Replacing an Image Filename with the Actual Image

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2020)

1

Steve has a document with text that indicates where an image should be placed. This text consists of the image name (such as "image01.jpg") within parentheses. He is looking for a way to automatically replace each image name with the actual image.

This cannot be done with the regular Find and Replace capabilities of Word, but it can be done using a macro. The idea would be to search through the document for the marker text (the image names) and, if one is found, grab the image name and replace the marker text with the actual image. Here's a macro that implements these steps:

Sub ReplaceImages()
    Dim sMarkerText As String
    Dim sFigName As String
    Dim sFigPath As String

    ' Change to the path to the pictures, with a trailing slash.
    sFigPath = "C:\Users\Steve\Pictures\"

    ' Change to marker text. Can include wildcards.
    sMarkerText = "(image??.jpg)"

    ' Search through document for marker text
    Selection.Find.ClearFormatting
    With Selection.Find
        .Text = sMarkerText
        .Replacement.Text = ""
        .Forward = True
        .Wrap = wdFindContinue
        .Format = True
        .MatchCase = False
        .MatchWholeWord = False
        .MatchWildcards = False
        .MatchSoundsLike = False
        .MatchAllWordForms = False
    End With
    Selection.Find.Execute
    While Selection.Find.Found
        ' Found a match, so grab name
        ' Need to adjust for parens in marker text
        sFigName = Mid(Selection, 2, Len(Selection) - 2)

        ' Delete the marker text
        Selection.Delete

        ' Insert the picture
        Selection.InlineShapes.AddPicture FileName:= _
          sFigPath & sFigName, LinkToFile:=False, _
          SaveWithDocument:=True
        Selection.Find.Execute
    Wend
End Sub

There are two things you need to modify in the macro code: the values stored in the sFigPath and sMarkerText variables. The sMarkerText contents, as shown, will match any parentheses in which the word "image" is followed by two characters (such as 01, 02, 97, or XY) and the ".jpg" extension.

The Find method of the Selection object implements an actual Find action for the very first occurrence of the marker text. If it is found, then the code in the While...Wend loop comes into play. This grabs the filename and assigns it to the sFigName variable. Then the found marker text is deleted and an inline image inserted in its place. Finally, the Selection.Find.Execute line finds the next occurrence of the marker text, if any.

The macro inserts images inline and does not do any additional processing on them.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10135) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing AutoComplete Words

AutoComplete allows you to easily complete words you are typing in your document. If AutoComplete is presenting you with ...

Discover More

Changing How Word Presents Your Document

Tired of the old black-on-white text displayed by Word? Depending on your program version, you can configure Word to show ...

Discover More

Disabling Moving Between Worksheets

If you want someone to not be able to move from one worksheet to another in a workbook, you've got your work cut out for ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Understanding the Drawing Canvas

Need to keep your drawing shapes together in one place? The drawing canvas may be exactly what you are looking for.

Discover More

Displaying Thumbnails and Full-Size Images

Sometimes images can be just too big to display in a document. Instead you may want to display a smaller, thumbnail-size ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text Around a Graphic

Place a graphic in your document, and you may want to make sure that your document text "wraps" around the edges of the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 6?

2021-03-10 14:31:45

Daniel Escobar

URGENT: I have tried to apply this macro however the wildcards "(image??.jpg)" do not work, the macro only works when I write the name of the image, e.g. "(image01.jpg)" Could you please help me with this? Thank you very much.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.