Office & Productivity Software forum

General discussion

pictures disappear in WORD 2003

by m61376 / December 1, 2004 6:38 AM PST

Just bought a Dell XPS system with the Radeon x800xt 256 video card. If I open a WORD document (using Office 2003) some pictures may appear briefly, then disappear with scrolling. They are generally visible in print preview, and the graphics print ok. If I click on where the graphics should be, I generally get a graphics box, but generally no image. I made sure view drawings was checked in WORD tools and picture placeholder unchecked. Doing a google search, it appears other people are having the problem with XP SP2 operating system. I found 2 suggestions- one was to turn Direct X off (don't know how to do that though...and it doesn't seem to be a great solution) and the other was to update video drivers- but since this is a brand new system, I assume it has the latest drivers. Or- is something wrong with the computer and should I return the unit? Is there some incompatibility issue with the video card and the operating system?

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Re: pictures disappear in WORD 2003
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 1, 2004 9:40 AM PST

I'd call Dell, but Office 2003 on XP Pro with SP2 performs fine at the office. Right now, people are slamming SP2 as the source of all problems.

I wish this was true.


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Same Problem with Disappear when Scrolling!!!!???
by mbohun / December 17, 2004 7:52 AM PST

Just discovered the same problem with my new Dell XPS Ge 3 system running Office 2003. I've sent a message to Microsoft to see if they have any ideas...I will also send to Dell as well. I'll keep you informed...sounds like it may be an issue with the video card/software rather than Office itself. I'm running Office 2003 on a Dell 8200 with no issues. Its only my new system I recieved several weeks ago.


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Works Fine in WordPerfect!!!
by mbohun / December 17, 2004 8:04 AM PST

I also have WordPerfect installed on my Dell XPS...Just imported a JPEG picture and the picture DOES NOT disappear when scrolling like it does with Microsoft WORD 2003 with my Dell XPS system. So their appears to be a incompatibility between WORD and the XPS video card system. We may need to get Dell involved to see if a video card swap is necessary to correct this problem. Or its a bug in WORD and then Microsoft needs to fix??


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ONE More Finding!!!
by mbohun / December 17, 2004 8:17 AM PST

WordPerfect has the ability to save files in WORD format. So I pasted a JPEG picture into WordPerfect and then saved in WORD format. I then opened WORD 2003 and had no problems with picture disappearing!!! Thus it appears that Microsoft Word 2003 has a bug and incompatibility with some system configurations...(i.e., DELL XPS Gen3 or greater with ATI video cards???).


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And Another Finding!!!
by mbohun / December 17, 2004 9:16 AM PST

I loaded Word 2002 on my Dell XPS system and got the same behavior as Word the problem must be related to the hardware/software set-up on the NEW Dell XPS systems (Gen 3 and above).


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Found the FIX!!!
by mbohun / December 18, 2004 4:56 AM PST

Its a software acceleration issue. To correct the disappearing pictures when scrolling....perform the following:

Go to Start
control Panel
Appearance & Themes
Display Properties
Advanced Button
Plug & Play Monitour & Radeon X800 XT Properties
Troubleshoot Tab

Move the slider until you read " Disable all Direct Draw & Direct 3D Acceleratiions..."

This fixed my problem with disappearing pictures & Microsoft Word 2003!!!

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I had seen that, but...
by m61376 / December 18, 2004 9:16 PM PST
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!

I saw that suggestion as a response to my post in the Dell forum, but of course that disables some of the high end features of the video card. I was hoping there was some other way around this other than either deaccelerating the video card permanently or readjusting the setting when I want to use graphics in Word.

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by mbohun / December 19, 2004 1:19 AM PST

I've got messages out to both ATI and Microsoft...waiting for a response.


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good idea...
by m61376 / December 19, 2004 5:35 PM PST
In reply to: Right...

Let me know when you get a response. Calling Dell was worthless (the tech even researched it and emailed me back several days later, but had no solution other than to search the Internet for a solution :-(). Hope you have better luck with your avenues than I have had.

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by shylaugh / January 6, 2005 7:32 AM PST
In reply to: good idea...

I pasted a JPEG picture in word and had the same problem of disapearing. I called Dell and have been on the phone for 2 1/2 hours with no help at all. Couldn't understand them, disconnected and my computer is only 23 days old. After 21 days old they want to charge you for software problems. Any information will be helpful.

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Two solutions noted in this discussion.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 6, 2005 7:38 AM PST
In reply to: word

You may find it rude, but do tell if you tried them.


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Thank You
by shylaugh / January 6, 2005 11:52 AM PST

after being on the phone for a total of 4 hrs. I did what mbohum posted on 12/18 and it WORKED. At first I didn't know what the slider was about but once I figured out how to do it everything is working. THANK YOU. Help is hard to find with Dell.

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This to Mbohum
by shylaugh / January 6, 2005 12:23 PM PST
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!

How did you ever figure out the fix. You have no idea how much I went through and you gave me the answer. NO ONE knew what to do. Microsoft sent me to Dell and Dell wanted to charge. Their Teck support is bad at least that has been my experience so far with any problems and my computer is not even 30 days old.

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"the FIX" is a workaround but some alterations might help
by jenhar / January 6, 2005 1:43 PM PST
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!

For whatever reason I was unable to follow the list of instructions because the tabs or choices weren't there on my screens.
Here's another way.

Right click on the desktop
Choose ?properties?
Click on the ?Settings? tab
Click on the Advanced tab
Click on the Troubleshoot tab
Then you can move the slider all the way to the left to disable the acceleration.
I am also experiencing this problem and DELL support tried valiantly to help. Like you all I had disappearing text boxes, WordArt and graphics. Files would print out fine, but it was impossible to work on the computer with these elements. I have a Dell Dimension XPS Gen 3. It has the RADEONX800 XT video card. Here's the recounting of my situation. Thank goodness for this CNET site and all of you recounting your situations.

Called DELL tech support. (3rd time -- before was shunted off to software fixing... they didn't get that it was a hardware problem until I got wise.

Before disabling the high end aspects of my video card with the ?Disable all Direct Draw & Direct 3D Acceleratiions? , I wanted to try all the alternatives and then have DELL walk me thru the ones I wasn?t certain about. We did. Everything was already updated in OFFICE, in WINDOWS etc. My direct X drivers were already the latest. But the DELL guy had me download the updated Dell driver for the RADEON X800 XT from which I did. It didn?t help. Then we went to the ATI site and downloaded their updated driver. It didn?t help. DELL guy was stymied. He checked and found there were others that were in my similar situation that Dell was aware of. Then ? I went on to my husband's new computer in the next room that I am networked with and opened the same file that was giving me problems on my computer. I DIDN?T have the problem on his computer. So, it definitely wasn?t corruption or virus but there is some incompatibility. DELL then walked me thru the ?Disable all Direct Draw & Direct 3D Acceleratiions? suggestions that you made. I couldn?t follow your directions because the tabs and choices weren?t the same on my computer. But we figured it out together. As you know, it?s just a ?workaround? but IT WORKED! I wouldn?t want to leave it there because when I start the video editing portion I want all my capabilities!

The DELL Guy (Matthew ? very helpful) said he?d do further research and call me back. Meanwhile I have a case # so if THEY don?t call back, I can call them. I guess the final fix is to have them changeout the videocard for one that would work with this system.

Ho hum...... another lifetime spent on computer fixes instead of actually working......

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by shylaugh / January 6, 2005 10:52 PM PST

Jenhar, I could sure use your help. Could you give me your case # so Dell knows what I am talking about. You had far better luck than I did. I found out how to fix the problem here but if it is only a temp fix then I would like to call them with your case # so they know I am not nuts and send me all over. It was a nightmare. If not for here I probably would have tosed this computer out the door.

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Please keep us posted
by m61376 / January 7, 2005 9:44 PM PST

Jenhar- Glad you seem to have gotten a little further will Dell than I did. When my tech called me backed, he was stymied. He had queried other techs and no one seemed to have heard of this. I did post this issue on several boards, so maybe their awareness is increasing. From a google search, it seems that it is more an issue of the Direct X than this video card, but I don't know- you would think that Microsoft Office features would be compatible with a Microsoft operating system's features! My computer had the latest Dell drivers on it; I was thinking about trying ATI's, but now I won't bother. Anyway, when you hear back, please keep us posted. Thanks!

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Picture display problems


Having struggled with the same problem for ages I eventually found this forum and applies your solution, which works fine. Thank you very much.

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Registry Fix?
by brown14784 / February 8, 2005 3:25 AM PST
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!

Have you found a registry fix. We have many worstations in different locations and want to automatically update using group policies.


Richard Brown

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Thank You
by atryon / October 3, 2006 6:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!

I used the instructions you posted on "found the Fix" 12/18/2004.

this worked!! Thank you very much!!!

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Thanks! It worked!
by jzaskoda / October 31, 2006 1:08 AM PST
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!

We have new Dells in our college community and we have been having the issue of the disappearing pictures. You suggestion work!

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This didn't work for me
by byerssha / November 17, 2006 8:39 PM PST
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!

It caused the blue screen of death and I still lose my pictures in Excel and Word.

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It is Sept 2007 and your fix worked!
by pipsqueak4x / September 6, 2007 8:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Found the FIX!!!


It is Sept 2007 and your fix from 12/19/2004 worked!I have been searching desperately on how to fix this problem (of MS word not displaying images)in my Toshiba Satellite. I followed your steps, and like magic, it worked! Thank you for sharing your experience!



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same problem i think its the problem of office
by Ramchandra / December 22, 2004 3:36 AM PST

i dont think any other problem for that except about office itself.

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For me, it wasnt' Office 2003.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2004 3:39 AM PST

It was simply outdated video drivers. It's sad that Dell didn't walk the owner through this.


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same problem
by shylaugh / January 6, 2005 5:38 AM PST

I just bought a Dell Dimension 4700 and I am having the same problem in word. Don't want to call Dell because their answer is always to wipe out your hard drive. It is driving me crazy and I am not as savey as you all seem to be.

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Same problem 2
by tezza72uk / January 13, 2005 1:40 AM PST
In reply to: same problem

I also have a Dell Dimension 4700 and have the same problem. To save you the trouble I have upgraded the graphic driver, the bios, and reloaded Office. None of these suggested fixes work! The only way around it at the moment is to reduce the hardware acceleration. To do this right click on your desktop, select properties, then settings tab, avanced button, and next troubleshoot. You will now see a slider next to hardware acceleration. If you slide this down to the third setting from the left and apply and OK, this will cure the missing pictures. Hope this helps!

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solution is:
by procareh2o / January 13, 2005 7:25 PM PST

be certain the the "Picture placeholders" is NOT checked in the options menu.

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by m61376 / January 13, 2005 9:22 PM PST
In reply to: solution is:

mine was never checked, so it is not the solution.

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Fixed!! but nothing to do with Dell or video card settings
by dugz / July 16, 2005 10:43 PM PDT
In reply to: solution is:

Had the same problem with a computer built around a MSI motherboard with Intel onboard video.

Had to enable then disable (in Word) "Picture placeholders" in - tools - options - view - show.......... to get it to "stick"

thanks to procareh2o


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by m61376 / July 17, 2005 1:18 AM PDT

How did you ever figure that out? Mine was disabled by default- but I tried enabling it and then disabling it again and so far at least, it works! I am impressed- THANKS!!!!

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