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How to Replace Text with Image in MS Word

Our tips on MS-Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.
Samyak Lalit | January 21, 2016 (Last update: September 22, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

Lately, a TechWelkin reader asked a question about replacing text with an image in Microsoft Word. He wanted to replace a particular word with an icon image. Such requirements are uncommon but whenever we come across such things, we feel like “alas! if there was a way to do it easily”. MS Word is a programmable software and you can add new functionality with the help of macros and VB Script.

But you don’t need to write a macro in order to replace text with an image. It can easily be done with the same Find and Replace feature of MS Word. Let’s see how!

Find Text and Replace with Image

MS Word allows you to replace anything in a document with the content of clipboard. We can use this feature to replace text with image.

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Locate the image file that you want to use
  3. Take right click on the file and select Copy
  4. Open MS Word document in which replacement is to be done
  5. Press Ctrl + H to launch Find and Replace dialog box
  6. In Find what, type the text that you want to replace
  7. In Replace with, type ^c
  8. Click Replace All button

And you’re done!

Replace text with and image in MS Word.

Replace text with and image in MS Word.

MS Word will replace all the instances of the mentioned text with the clipboard content. Are you wondering what is clipboard? Well clipboard is an area in your computer’s memory where copied content is kept. So, when you copied the image, it went into clipboard. Remember, content of clipboard gets overwritten when you do the next copy operation. Therefore, clipboard contains content copied from the previous copy operation.

Then you typed ^c in the Replace with box. This ^c is a code that tells MS Word to bring whatever is there in the clipboard. A similar trick can be used to replace an image with another image.

Our tips on MS-Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.

Our tips on MS-Word make your life easier and increase your productivity at work.

Caution: You should understand that if you will insert a big image as replacement of text, your document’s layout could go haywire. So, before you do replacement, make a plan and visualize how your document should look after replacement.

Tip: You may also want to do replacement of each text piece one by one. To do so, use Replace button instead of Replace All button. This will help you monitor each change. This will also help you do partial replacement of text.

Another Tip: If replacing text with image is not giving you the desired results, you can always press Ctrl + Z to undo your changes and go back to the pre-replacement version of the document.

We hope that this MS Word trick will save you some of your precious time at work. Do let us know if you face any difficulty in this regard. TechWelkin Team we will try its best to assist you. Thank you for using TechWelkin!


4 responses to “How to Replace Text with Image in MS Word”

  1. Jamie says:

    Is there a way to make these paste inline instead of anchored?

  2. richard says:

    Is there a way to do this in Word on the Mac as well, I tried via the method mentioned above but could not get it working

  3. Ankit says:

    Hello Lalit, what plugin do you use for headlines and bullet points 1,2,3? How to change its background?

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