MS Word "red X" problem solved! (if you don't want to use EndNote)
Originally posted on my iBlog 11 April 2005 (for interest only; I've since moved to TeXShop with NeoOffice to open Word files).
Summary: When I open some .doc files sent to me by my Windows colleagues on MS Word X, I am greeted with a giant red "X" where many figures are supposed to be. Which figures get X-ed and which come through fine is completely haphazard. This has driven me mad for years. I just figured out how to stop it, after several failed google searches. Here's how.
The trick for me was to removed the EndNote plug-in from the Microsoft Office X:Office:Startup:Word folder. When this was gone, all figures previously displaying as red X's displayed properly.
Luckily I haven't been using EndNote (I have been writing the drafts of my papers in TextEdit to avoid the mind-scrambling vagaries of Word---is it any better on Windows?).
Text excerpt from http://www.mcgimpsey.com/macoffice/word/xredx.html.
Here's the text of a post on 19 November 2003 by Microsoft's MacBU:
To all our MacWord X customers:
We have been receiving reports about the inability of Word X to display
graphics in certain documents, and instead showing a "Red X". This is an
expected occurrence when the Word cannot display the graphic, due to lack of
memory, lack of a required graphic converter or corrupt image.
We have investigated the reports and have identified 2 scenarios where "Red
X's" would appear unexpectedly:
Problem: Documents created or modified in MacWord X display "Red X's" when
opened up in Word version 2002 for Windows (or earlier).
Solution: Word version 2002 for Windows is currently missing a graphic
filter that enables it to display certain graphics added or modified in
MacWord X. This graphic filter will be available as part of a Service Pack
update from Office Update sometime after January 2004. This graphic filter
is already included as part of the Word 2003 for Windows install.
Problem: Documents opened in MacWord X will sometimes display graphics as
Solution: We have identified a conflict with certain built-in & 3rd party
components and Word. Plug-ins such as Endnote as well as built-in items
like Camera and Scanner Plug-in will cause this issue when they are
loaded. Endnote is loaded automatically when Word is launched, while Camera
and Scanner Plug-in loads when selecting it from the Insert | Picture
sub-menu. This issue can also occur in Mac Word 2001.
In order to work-around this issue one must not load these plug-ins and
disable those that start automatically by temporarily removing them from the
Microsoft Office X:Office:Startup:Word folder. We currently do not have an
update to Word X that addresses this issue directly.
Another item to note is that if you run into either of these issues, the
integrity of the graphics will remain and even though Word will be unable to
display the images, they will be saved with the document correctly.
Macintosh Business Unit – Microsoft
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.