How to embed linked images in Word 2010

One of the most popular posts on my blog was written a few years ago but still gets a lot of visits and comments; How to embed linked images in Word 2007.

Some of the comments have offered better solutions and one in particular I found myself searching for today. Having upgrade to Office 2010 I’ve realised that Microsoft has, again, “improved” the user interface by moving things around!

So, courtesy of Sarah, here are the updated instructions for how to embed linked images in Microsoft Word 2010:

  1. With your Word document open, click the File tab, top-left of the window.
  2. On the left-hand side, select Info.
  3. On the right-hand side, near the bottom, click Edit Links to Files.
  4. In the dialog that is displayed, select and highlight the images you want to convert from the list.
  5. Check the Save picture in document checkbox.
  6. Click the Break Link button.
  7. Click OK to confirm.

The links are removed and the images are now embedded in your Word document.

A quick check of the filesize of the Word document should show a marked increase and you can now distribute the Word document, and the Word document only, safe in the knowledge that the images are embedded.


16 Responses to “How to embed linked images in Word 2010”

  1. Janet
    16 November 2011 at 05:38


    Thank you for your post. It was very clear. However, I do not seem to have the “Edit Links to Files” Option. Between “Related Documents” and “Show more/fewer properties” I simply have “Open File Location.” Do you know why this is?


  2. Andrew
    4 February 2012 at 20:40

    I have the same problem as Janet above. There is no “Edit Links to Files” option.

  3. morgan
    9 February 2012 at 22:40

    I also have the same problem. Mine is MS Word 2010 Student Edition. I’m trying to either embed an image from my home system onto the document and then convert the document to an html which does not work, though the image does appear when pasted. Online, it is simply an empty box. Likewise, I uploaded my images and tried that method. No go, either. No resolution. Old WORD I could do this. What gives?

  4. Rey
    21 February 2012 at 09:22


    You must save your document first. Once it is saved, the menu will display with the ‘Edit Links to Files’ button.

    As said in the article, you can compare the file size before and after the images are embedded.

    You’re welcome ;)

  5. Coop
    12 March 2012 at 22:45

    I don’t want to have to do this every time I add an image – but I can’t see any way to default to always embedding vs. linking. Is that possible?

  6. Satu
    22 March 2012 at 13:06


    I’m interested in doing the reverse, i.e., converting embedded images into linked images. Any idea how to do that without having to manually re-insert each image? Thanks!

  7. Scott
    23 March 2012 at 05:29

    When I save my documents I do not get the “Edit Links to File” option. After a lot of hunting, I managed to figure out that you can manually add it. Right Click on the Ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon. Then choose All Commands from the dropdown on the left and find Edit Links to File. Add that to a custom tab or wherever you desire and PRESTO! No more searching.

    Sadly for me, this option is perpetually grayed out (unavailable) which is frustrating because I definitely have a link to edit. Any help here would be greatly appreciated; all my efforts thus far have failed.

  8. sandi
    27 March 2012 at 20:27

    Sadly also, I am grayed out on the edit links to file button also. Stupid MSFT for making this SO DIFFICULT! I really need to embed and have wasted a whole afternnon so far for nothing! Any other suggestions…[email protected]

  9. Susan
    16 May 2012 at 20:03

    I had been using Edit Links regularly in Word 2007 to fix up Flare-generated output for reviewers (final goes to PDF). But it was gone! gone! gone! in 2010. So I too was happy to see this article and all the accompanying suggestions — and sad when my Edit Links button was grayed out, as others had reported. BUT it has something to do with the Word file itself. I created a new .docx in Word 2010 and the button was enabled. I generated a new .doc in Flare and the button was enabled. So you may find you can use it with some files and not others.

  10. Paula Gomes
    11 July 2012 at 21:13

    When I go to the Edit Links to Files, the Save picture in document is grayed out. When I break the link, nothing changes. I still can’t see my images. Is there something else I need to do to get the images embedded?

  11. Jed
    7 September 2012 at 18:11

    I fought with this for quite a while today (also fixing Flare-generated output). Like Susan above, I discovered that certain files gave me the option, and certain ones didn’t. Other files gave me the option, but it didn’t actually work.

    I finally got it fixed by coming out of compatibility mode and trying again.

  12. Dirk Loehn
    1 October 2012 at 08:21

    Thanks a lot Gordon, very clear and easy, helped a lot!

  13. Embedding images in Microsoft Word | one man writes
    14 November 2012 at 13:19

    [...] How to embed linked images in Word 2010 [...]

  14. Robbie
    7 January 2013 at 10:47

    Thank you a great tip and far easier to find this on google than in MS word help.

  15. Ken
    15 February 2013 at 21:26

    For those that this doesn’t work for (like myself). No matter what I did, it would not break the link and embed the document. It still said it was referring to a .PNG file. So, I opened up paint, copied the image (select Image, copy), pasted it into Paint. Delete the image from Word. Select the entire image in Paint (Ctrl-A) and copy (Ctrl-C), then Paste back into Word. It will keep the dimensions, etc if it was a re-sized image inside of Word. I had to do this because I would do an Update on my document to update numbering lists/Table of Contents, and would loose some of my images.

  16. Tracey Ann Edwards
    18 February 2013 at 12:00

    I have been struggling with this and found this very very easy solution !

    Insert a picture from a Web page
    1.Open the document.
    2.From the Web page, drag the picture that you want into the Word document.

    Make sure the picture that you choose is not a link to another Web page. If you drag a picture that is linked, it will be inserted in your document as a link instead of an image.

    Insert a picture that includes a hyperlink from a Web page
    1.Open the Word document.
    2.On the Web page, right-click the picture you want, and then click Copy.
    3.In the Word document, right-click where you want to insert the picture, and then click Paste.