Mac Applications forum


Big Problem: Images changed into boxes & question marks


Images inserted in presentations and docs both in Keynote and Pages are replaced by boxes with question marks.
Have tried reinstalling, throwing away plist etc Most files ( 3 years of work, a book in progress ) seem corrupted.
The files show same error in my other macs.

Thanks very much in advance for suggestions.


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All Answers

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Re: big problem

In reply to: Big Problem: Images changed into boxes & question marks

Two questions:
1. Are the images themselves included into the presentations and docs or do those documents only contain links to where-ever they were (another file on the internet or on your hard disk)? Usually, in MS Word at least, it's best (performancewise) to use 'Insert as link'.
2. What's your latest good backup? It makes a lot of sense to backup such a 3 years of work every month or so to CD/DVD or every week to iCloud or Dropbox (and to USB-stick every day).


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Big Problem - Boxes & questions marks

In reply to: Re: big problem

Hi Kees,Tks for attention.I drag picts directly from my desktop or other folders containing picts. Since always worked perfectly did not think about linking or anything. The error according to early links in Forums relate the loss to copying the files to other drives. I backed up to other drives. All kaput now. So weird. Rgds.

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Re: boxes

In reply to: Big Problem - Boxes & questions marks

If moving those pics to another drive causes that boxes and question marks, that can only mean that the pictures aren't included in the documents, but that it are links. Then moving them back to their original location should do the trick. Why not try with a few?


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boxes & question marks

In reply to: Re: boxes

It is not the picts i move to other drives, it is Keynote presentations or pages docs which i do and these contain (are supposed to contain) images. It worked flawlessly since 2006. But the error does not only show in
the files in the external drives. It is on my 2011 big iMac where the terror happens. How can the act of copying files to a drive possibly corrupt or confuse the original file?


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Re: pics

In reply to: boxes & question marks

It can't. So it must be something else.

It's easy to see if the docs contain images. Docs with images are much larger (in bytes) then docs with links to images. Only you can see how big your file is. If it contains all images, it must be bigger than all those image taken together. If it's just text and links it will be much smaller than that.

Anyway, IF the documents are corrupted by some other reason, replace them by your last backup of a good version. That's why you backup.


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One of the easiest ways around this problem

In reply to: Big Problem - Boxes & questions marks

is to create a folder and put all the pictures AND the Keynote file inside it.
Now Keynote knows exactly where they are and, should you want to take the presentation to another computer, taking the whole folder means that you have everything you need, right where it should be.

Alternatively, if this presentation is only going to be used on your own computer, re-link the pictures to the new location on the "other drives"


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It's not a presentation, ...

In reply to: One of the easiest ways around this problem

it's a book he already has been working 3 years on.

So assuming he wants to get it published when it's finished in another 3 years, he will have the same difficulties as he has now when he wants to bring the finished product to the publisher. It's good he found it out now, so - after correcting this minor issue - he can do the other half the right way immediately.
Thinking you lost 6 years of work must be twice as maddening as thinking you lost 3 years.


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Strange, that is what he said in his original post

In reply to: It's not a presentation, ...

"Images inserted in presentations and docs"
Whether it be a Pages document or a Keynote presentation, if he keeps all the images inside the folder containing the documents and presentation, his problem is solved.


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Boxes & Question marks

In reply to: Strange, that is what he said in his original post

Thanks for input.

It will be very difficult to trace all the images i ever used and place it in a folder and the presentation.
And the thing is: every iwork user must do that? It worked perfectly before.
I would take the file to another mac having iwork installed and it would function perfectly.
For many years.

Why it happens all of a sudden without having changed system or mac, a 2011 imac which is regularly
kept well with diskwarrior & onyx? Clean and proper in all respects?

Something has gone wrong and i should like to correct it. There must be somewhere a cause and a way out of it.

Thanks again.

Kind regards

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OK, I'm stumped,

In reply to: Boxes & Question marks

If this ran perfectly before and you have not made any changes to the machine and/or iWork, then it has to be something that you are doing slightly differently.
I just created a small presentation, with pictures, and moved the file to an external drive.
Played just fine when I opened it.



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Boxes & Questions Marks

In reply to: OK, I'm stumped,

Thanks but the key is precisely to find what is that slightly difference.
You making successfuly a file and moving it does not solve my problem but i congratulate you for being able to do that. I did not say you had a problem. I have.
Anyway Apples's iwork team noticed my problem and are working with it..
Am pleased about it.

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I was merely commenting on the fact that

In reply to: Boxes & Questions Marks

moving the presentation without moving the images, did not cause a problem, which is why I started my post off with "OK, I'm stumped"

There really was no need for the sarcastic comment.

I'm sure the contributors here would like to know what the final solution is.


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any luck?

In reply to: Boxes & Questions Marks

i am having this problem now.
did apple find a solution for you?

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One possible solution

In reply to: any luck?

Most of my keynote presentations have suffered this problem. I back up all my files to Google Drive and I suspect the issue is caused by the backing up and the files being saved as a "package" rather than a single file. Apples warns that if you use something other than iCloud, package files can be a problem. So I've just saved my presentations as single files (File -> Advanced -> Change File Type -> Single File) and I'll see if that works.

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In reply to: One possible solution

lduqueno didn't mention Google at all. I wonder if omitting details like this matter.

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In reply to: One possible solution

Thank for good advice! It's really helped me to deal with the problem!

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It's a Bug!

In reply to: Big Problem: Images changed into boxes & question marks

Hi Hduqueno, I feel for you because I know the problem (but unfortunately not the fix). All of the answers to your post are way off the mark too, which is frustrating.

Pages files become corrupted, and lose all their embedded images. It's a nasty bug, and has something to do with external volumes/network volumes and file permissions. Hopefully Apple will fix it.

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In reply to: Big Problem: Images changed into boxes & question marks

Go to File > Revert To > Browse All Versions

And pull up the latest version with your images in it.

I had the same problem, I called apple support and that's what they had to offer.

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