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Why won't a picture copied into Word from a webpage always print?


My issue is trying to find an override which will enable to me to print out
a picture from the internet. For example, I like a photo with a recipe; or an
illustrative photo to go with directions. In most cases, I can copy the photo
into Word; remove the hyperlink and it will print out if I choose. My problem
is that sometimes is there no hyperlink to remove after I copy it into my Word
document. Instead of hand/mouse, I get a small square with the four-direction
arrows mouse. When I see that I know that I’m sunk; the photo will not print
out; I’ll just get a blank space where the photo should appear. The photo
appears on the computer document but not in the printed document. The words of
the recipe and directions etc. will appear without the valuable photo to guide

In this excerpt from
Answercast #86
, I look at various ways to print information from web


Picture copied into Word won’t print

So, I’m not really sure what you mean by the “hyperlink.”

When you are copying, if there’s a hyperlink, it will be copied – but removing that or modifying it in any way shouldn’t have anything to do with how a copied and pasted piece of information, like a recipe, should print – when you print it out of Word.

It also sounds like you’re copying more than just the picture because you indicate that the words of the recipe or directions will appear without the photo. So, clearly, you’re copying not just the photo but also some of the text that surrounds the photo.

Print from the browser

Now. What I suggest in a case like this is not to use that direct “copy/paste into Word” to print what it is you’re looking for. My preference is that you actually print directly from your browser.

I realize you may get more than you want.

You may get the page heading and the ads, or whatever, depending on how the page has been designed, but that’s the most reliable way to print something from the web. So, try that first; just try using File > Print in your browser when you’re looking at the page that has whatever it is you want to be printed.

Save the picture first

Now, the other approach (when I originally thought this was only about the picture) is not to copy the picture – but instead save it as a file to your disk.

Right-click on the picture you find on the web and use the Save image as item that shows in the pop-up menu.

That should save the image as a file on your computer, in a folder that you specify. Typically, it will be Downloads or My Documents or somewhere like that.

Then in Windows Explorer, double-click on the picture. That should bring it up in your current photo viewing application. Normally, that will be something like Windows Gallery or Windows Photo Viewer. For whatever version of Windows you have, it will be the included photo-viewing application that comes with it.

From there, then, you can just hit File > Print and it will print the picture.

You may get some options (again depending on the sophistication of the photo-viewing app) that will allow you to scale it, stretch it, make it fill the entire page, or be the original size – whatever. But you’ll have lots and lots of options for printing just the picture.

Movement arrows

Now, what I don’t quite understand is how you’re getting what they call the “movement” arrows – that four directional mouse pointer that you’re talking about. It’s basically a mouse pointer that has an arrow going up/down and right/left.

That’s usually indicated for moving an image or moving it around on a page.

Insert image into Word

If you still want to copy-paste things into Word, you can use Insert photo.

That photo that we downloaded (by using the link for Save Image As) – you can now go back to Word and, wherever you want that picture to appear, you can say Insert Photo and then select the file that you just downloaded.

That will allow Word to pick up the file, without any of the other stuff that may be involved, and place it exactly where you want in the document.

If you’ve got other text from the web page that you then want to include, you can copy/paste that in there too. I realize it’s two separate steps.

In general, it’s really kind of frustrating, I get that.

Copying also takes the code

The problem is that when you copy/paste from a web page or select a portion of a web page regardless of whether it has pictures or not, you’re selecting (I don’t know how to put it…) the underlying HTML. That’s actually what gets copied/pasted over into Word.

Unfortunately, because you’re selecting only a portion of what’s on the page, you may not be selecting everything that’s actually necessary for things to work properly.

The problem is you may not be able to see (and there actually may not be a way to actually know) where you truly need to start selecting – and where you need to stop.

So, it can get problematic.

Typically, I would do what you’re doing – basically select the area including the picture and the text you want copied/pasted into Word and see if that works. You shouldn’t have to do any removing of hyperlinks or anything like that. It should just print the way it is.

If it doesn’t for some reason (and there are many reasons that it could fail), then my strong recommendation is that you bypass that approach. Instead, save the image as a file to your computer and then insert the picture into Word using Word’s Insert picture options. That will put the picture in the place you want in the document that you’re trying to print.

Ultimately, it’s a lot of effort. It’s a lot of complicated steps – and in all honesty, it’s often just not worth it. That’s why I finish by saying, you know, it’s easier to just hit File > Print in your browser and print the page.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

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11 comments on “Why won't a picture copied into Word from a webpage always print?”

  1. The image could also be copied separately and pasted in as a ‘DIB’ (Device Independant Bitmap). I have done this on several occasions when a normal copy/paste reslted in a missing picture.

  2. You need to copy & paste the text separately from the picture. Right click on the picture without highligting it, chose copy. Then highlite the text you want & click copy. Be sure that the picture is not highlited with the text. You may need to copy the text in small segments until you get past the picture.
    Somtimes when you try to save a picture to your computer, it only saves the shortcut.

  3. Sometimes it is not possible to copy a pictures from a web site – in this case using the snipping tool is an easy way to create a JPG of any selected part of the screen. I think this is included with Win7 and a similar program is available as a free download for XP.

  4. I like the option to sometimes will hold down ctrl key and then hit the print screen (prt sc) button usually up by the F Keys at the top of the key board letters. Sometimes there is a copy or right click lock barrier on images and you cannot copy it normally, and this gets around it.

    You then open photoshop or similar, create a new canvas and paste it there, crop it and save the file where I want. When you print screen, you are printing everything showing on the monitor including the boarder images like the start button or the file edit view history etc… buttons at the top so you may choose to crop or cut the extra stuff off.

    This is another option when nothing else works though a longer process.

  5. This is happening because the text is a separate picture placed on top of the image. Sometimes that is done a a copy protection feature, to make it difficult for people to copy the picture. As Ruth said, you can sometimes overcome this by separately highlighting and copying the text and the image. Sometimes that won’t work and you will have no choice but to do an image capture using the Print Screen key or Alt Print Screen and then paste into Paint or Word.

  6. You could also use a “print to PDF” product such as BullZip or CutePDF and just create it as a PDF. There are PDF editing tools that you can use if you want to change the information.

  7. Internet Explorer makes it easy to select and print a portion of a webpage. Click and drag over the text and images you want, then Ctl-P and Alt-T and Enter to print only the selection. Not sure whether Chrome or Firefox help in printing only a selection…

  8. A simpler option is a variation on the “Insert Photo” idea in this article.

    If you are using Firefox or Chrome as your browser, right-click on any unlinked part of the web page. A context menu will appear. Select something like “View Page Info”, or something like that.

    The user form that appears will have a tab or some way that will let you see the media on the web page. You should be able to find the image that you are looking for, with a display of that image in thumbnail or some preview mode, along with its properties.

    One of those properties is the original URL for that image. Highlight the text of this URL, and copy it with -c.

    NOW insert a photo into your Word document, only this time, instead of specifying a file that you saved (and would have perhaps eventually deleted), paste the URL in the text box for the file with -v.

    Word will make contact with the web server, insert the image directly, and you’re done!

    If you are using a version of MS Word that is earlier than 2007, the command is Insert > Picture > From File…

    It should be noted that sometimes, highlighting the content of a web page with the mouse, and pasting into a Word document will result in the opposite of what the user describes – an image will NOT show up on the monitor, but WILL be visible when printed. If you suspect that this has happened, confirm by switching from Normal view to “Web Layout,” and see if the image shows up. In this case, the only way that I have found to rectify this situation is to delete the image in Web Layout view, and put it back, using the procedure above. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who can explain the particulars about this.

  9. If all you want is the picture, simply right click on the picture and choose “View Image” (at least you can do this in Firefox). Firefox will change the tab to display on the picture. Click print and all you have printed now is the picture.

    It works because I now have a printout of Leo’s head shot from the top of this page.

  10. Sometimes a picture on a webpage will have some sort of code that is trying to prevent it from being copied. As Leo mentions often, that is only slightly effective. At the very worst you can take a screen shot of the page, then crop it in a graphics progam, and insert it into the document.

    But that’s a lot of work when just clicking “Print” and printing the web page will do the trick!

  11. I’ve started using Jing Project a lot. I can use it to screen capture the portion of the image from my screen, and SAVE it to wherever I want or,
    in your case, just COPY, then paste to Word. VERY quick and easy. You can also edit with arrows, color highlights, text box, and do short video (5 minutes) with it.
    Oh yeah, FREE now, but i heard they will start charging for part of it soon. Techsmith is the company.


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