Is it possible in Microsoft Word (Word 2003 preferably) to insert an image from a url and have that image reloaded from url each time that document is opened?

The image itself is a map, and I'd like the map to be reloaded from the server each time the Word document is opened so that the most recent image is displayed.

7 Answers 7

  • Go to Insert - Quick Parts - Field...
  • In Field Names, select "InsertPicture".
  • In the field "Filename or URL", put the URL to your image.
  • Check "Data not stored in document". And eventually the 2 "Resize..." checkboxes if the size of the online image can change.

That should do the trick.

  • 1
    Oops, I missed the "Word 2003 preferably" part in the question :-/ . I can't check anymore, I have no access to a Word 2003. Most probably it's there but maybe with another name. Check in the Insert menu if there is a Field item.
    – Snark
    Sep 10, 2009 at 6:59
  • 1
    This works, but in 2003 it's Insert Menu -> Field... Sep 10, 2009 at 6:59
  • 3
    in Word 2016 it is "IncludePicture" in Quickparts
    – user464885
    Jan 15, 2019 at 15:27

I got here looking for a way of adding my StackOverflow flair in my CV/resume. Since reputation and badges change frequently I wanted it to be updated/reflected automagically in the Word doc.

enter image description here

I happen to be using Word for Mac 2011.

In my case I followed the instructions given by Snark in his answer, but it was somewhat different and there's a GOTCHA:

  1. Menu Insert => Field...
  2. On the left in Categories: select Links and References.
  3. In Field names: select IncludePicture.
  4. Now you have to type two quotation marks in the input box just after INCLUDEPICTURE.
  5. The GOTCHA: Inside the quotation marks you have to paste the link to your image. In my case it's like this:

    INCLUDEPICTURE "https://stackoverflow.com/users/flair/114029.png?theme=clean"

  6. Click Preserve formatting during updates if you want.

That's it. Now the flair will be updated automagically wherever i open the Word doc. Totally AWESOME.

Here's a screenshot:

enter image description here


In Word 2010 instead of "InsertPicture", the field name is "IncludePicture"


In MS word 2013 (using gdrive picture).

If you want to add an email but you don't want to update the image (when the hosted email will change) go to insert tab, click on pictures, simply past the url of your image in the filename field and press insert.

If you want the picture to be updated go to insert tab, click on pictures, simply past the url of your image in the filename field but instead of pressing insert, chose (in the menu under insert) insert and link (or link to file. Both will work).

To update a gdrive file, just drop the new version on the new one. Google will ask you if you want to keep separate, let it go, by default it will update the old one.

How to update/refresh a linked picture in the docx?. Select the picture and refresh by pressing F9.

PS: the gdrive file must be public (not private), the URL must be like:


(I tried other URLs wich did not work)

  • Thank you for the google drive link example. It is working as expected only when using this link format.
    – Oz Edri
    Jul 21, 2019 at 7:37

You can choose Insert -> Picture -> From File... and type in the URL, but I'm not sure if it auto updates (not sure it can do that).


The previous answers sent me down the right track, but it took some experimenting to get an image from a link into Word in Microsoft 365, so that it automatically updates when I open the document. Here is how I solved the problem:

  1. On the Word menu, select Insert.
  2. On the Insert ribbon, in the Text part, hover your mouse on the various items to identify the drop-down Explore Quick Parts, and click the down arrow.
  3. Select Field…
  4. In the Field names box, select IncludePicture.
  5. In the Field properties section, enter the image URL into the box, and click OK.

A word of caution: not all image formats are supported. Sadly, I found that webp, which I prefer to use for my blog, is not.


Can you turn on macros or VBscript? If not I don't think Word handles files dynamically like that it saves them to the doc file.

  • Downvoted as other answers demonstrate Word can handle files dynamically. Aug 15, 2020 at 10:41

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