How To Use Image Placeholders to Display Documents Faster in Word

If you have to work with images in MS Word, then I am sure that it can be quite frustrating for you. No, no! I am not talking about inserting, editing, and deleting shapes and Smart Arts. What I am talking about is the problem that you face while opening and scrolling the Word documents that are full of small to big images.

Whenever you open such a document, you must have realized that the document loads or displays it pages quite slowly. This problem can be very debilitating, especially if you are still working with the old computers with fewer resources or less power. Fortunately, you can now get rid of this slowdown in 2007 and 2010 versions of MS Word. Let’s find out how!

How To Use Image Placeholders to Display Documents Faster in Word

Problem: Word Documents are Taking Too Much Time to Get Displayed

Let’s consider a scenario where you are working in an e-learning company as an Instructional Designer. You have just created exciting storyboards on some chapters of science by using a predefined template. Because you are creating an e-learning module, your each screen either has images, flowcharts, or diagrams to support text and audio.

However, you often get irritated while opening or scrolling these storyboards in MS Word. This is because the documents take much time to load and display. Now, this time is double the time you require to make some changes in the storyboards.

This has affected your productivity badly because you have to open these storyboards more than thrice in a day. So, what’s the solution now?

Use Image Placeholders to Display Documents Faster in Word

Solution: Do Not Allow Images to Display

Yes, you heard it right! This solution actually does not block the display of images permanently. In fact, it focuses on displaying the text first and showing the images later by reserving their positions in a document. In this way, you enable the Word documents to load and scroll faster despite of several heavy images. The beauty of this solution is that you can view the images whenever you wish. While the image display is vital, it is sometimes good to stick to text only, especially when loading or navigating.

Implement the Solution: Enable Image Placeholders

Image placeholders refer to the markers that preserve the areas in your document where you have added images. For example, in a storyboard, if you have added image on a screen, that particular area of image will appear empty with only a black outline. This means that the images are withheld temporarily so that the document loading and scrolling can become faster. To enable image placeholders in Word 2007:

1. Select Microsoft Office –> Word Options. The Word Options dialog box is seen.

word options
2. In the left pane, select Advanced.

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3. On the right side, scroll down to the Show document content section.

4. Select the Show picture placeholders check box. As a suggestion, do read its tooltip.

show picture placeholders

5. Click OK. You will see that all the images in the current document are replaced by the black-edged boxes. These boxes are actually referred to as placeholders.

image placeholders

6. Now, open any document having images and you will see that it loads and scrolls much faster.

If you want to view the images, just clear the Show picture placeholders check box. Alternatively, as a shortcut, just select View –> Full Screen Reading on the ribbon.

full screen reading

So, what do you think of the placeholder option? Do share your opinions and experiences via comments!