If you’ve ever had to extract an image from a Microsoft Word document, you’ll know that it can be difficult to obtain the original, full-resolution image. Unfortunately, the most common technique (copying and pasting) often results in a grainy, low-resolution image.

If you want to know how to extract multiple images from a Word document, read my article How to extract multiple images from a Microsoft Word document.

Here are my two favourite methods to extract a single image from a Word document:

  • Method 1: Save as Picture
  • Method 2: Screen grab and edit
  • Method 2: Screen grab and edit (older versions of Windows)

One word of caution: these methods won’t let you extract images that are higher resolution than the ones you originally pasted into Microsoft Word.

Method 1: Save as Picture

This is my preferred method of extracting an image from Microsoft Word, as it leaves you with the original, full-resolution image.

Step 1: Open the document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Select the image by clicking on it with your mouse. Right-click and select Save as Picture from the menu.

Step 3: In the Save As dialogue box, browse to the location you want to save your image, type in a filename and click the Save button.

Step 4: Navigate to the folder you saved the image in.

Step 5: Open the image in your favourite image editing program (e.g. Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, etc.), and edit it at your leisure. It really couldn’t be simpler.

Method 2: Screen grab and edit

I sometimes use this option if I’m lazy, and / or don’t require the original resolution of the image. Beware that this method won’t give you the original, full-resolution image!

Step 1: Open the document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Zoom in or out on the image in your Word document until you reach the desired size.

Step 3: Press the Print Screen (PrtSc) button on your keyboard. This will launch the Snipping Tool, which you’ll use to capture and edit your image.

Step 4: When the Snipping Tool opens, select New > Rectangular Snip.

Step 5: Click and hold the left mouse button to draw a rectangle around the portion of the picture you require.

Step 6: When you release the mouse button, the portion of the image you selected will open in the Snipping Tool image editor (a simple picture editing program, similar to Microsoft Paint).

Step 7: Edit or save the image as required.

Method 2: Screen grab and edit (older versions of Windows)

If you’re running an older version of Windows, you probably won’t have the Snipping Tool. Don’t despair; it’s still possible to capture an image on the page using the Print Screen button and Microsoft Paint.

Step 1: Open the document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Zoom in or out on the image in your Word document until you reach the desired size.

Step 3: Press the Print Screen (PrtSc) button on your keyboard. Although nothing will seem to happen, pressing Print Screen will capture a screenshot of whatever is on your monitor and copy it to your clipboard.

Step 4: Open Microsoft Paint (or your favourite image editing program) and click the Paste button. This will dump the contents of your clipboard (i.e. the screenshot) into Microsoft Paint for editing.

Step 5: Use Microsoft Paint to crop, resize, edit and save the image as required.