Embedding images in OpenOffice text documents

Whenever I copy and paste some content (text with images) from a web page into a OpenOffice text file (.odt), I notice that the OpenOffice writer application doesn’t respond for few seconds. I understand that it takes time to fetch/load/render the images that are part of the copied content in the document and it’s the same with other office applications like MS Word.

But what I find really frustrating is that having done so (copy+paste+save), it still tries to access the images online everytime I scroll through the document. As a result of which the OpenOffice writer application becomes slow and does not respond for few seconds. Moreover, the images don’t get displayed and I get a “Read-Error”, if I open the document when I’m not connected to the Internet.

The problem in the above case is that OpenOffice stores only the “link” to the online image and not the image itself. So everytime you open the document, the text content gets loaded and the application tries to access the image resource online.

(Select an image, right-click and select Picture to see the link details.)

Now, this is bound to put off any avid MS Word user as the behaviour they are used to is that images get embedded as part of the document itself.

Well after hours of tweaking here and there, I found out that OpenOffice actually allows both linking as well as embedding images in a text document, the former being the default behaviour. So, if you have a document that works with images as links to online resources and you would like to embed them instead, just do the following:

(Go to the menubar and select Edit -> Links)
The “Edit Links” Dialog gets displayed that shows all the links (mostly images/graphics) in the current document.

Now select the links to the images you want to embed and click the “Break Link” button.

To check if the images are embedded parts of the document and not links.
(Select an image, right-click and select Picture)


21 comments so far

  1. Bradley Perron on

    thank you for your efforts to post this, very helpful

  2. Sjoerd on

    Oke tnx. but is it also possible to embed by default? I like to drag and drop pictures from a folder right away.
    MS has the option to compress pictures in a document. So if you insert a 10MP picture and resize is to 2x2cm it wont take 6MB anymore. Ofcourese you cant blow it op again later. but hey it is just for school.

  3. Willem van Engen on

    This seems to be different in OpenOffice.org version 2.4. The graphics option in an image’s context-menu doesn’t exist anymore. Instead, active menu item Edit->Links, and break the links you want to include in the document.

  4. Brian Egge on

    Thanks for this hint. I couldn’t find this is the documentation anywhere. I’d really like to have it embed by default, as not embedding is a problem when you email documents. I think Word by default embeds, but keeps a link to the original image in case you want to update it.

  5. steven on

    ever since i downloaded opwnoffice, whenever 1 send a document to my friends, they say that they’re unable to open it. it’s frustrating. i don’t want them to have to go through unecessary clicks and openings. help me please.

  6. Darcy on

    Thank you VERY MUCH!
    Very helpful documentation.

  7. tdcrooks on

    Very good. Thanks!

  8. Adrian on

    Very helpful, thanks !

  9. Carbonara on

    Thank you very, very much for this tip.
    This is really VERY helpful. I have to send a lot of documents to people using MS-Word and it drove me mad not to be able to embed the pictures.

  10. Paolo on

    Thank you very much, it was exactly what I needed.

  11. brasno on

    In my case I imported html document with images. This solved described problem with images in document on another machine.
    BTW, in M$ Word, I wrote VB script to embed images (few years ago. it might be solved in recent version 😀 ).

  12. asymmetric on

    Thank you! You helped me very much.

  13. Xiang on

    I followed your steps and pasted some text and math formulas(png) from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurrence_relation.
    But there is a question, after I break all links, the images’ size is not I need.
    For every images embed, I need an extra step to resize it to the original. (right click –> picture–>Crop–>original size).

  14. Francis B on

    Thank you so much for your help. My girlfriend and I have been preparing a "powerpoint" presentation for hours now and completely lost. Thanks for saving our grades.

  15. esetiawan on

    Thanks a lot for your help. It is really frustating if we’re gonna copy and pasting from web on OpenOffice.Org

  16. Jeremy on

    Great tip – thanks!

  17. TiredNSleepy on

    Thank you!

  18. w on


  19. greg on

    That was a precious one!
    I had a 745 pages document pasted from html, with some some hundred pictures.

  20. ChrisMc on

    Now I can sleep! Thanks!

  21. Piotrek on

    Thank you! I was looking for this "Edit -> Links" for a long time.

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