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How to View Images in PPTX, DOCX, or XLSX Files without Office Installed

There’s nothing more frustrating than finally getting the screenshot or image you asked for, but the sender dropped them into a Word or Powerpoint document, and you don’t have Office 2007 or 2010 installed. Here’s how to view the screenshots anyway.

How does this work? Simple! All of the newer file formats in Office 2007 and Office 2010 are actually zip files containing XML and lots of folders, and they have all the media neatly embedded within that file.

Viewing Images from Office 2007/2010 Files

For our example, we’re using a Powerpoint file, as you can see here:

image

Simply change the extension of the file to .zip (you may have to head into Organize –> Folder and search options to enable the display of file extensions).

image

Now that you’ve done so, you can open up the zip file, and you’ll see a folder—for Powerpoint it’s named ppt, for Word it’ll be named word, and so on. Now open up that folder.

image

Once you’re there, open up the media folder…

image

And there you are, the image that the person could have just attached to the email message in the first place.

image

Frustration averted, slightly. Now if we could just convince people to stop using Office apps to store screenshots instead of simply attaching the image.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/28/10

Comments (16)

  1. Hatryst

    Geek, you’re really a genius ;)
    I mean, i don’t understand how did you come up with this idea :)

  2. Jacobm001

    In all honesty, I do have office 2010 installed. It still annoys me when people do this :P

  3. Alejuss

    Wow, how easily! thanks!!

  4. JDan

    Microsoft does provide free viewers for download in addition to their free online app/editors.

  5. Col

    You can download microsofts free viewers and have more unwanted and unnecessary bloat on your system. If you get sent anything in these file formats you should also return to sender telling them to not save them in these proprietary formats.

  6. Sepehr

    Or use 7-zip.

  7. Rahul Prasad

    You use open office to edit or view those files. Its free and open source.

  8. Ed

    When job applicants send me DOCX files they go to the trash, unopened. Most applicants I get are writers, and I figure anyone who writes for a living, or intends to, should know that the primary rule of manuscripts is that they should be accessible by the recipient. Anyone who presumes that everybody on the planet has MS Office 2007+ installed doesn’t know his reader market.

  9. venki

    hey thankx ,its working……

  10. Phylis Sophical

    Does this only work to view images or can you actually get to a document or spreadsheet?

  11. Rune Justesen

    Thanks, great tip. Does anyone know if it’s possible to do the same in Ubuntu? I tried, but in the ppt-folder there are no media-folder and apparently no image (the .png-file) in any of the other folders either.

  12. miki

    this is applicable also at the mac pages and numbers documents ( there is a pdf, not a png)

  13. mikycomputers

    nice, thx for the tip!

  14. lizet

    thank you so much!

  15. Srikanth

    It is really a good tip.. :)

  16. Philp

    It is always nice to learn from people who are a lot more intelligent than Microsoft.

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