How to Extract Images From Multiple Word Documents

Images in a word document can be saved by right-clicking and selecting the Save as Picture... option. This however is not ideal when many images are to be exported from the document or even multiple documents.

Fortunately, there are some workarounds one can use to extract the images from a document. An easy is to save the document as a Web Page (*.htm, *.html). Doing this will save all the images in the document in the exported HTML folder.

A much quicker way however is to change the extension of the document to that of a ZIP (*.zip) then extract it using a file archiver. It's this trick that we can use to export images from multiple documents in one go.

But before that, we have to make sure:
  • all the documents are in docx format, otherwise if they're in the old doc format they will have to be upgraded first
  • that there is only one word document so that all the images are extracted into one folder instead of multiple ones. To do that, we'll have to merge the documents first

Step 1: Merge the Documents into One Word Document

1. Open Microsoft Word and create a new document.

2. Go to the Insert tab and click the insert Object icon then select the Text From File... option.
Insert Text from File

3. In the browse window, locate and select all the word documents you want to extract images from then click the Insert button. To do this in one go, put the documents in one folder.
Insert Word Documents

4. Now give Word some time to merge all the files. The more and larger the documents are, the more time it will take to merge.

5. Once it's done merging, save the document.

Step 2: Extract the ZIP file

1. Go to the directory where the merged document has been saved and rename its extension from docx to zip. Ensure you have enabled the setting to make extensions visible otherwise you'll not be able to change it.

2. Next extract the file using compression software like 7-zip or WinRAR. If you don't have one installed, use Windows Explorer to open opening and extract the archive.

3. Open the extracted folder then go to the media folder inside the word folder. You should find all the images in the documents inside that folder.

Now wasn't that quick!

Kelvin is a writer and registered nutritionist based in Nairobi. Passionate about writing and helping people solve problems, he's been actively blogging since 2014 on tech, nutrition and "pseudo poetry".

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