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Quality problems with broken links in Office 2010 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Okay, so here is the problem I am having. I work as an Environmental Consultant and as part of my job I create a lot of reports. I have recently tried automating the generation of these reports by building a template. This involves a lot of copy and paste special from an Excel spreadsheet. Currently at work we use Office 2007 and that has caused no end of grief in relation to the links breaking when moving the document around between different folders (for each new project basically).

    So I am currently testing Office 2010 on my home PC and the updating of links does actually occur automatically! It's amazing. I was so excited when I found out that this worked. There is however one hurdle I still need to overcome. 

    In Word 2010, once the link has broken and then repaired itself, the shading of graphs is kind of weird. 

    This is what I mean:

    At the top is a "fresh" paste special from our Excel spreadsheet and at the bottom is a link that is still working, but I changed the name of the folder that both the Excel spreadsheet and Word document reside in while the applications were closed. On re-opening the document Word 2010 automatically pics up that the folder has moved or been renamed and updates the links. However somewhere along the way something gets lost.

    Is there some way to completely "re-generate" the links in a word document automatically to loose any bad info they might have attached to them? Or could Microsoft potentially fix this issue so that it just works out of the box?

    I hope the way I have explained it makes sense.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 4:27 AM

Answers

  • The border on the top and left of the top left hand image is definitely a sign of the compression coming into play.  Another way of preventing that is to save the document in Word 97-2003 format, so give that a try.

    -- Hope this helps.

    Please reply to the newsgroup unless you wish to avail yourself of my
    services on a paid consulting basis.

    Doug Robbins - Word MVP, Posted via the NNTP Bridge

    "Mansn" wrote in message news:6c03d297-d289-45a7-8a18-b4c61e41efef@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Thanks for your reply Doug,

    I tried that, but unfortunately it does not work. The thing is that the link updates, but for some reason I think that the item is transformed from a "Microsoft Office Chart Object" into a "Picture (Windows Metafile)" when the link breaks. I want to be able to reformat the link into a "Microsoft Office Chart Object".

    As you can see in the following image both of the charts update instantly (they are both linked). One is however crappy quality, the other looks fine.


    Doug Robbins - Word MVP dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    • Marked as answer by Jennifer Zhan Wednesday, June 16, 2010 1:34 AM
    Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:36 AM

All replies

  • The degradation of the image may be caused by the image being compressed upon saving the document.  In Word 2010, click on the File tab and then on Options and then on Advanced and go to the Image Size and Quality section of the dialog and use the pulldown and select All New Documents and then check the box for Do not compress images in file.

    You would have to check the result on a new file after making that change, or in that dialog, select the active document from the pulldown and (you may then need to check the box again) and re-create the link so as the get an image that has not been compressed.

    -- Hope this helps.

    Please reply to the newsgroup unless you wish to avail yourself of my
    services on a paid consulting basis.

    Doug Robbins - Word MVP, Posted via the NNTP Bridge

    "Mansn" wrote in message news:5b6034a8-d23e-42f9-a93e-8be2a6859ddb@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Okay, so here is the problem I am having. I work as an Environmental Consultant and as part of my job I create a lot of reports. I have recently tried automating the generation of these reports by building a template. This involves a lot of copy and paste special from an Excel spreadsheet. Currently at work we use Office 2007 and that has caused no end of grief in relation to the links breaking when moving the document around between different folders (for each new project basically).

    So I am currently testing Office 2010 on my home PC and the updating of links does actually occur automatically! It's amazing. I was so excited when I found out that this worked. There is however one hurdle I still need to overcome.

    In Word 2010, once the link has broken and then repaired itself, the shading of graphs is kind of weird.

    This is what I mean:

    At the top is a "fresh" paste special from our Excel spreadsheet and at the bottom is a link that is still working, but I changed the name of the folder that both the Excel spreadsheet and Word document reside in while the applications were closed. On re-opening the document Word 2010 automatically pics up that the folder has moved or been renamed and updates the links. However somewhere along the way something gets lost.

    Is there some way to completely "re-generate" the links in a word document automatically to loose any bad info they might have attached to them? Or could Microsoft potentially fix this issue so that it just works out of the box?

    I hope the way I have explained it makes sense.


    Doug Robbins - Word MVP dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Saturday, June 12, 2010 7:27 AM
  • Thanks for your reply Doug,

    I tried that, but unfortunately it does not work. The thing is that the link updates, but for some reason I think that the item is transformed from a "Microsoft Office Chart Object" into a "Picture (Windows Metafile)" when the link breaks. I want to be able to reformat the link into a "Microsoft Office Chart Object". 

    As you can see in the following image both of the charts update instantly (they are both linked). One is however crappy quality, the other looks fine. 

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 9:03 AM
  • In Office 2007 & 2010 when you paste a chart from Excel to Word you get an embedded chart object by default. This will adapt its layout to the page/container size but it can't be saved in the old Word 97-2003 format. (Previous versions would paste a picture by default.)

    If you use Paste Special to paste the chart as a WMF or EMF image then you see exactly the problem you have encountered. The WMF or EMF image cannot show the shading properly.

    I do not think there is any way to recreate the chart object from the WMF or EMF object. The only way is to paste the chart again from its source and if the link is broken you cannot automatically get back to the source, you would have to find it manually.

    Instead of linking, could you consider embedding the Excel workbook in the Word document?


    Simon Jones http://pcpro.co.uk
    Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:11 AM
  • Okay:

     

    Go to Excel document. Left click on chart. Ctrl+C. Go to word document. In home tab click the paste special menu item. Select "Paste Link". There are 4 options. These are "Microsoft Excel Chart Object", "Picture (Windows Metafile)", "Bitmap" & "Microsoft Office Graphic Object". THe last two do not work. I select "Microsoft Chart Object". It's all great. I can also paste as "Picture (Windows Metafile)" and then it looks all screwed up (as in the above images).

    To recreate the error so that Word turns the "Microsoft Excel Chart Object" into a "Picture (Windows Metafile)" simply rename the folder in which both the Excel and Word file are located. Hey presto all the charts in your word document look screwed up. 

     

    EDIT: I am using both docx and xlsx files.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:22 AM
  • The border on the top and left of the top left hand image is definitely a sign of the compression coming into play.  Another way of preventing that is to save the document in Word 97-2003 format, so give that a try.

    -- Hope this helps.

    Please reply to the newsgroup unless you wish to avail yourself of my
    services on a paid consulting basis.

    Doug Robbins - Word MVP, Posted via the NNTP Bridge

    "Mansn" wrote in message news:6c03d297-d289-45a7-8a18-b4c61e41efef@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Thanks for your reply Doug,

    I tried that, but unfortunately it does not work. The thing is that the link updates, but for some reason I think that the item is transformed from a "Microsoft Office Chart Object" into a "Picture (Windows Metafile)" when the link breaks. I want to be able to reformat the link into a "Microsoft Office Chart Object".

    As you can see in the following image both of the charts update instantly (they are both linked). One is however crappy quality, the other looks fine.


    Doug Robbins - Word MVP dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    • Marked as answer by Jennifer Zhan Wednesday, June 16, 2010 1:34 AM
    Saturday, June 12, 2010 10:36 AM
  • Exactly what process are you following that results in the degraded image. I want to try and replicate the problem.

    -- Hope this helps.

    Please reply to the newsgroup unless you wish to avail yourself of my
    services on a paid consulting basis.

    Doug Robbins - Word MVP, Posted via the NNTP Bridge

    "Mansn" wrote in message news:6c03d297-d289-45a7-8a18-b4c61e41efef@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    Thanks for your reply Doug,

    I tried that, but unfortunately it does not work. The thing is that the link updates, but for some reason I think that the item is transformed from a "Microsoft Office Chart Object" into a "Picture (Windows Metafile)" when the link breaks. I want to be able to reformat the link into a "Microsoft Office Chart Object".

    As you can see in the following image both of the charts update instantly (they are both linked). One is however crappy quality, the other looks fine.


    Doug Robbins - Word MVP dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Saturday, June 12, 2010 11:32 AM
  • My apologies, I wanted to reply to this, but I was on holiday with no internet. 

     

    To recreate the problem follow these steps:

    Create an xlsx document in Excel 2010. Create a docx in Word 2010. Save both files to the same folder. 

    Create a chart in the excel document as shown in my above posts. Copy and paste the chart into the word document by using "special paste", "link" and select "Microsoft Excel Chart Object". 

    Save both files and close them. Rename the folder. Open the word document and allow an update. 

    Note that the links still update, but the quality is reduced. 

    Monday, June 21, 2010 9:54 AM
  • OK, I can reproduce the issue, but unfortunately have not solution for it.

    -- Hope this helps.

    Doug Robbins - Word MVP,
    dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Posted via the Community Bridge

    "Mansn" wrote in message news:cb89905d-73f0-43c4-84aa-f2fc3966eb1d@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    My apologies, I wanted to reply to this, but I was on holiday with no internet.

    To recreate the problem follow these steps:

    Create an xlsx document in Excel 2010. Create a docx in Word 2010. Save both files to the same folder.

    Create a chart in the excel document as shown in my above posts. Copy and paste the chart into the word document by using "special paste", "link" and select "Microsoft Excel Chart Object".

    Save both files and close them. Rename the folder. Open the word document and allow an update.

    Note that the links still update, but the quality is reduced.


    Doug Robbins - Word MVP dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8:40 AM
  • Is there some way of reporting this directly to Microsoft? This is basically a bug in Office in my opinion. MS have managed to auto-fix the links when moving documents around or renaming folders, but have not quite got it right. If MS were to fix this our company would most probably invest in an upgrade to Office 2010 as this would make our lives as consultants a whole load easier in the automatic generation of reports for a varying range of clients. 
    Tuesday, June 22, 2010 2:33 PM
  • I have escalated it in an area where it may be picked up by the Word product group.

    -- Hope this helps.

    Doug Robbins - Word MVP,
    dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Posted via the Community Bridge

    "Mansn" wrote in message news:cb89905d-73f0-43c4-84aa-f2fc3966eb1d@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    My apologies, I wanted to reply to this, but I was on holiday with no internet.

    To recreate the problem follow these steps:

    Create an xlsx document in Excel 2010. Create a docx in Word 2010. Save both files to the same folder.

    Create a chart in the excel document as shown in my above posts. Copy and paste the chart into the word document by using "special paste", "link" and select "Microsoft Excel Chart Object".

    Save both files and close them. Rename the folder. Open the word document and allow an update.

    Note that the links still update, but the quality is reduced.


    Doug Robbins - Word MVP dkr[atsymbol]mvps[dot]org
    Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:00 PM
  • Thanks very much Doug - I really appreciate that :-)
    Thursday, June 24, 2010 10:44 AM
  •  

    Any updates, workarounds, or fixes on this?  

    I have been struggling with this same issue for about 2 weeks.  This capability was to be a key part of a new solution.  We have investigated a variety of workarounds, but none are good enough yet.

    We use VBA to update the link source when the file location changes.  After the update, the quality of the images (charts) become unacceptable.  If the Word doc is in compatibility mode (.doc), the issue is more predictible, but not solved.  But with .doc, there are also disadvantages (e.g. 10x file sizes).

    In looking at the XML (change .docx to .zip), it appears that perhaps the image is being changed from a "EnhancedMetaFile" to a "Picture".  If so, is there a way to control this?

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2:03 AM
  • It sounds like you are trying to insert links using relative paths in Word 2010, as you may have previously done in Word 2003 by using the insert link feature.

    It also sounds like, in 2010, you discovered that your links were broken and may reflect an absolute path. Is that correct?

    If you check on the link **You can confirm that the path is not relative by going to Office Button : Prepare | Edit Links in File

    If you are seeing a Red X with a message probably like:
    The linked image cannot be displayed. The file may have been moved, renamed, or deleted.
    Verify that the link points to the correct file and location.

    If I have understood your issue correctly, I think there are a few workarounds to the issue that may be beneficial:

    1)Save the files, (both Word and Excel) in the folder first before linking them. Move the entire folder to a new location.

    2) Use the DOC format: Using the DOC format in Word 2010 will allow you to have the same functionality that you had previously in Word 2003. When the document is saved in the DOC format first, anytime you add links to pictures, the links will be relative. If the document was not saved before inserting the picture links, the picture links will use absolute paths. This is how Word 2003 handled the picture links too.

    3) Scripting a solution with DOCX files: Another way to work around this issue is to create scripts that can update the links to pictures in your documents. DOCX allows for greater flexibility for scripting with since it uses XML for the file format. You can add the.zip extension to a DOCX file and be able to look at the structure of the document. Links are stored in the document.xml file within the Word folder. This is something that would require custom scripting / code to achieve but wanted to let you know of this option.

    4) Word 2010 with DOCX files: Word 2010 does not correct the problem of picture links being relative from the user interface however, Word 2010 will not convert relative links to absolute links like Word 2007 does.

    Related Information:

    Error message when you try to enable an Excel OLE object in a Word 2007 document: "This object is corrupt or is no longer available"
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961244/

    Thanks,

    Susan

    Microsoft Community Support

    Friday, April 1, 2011 5:28 PM
    Answerer
  • Thank you Susan for your detailed response.

    In my case, the linked Word document (doc or docx) is embedded in Excel (xlsm).  I no longer have an issue with broken links:  we use VBA to reset the link paths when the Word files are opened. 

    The problem that we still have is that the quality of the linked images in Word (the report of the Excel model) becomes unacceptably poor.  Most of our graph/chart images look much worse than the screenshots above.  The more 3D-ish or shadow effects, the worse it looks.  In my case, I must use Excel 2007/2010 xlsm, but I can use .doc or .docx.

    The embedding and linking of Word reports into Excel models seems like it would be a very common thing for people to want to do, but I don't see many other people complaining about this issue.  I have done a lot of experimenting with OS/Office versions, methods, etc. and cannot really find a predictable way of avoiding the degradation of the linked images when the documents are moved.


    Andrew Hall
    Friday, April 1, 2011 7:44 PM
  • Hi Andrew,

     

    I am part of a small firm  having this same issue and was wondering if you could possibly upload the code you used for VBA for resetting the links? Thanks.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 3:44 PM
  • I'm having a similar issue with Word 2010 not being able to reestablish numerous links to an Excel file, both created in Office 2000 or 2003. I have 10+ years worth of highly detailed reports which have an extensive Excel workbook and accompanying Word document (reporting the results of the analysis in the workbook) for each report. The DOC file contains maybe 30± links to specific single cells (as unformatted text) and 5± links to a range of cells (as pictures). I need to be able to move from location to location and have the links adjust accordingly. This is something I NEVER had a problem with in Office 2000 or 2003. I just spent a bundle on Office 2010 Pro for my office (because Office 2000 won't run in Win 7), only to find: A) Office 2010 simply can't handle the links in the older DOC files and; B) can't reliably handle modifying links in DOCX files that get moved.

    I too would like to know how to convert/update the links in the Word files programmatically with VBA.

    In the mean time, I'm getting around the problem by removing Office 2010 (at least until it gets fixed) and replacing it with Office 2003. Office 2003 seems to run just fine on Windows 7 both 32 and 64 bit versions (be sure to install all SPs and updates). And as a bonus, you get your old menus back and it runs way faster than 2010.

     

    Monday, February 6, 2012 5:45 AM
  • Elmsy2424 and diesel94:

    Sorry for the inadequate response -- I am not allowed to share the vba code.  However I can tell that there is a way to successfully embed linked Word reports in an Excel xlsm file so it is portable (you can see it at analysisplace.com).  However, I know the solution was quite complicated -- the vba programming effort was substantial.

    The embedded Word file must be .doc (not .docx) and it can be embeded in Excel 2003-2010.  The image quality issues were resolved.  The vba code does somehow reset (or more accurately re-create before being broken) the links so the Excel file can be sent, downloaded, etc before the embedded Word report is "opened".  I believe that once the links are broken, they cannot actually be reset/reestablished (changed to a different file path). 


    Andrew Hall

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 4:10 PM
  • Hi, I was eagerly perusing this thread, as we have been having the exact same problems with linked images (in our case, PPT slides). They look beautiful when initially linked, and are displayed as .emf. However, once they have been moved and relinked, they are displayed as a .wmf and look completely unacceptable. Sadly, it seems to be a bug that noone has a fix for yet. I am wondering if we can set up a macro that looks for .wmf links and changes them to .emf links every time the links are updated. But that is outside my ability.

    In the meantime, I can help you who were looking for a macro to help reset the links when the files are moved. Here is what the kind fellow at Microsoft Answers said to me when I asked the same question:

    You should be
    able to resolve this issue with the macro referred to in the post #8 in the
    thread I referred to at: http://windowssecrets.com/forums/showthread.php/102080<o:p></o:p>

    And it worked wonderfully for me! Here is the link to my thread, if you are interested (or search Microsoft Answers for "Help
    on hyperlinks and made links relative not absolute
    ")  (Not my title!)  The link:

    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2010-word/help-on-hyperlinks-and-made-links-relative-not/84a1ef52-653d-4565-a0e2-99bf0d152e49

    Please vote for his post as helpful if you use his macro, to give credit where credit is due!

    Cynthia

     

    Cynthia L. Morris

    Monday, March 12, 2012 1:56 PM