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Tip of the Week: Export Images from Word Files

This InDesign tip was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on April 4, 2019.

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Did you know that Word’s DOCX file format is a glorified ZIP file? Change the extension to ZIP, unzip it, and you’ll find all of the document’s original assets, including the images as individual files in a folder.

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More importantly,InDesign can access the original high-resolution images when you place a DOCX file, even if they’re CMYK. The older DOC format converts all images to RGB PNG files.

Bob Levine is a graphic designer and a consultant focused on providing InDesign training and guidance in developing efficient, collaborative workflows to those moving from QuarkXPress or PageMaker. An Adobe Certified Expert in both InDesign and InCopy, Bob has written articles for InDesign Magazine and is an Adobe User to User forums host. He has more than 15 years of industry experience and has been using InDesign since version 1.0. For more background, visit his website, or his blog,
  • Richard Diehl says:

    That is so cool! You learn something new every day. Thank you!

  • HillaryR says:

    Mind. Blown! This will make our Word-to-InDesign proposal files so much easier to transfer. Thank you!

  • Jon H says:

    Also works with Powerpoint files.

  • Gopa Campbell says:

    This is interesting and I was delighted to read it. For some odd reason, I found that when I tried to unzip the Word file I had relabeled as “”.zip” it gave me a new file with the prefix “.zip.cpgz” instead. So how do I open this? I tried following directions to open it through Terminal, but that doens’t work either . . .

  • Alex Ayeni says:

    I really love this..Thanks

  • Michael Lira says:

    I tried this, changed the suffix to .zip. Opening the .zip file produced a new archive, with the suffix .zip.cpgz. Not usable, I don’t think.

    Opening the .docx file in Word and using ‘Save As’ command for .htm format, creates a folder with image files as .jpeg and .gif.

    Changing it to .zip would save a step.

    Mac OSX 10.13.6
    Word Mac 2011 v.14.2.4

    • Bret Perry says:

      That is probably a macOS bug.
      It happens to me alot with other non-Word .zips

      If the Word doc (and its underlying .zip) is not corrupt, you could try “The Unarchiver” – a free zip tool that works around the .cpgz issue.

      Or search for .cpgz on Google and there are also terminal commands and a few other workarounds.

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