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Microsoft KB Archive/925082

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Knowledge Base

The icon is blank when you insert an object or a file into a document, presentation, spreadsheet, or other Microsoft Office file

Article ID: 925082

Article Last Modified on 10/9/2006


  • Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003
  • Microsoft Office Access 2003
  • Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003
  • Microsoft Office OneNote 2003
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Office Project Standard 2003
  • Microsoft Office Publisher 2003
  • Microsoft Office Visio Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Office Visio Standard 2003
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional


Consider the following scenario. You insert an object or a file into a document, presentation, spreadsheet, or other Microsoft Office 2003 or Microsoft Office XP file. To do this, you use one of the methods in the following examples:

  • You drag a .txt file into an Office file from Windows Explorer.
  • You click Insert, click Object, and then click Create from File in an Office program.

In this scenario, the icon for the OLE object that was created is blank. The Office program only displays a blank picture with caption.

Note This issue occurs in all Office 2003 and Office XP products, in Microsoft WordPad, and in third-party products.


This issue occurs because Office uses the CreateMetaFile function in the Ole32.dll file to obtain the object preview picture. The CreateMetaFile function is limited to Windows Metafile Format (WMF) pictures. Therefore, the picture only contains 16-bit color at most.

Some file types use 32-bit color icons in Windows XP and in Windows Server 2003. If Windows uses a 32-bit color schema, the CreateMetaFile function cannot obtain the appropriate WMF preview picture in the Ole32.dll file. Therefore, the CreateMetaFile function returns a blank picture.

Note This issue occurs in any application that uses the CreateMetaFile function.


To work around this issue, change your color quality settings to 16-bit color. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the desktop, and then click Properties.
  2. On the Settings tab, select Medium (16 bit) in the Color quality list.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Try to insert the object again.

Additional query words: XL2003 FP2003 IP2003 OFF2003 OL2003 PPT2003 PUB2003 VISIO2003 WD2003 PRJ2003 ON2003

Keywords: kbexpertisebeginner kbtshoot kbprb KB925082