International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Inserting images in a document

To insert an image into a document, Word offers different possibilities:
(click on each option to see its description)

1) Inserting a non-editable image file (recommended method)

(only works with non-editable file formats, images whose lines and text cannot be modified, such as .jpg or .tif)

  • Word 2007/2010: Insert > Picture, then browse to the image file
  • Word 2003 or before: Insert > Picture > From File, then browse to the image file

2) Embedding the native file as an object (e.g. MS Office files)

(not preferred but accepted method to insert entire files like MS Visio, PowerPoint, Excel etc.)

  • All Word versions: Insert > Object > Create from file > Browse, then browse to the file containing the image

The entire file will be embedded as an object - by double-clicking on the image, the file will open in its original application (e.g. Excel, PowerPoint etc.).


However, although this method seems attractive because it is so easy to modify the image from within Word, it often creates problems because the original file is not updated at the same time, which results in diverging versions.


Moreover, as the entire file is embedded, this can greatly increase the file size of your Word document.

3) Copying-pasting

Although this is a very popular method of introducing images into a document, it is not advisable. Apart from repeatedly creating problems during the publishing process, this method can also greatly increase the file size of your Word document in an uncontrolled way.


It is preferable to export non-editable image files from the original application, allowing you to keep control of image file sizes.


IEC recommendations

Besides sending the original, native image files to the IEC separately, a copy of each image should be inserted in its correct place in the document. This allows to see the images in their context and detect possible inconsistencies.


Proceed as follows:

From within the image editing tool you are using, save the images in a non-editable format and insert them into the Word document as described in option 1 above.


Do not use the option "link to file" when you insert or embed an image. This links the Word document to the image file stored on your computer. When the file is exchanged with others, this link may cause problems. For the same reason, do no use Word's {IncludePicture} field.


Positioning the image in relation to the text

To facilitate layout work, we recommend using a table, placing the different figure elements (image, caption, key...) into different cells.


If you place images directly within the text, however, please ensure that the text wrapping option for the image is In Line with Text. To set this as the default option for inserting images:

  • Word 2007/2010: click the MS Office button / the File tab, then select (Word) Options > Advanced. Under Cut, copy and paste, select Insert/paste pictures as: In line with text.

  • Word 2003 or before: Tools > Options; in the Edit tab, select Insert/paste pictures as: In line with text.

paste inline Word 2003


To set the text wrapping option for individual images, select the image, then go to

  • Word 2007/2010: Picture Tools - Format > Wrap Text > In line with text

wrap text in Word

  • Word 2003 or before: Format > Picture > Layout > In line with text

wrap text Word 2003


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