I created some large word documents containing a lot of images. Now when I move those documents and Images to some other computer (zipping them up or syncing via SkyDrive) the Images are not linked anymore, they do not show up.

Except when the absolut path of document and images are the same on source and destination computer.

So it seems to me that word 2013 saves the absolute image path. But I need it to use the relative path so I can share the document between different computers. How can I achieve this?

Embedding the pictures is not an option for me since I additionally need to deliver the documents to someone who is only accepting linked pictures.


I had the same issue today, and this is how I solved it. Please note that I was working with hyperlinks, not images.

  1. Select "File > Options"
  2. Select "Advanced"
  3. Scroll down to "General" and select "Web Options"
  4. Select the Files tab
  5. Check "Update Links on Save" and uncheck "Use long file names whenever possible"

I hope that helps.

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  • Not working for me. Neither "docx", nor "doc". Neither for docx-style images, nor for INCLUDEPICTURE. Word 2013 x64. Any ideas what might be wrong? – i3v May 24 '17 at 16:32

Press Alt+F9 to show field codes and remove the absolute part of the path from the field code.

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  • 1
    Alt+F9 is not showing field codes (for pictures inserted with "insert -> pictures") for me in Word 2013 x64, and Word 2016 x64). But it still shows {INCLUDEPICTURE "Pics/01.png" \d \*MERGEFORMAT} fields, added manually. – i3v May 23 '17 at 18:23
  • @i3v, Yes MS Word is funny in that way. – Adam May 24 '17 at 10:21

The only approach that seem to work for me (tested in Word 2013 x64 and Word 2016 x64) is to manually re-add all pictures using INCLUDEPICTURE fieldcode. It looks looks pretty straightforward:


Where Pics/01.png is the relative path to your picture.


  1. Press Alt+F9 to show field codes
  2. Press CTRL+F9 to add new field
  3. Type the fieldcode above (use the path you need)
  4. Press Alt+F9 to hide field codes
  5. Now you probably see some error message (!Unexpected End of Formula or something), instead of your picture. Try to update it - select and press F9. Now you should see it OK.
  6. Check that the size of the picture and horizontal/vertical scale is OK. You may have to fix them via regular "picture -> size" tool.
  7. Make sure refreshing the document is not breaking it (select appropriate part and press F9)

Additional notes:

  • \d stands for "do not store contents inside" (e.g. "link to file", instead of "insert and link")

  • \* MERGEFORMAT stands for "keep formatting on update". Without it, your picture would be resized back to its original size on each refresh.

  • If you move/rename the folder with the docx file (and all your pictures, keeping relative paths valid) to another location, and open it - the images won't be displayed correctly at first. You would have to do a "refresh" (e.g. CTRL+A and F9). Thus, always make sure "refreshing" your document won't break anything.

  • The major problem with this approach is that you cannot precisely control the size of your images. It is possible, that you would only be able to set image width to 66.5mm or to 66.7mm, but not to 66.6mm. While normally, for docx-style image, this is perfectly possible. This is especially inconvenient if you need a "grid" of images. Also, you may find that two images, 40x40mm each won't fit into 80mm column. So, personally, I ended up changing DPI/rescaling such images (e.g. in IrfanView). Alternatively, you may try to wrap them with a fixed-size table cell (I've not tested that).

  • If you press "convert you document to newest format", all your INCLUDEPICTURE fieldcodes would be converted to docx-style images, and would no longer be relative. Here's an example experiment.

  • Microsoft MVP, macropod, proposes longer version: {INCLUDEPICTURE "{FILENAME \p}/Pics/01.png"}, but for me, shorter version works OK, see the discussion here.

  • Most probably, the process of substituting global links with relative could be automated. May be the most simple way is to save your "docx" as "doc". In this case most (but not all, not sure why) pictures are converted to INCLUDEPICTURE based fieldcodes. Next, you can run autoreplace, like suggested here.

  • Also, you can vote for this feature on uservoice.

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The following works in MS Word 2013 ... After fruitless searches on the internet … getting some interesting clues but final answers that just didn’t work … the light came through … After you’ve inserted all your links, head on over to the File tab and Info section … on the right hand side you should find the Properties sub-section … just enter a nice little “./” in the Hyperlink Base field (that’s dot and front slash without the quotes … press Enter and come on back to your document ...


Hover over again on any of your links and !!!surprise-surprise!!! … all inserted links beautifully transformed into relative addressing with front slashes. That’s what the web server likes !!!


Note: Should you want to add more hyperlinks later on, you need to first remove the “./” from the Hyperlink Base field (blank field), insert your new hyperlinks, and then reset the Hyperlink Base field to “./” … otherwise things might get messy!

Cheers! : )

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  • Not working for me (for pictures inserted with "insert -> pictures") for me in Word 2013 x64, and Word 2016 x64). Your examples are about hyperlinks, not about embedded images. – i3v May 23 '17 at 18:26

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