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:

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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).

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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.

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

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

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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
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