed. This is the problem with Office2007. It has a lot of compatibility issues with other office software, and is one of the reasons for the current advice :
    when specifying requirements, schools and colleges should
    normally insist that suppliers provide an office productivity suite that is capable
    of opening, editing and saving documents in the ODF format and setting ODF
    as the default file format.

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    Unfortunatly the document does need to be editable. It's actually part of a multi page (113) teaching resource dsigned to be used for creating answer sheets and lessons.

    I've just sent it's owner off to talk to the people he purchased it from to see if there's an updated version (I.e. it is some kind of problem with the pictures and they've re-created a version that works).

    It still doesn't answer the question of "why" though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Indeed. This is the problem with Office2007. It has a lot of compatibility issues with other office software, and is one of the reasons for the current advice :
    That is reasonable advice however it is off topic in this thread as the original post is about a problem .doc file that was purchased long before ODF existed and is still required. It may be a good idea to have a copy of it in ODF format once the immediate problem has been solved, if simply for future proofing. Though given the fact that they are in the process of moving to Office 2007 I don't see how that helps their immediate situation.

    Lets keep the thread helpful and on topic least we require a fire extinguisher

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart_C View Post
    It still doesn't answer the question of "why" though.
    If you right click on one of the black boxes inside the document on a O2k7 box and hit properties does it bring up the picture properties dialog or a different one. If the pictures are something like drawings and charts then they were probably old Microsoft drawing objects or similar and support for those extensions may have been discontinued.

    You may be able to save it to RTF and see if that makes the embedded objects into proper images.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 14th January 2008 at 12:18 PM.

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    I'm afraid no joy on the properties as it's been removed from 2k7 and a no on the RTF also.

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    Just a thought, are you able to save a truncated test copy of the file with like one page with just a busted image on it and post it to the forum. That way we could have a look at it / to test it in different software and it shouldn't be a crazy file size or break copyright rules.

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