Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Merging Graphics into Word Documents.

Merging Graphics into Word Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 30, 2016)


The mail merge feature in Word is extremely powerful, and you can use it to easily create customized versions of documents from information in a data source (such as a Word table, an Excel worksheet, or an Access database). Normally the mail merge feature is used to merge text into a document—items such as a customer name or a part number. There may be times, however, when you want to merge a graphic into your document.

The key to merging graphics is to make sure that you don't try to merge the graphic itself, but to merge a field that "points" to the graphic file. For instance, you might have an Excel worksheet that contains a group of real estate listings. Just make sure you set up your worksheet so that it contains the file address of the graphic you want to merge. Each record in the worksheet should have a complete drive name, path, and file name (in a single column) for the graphic associated with that record. The following is an example of such a file address:


For the purposes of this discussion, let's assume that you named the column PictureLocation. When you create your merge document in Word, you can include a merge field such as this:


Notice that this is actually two fields within one. It is important to make sure that you include the quote marks, as indicated. When Word merges the document, it replaces the MERGEFIELD field with the data indicated. Thus, the example would become this:

{INCLUDEPICTURE "d:\listings\myhouses\smithhouse.jpg" \d}

The remaining INCLUDEPICTURE field is then translated by Word as a directive to include the noted picture.

It is important to remember that after you perform your merge operation in Word, it may appear that your graphic merge didn't work properly. To speed things up, Word displays the same picture for each of the INCLUDEPICTURE fields. Thus, your merged document will appear as if it contains multiple instances of the same picture. This simply occurs because Word doesn't update the INCLUDEPICTURE field for each record it merges. To force this, simply select the entire document (Ctrl+A) and press F9 or print the merged documents. (Word updates all fields prior to printing.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8305) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Merging Graphics into Word Documents.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is five more than 3?

2017-11-22 09:34:55

Gary Zeune CPA

How do I mail merge images stored online like this URL???

2017-02-21 09:47:55


this works:

2016-09-07 21:54:20

Andre @ applicious

I've done a mailmerge in Word 2016 using this format and the picture is not loaded into the document no matter what I do { INCLUDEPICTURE {IF TRUE "MERGEFIELD userEmployerLogo"} * MERGEFORMATINET d }. The field data userEmployerLogo is a web URL. I've also tried it without the IF TRUE, but still no luck. Wish there was a solution for this.

2016-08-30 11:53:49

David Eason

How does this process work in Word 2016?

2016-05-28 09:19:24

Lynne Ducharme


Please advise steps for includepicture using MS2013.

I've spent days on this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Lynne

2016-01-18 16:34:45

Connie Goss

Like Mei, I also have the same result (same picture showing for all instances) even after pressing CTRL+A and F9. I have found some articles online claiming that INCLUDEPICTURE doesn't work correctly in 2007 and above, but it even did the same thing to me when I tried converting back to a .doc format. I looked at the OnMerge add-on but it seems to rely on file naming conventions, whereas I have unique image file names stored in a spreadsheet. Any ideas for me? Thank you!

2014-12-15 20:20:18


Thanks for the Tip! However, after I did Ctrl+A and F9 to the Directory Merge I created in Word 2010, I still just see the first picture repeating when I Finish & Merge --> Edit Individual Documents. Please advise. Thank you!

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