QuickTime and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture

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This article/section is a stub — probably a pile of half-sorted notes, is not well-checked so may have incorrect bits. (Feel free to ignore, fix, or tell me)
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Problem

In a Microsoft Office document, you see one of the following:

  • "QuickTime(TM) and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture"
  • "QuickTime(TM) and a Photo - JPEG decompressor are needed to see this picture."
  • or translations like "Zur Anzeige wird der Quicktime Dekompressor "TIFF (LZW) benotigt"

...instead of an image.

Reason

A combination of:

  • The Mac version of MS Office, which allows embedding images via Quicktime
  • Quicktime for Mac supporting formats that Apple has omitted from Quicktime for Windows (including PICT, possibly the most common problem)

This basically means that you can add images to Office documents on Mac that will not be viewable on non-Macs.

Workarounds

There is no immediate patch to read documents that show this problem, because this isn't fixed in any Quicktime version or patch (that I know of, to date).


One workaround is to go to the Mac you made the document on, and make sure the embedding is done with a more usual/portable image format.

Converting it while in the document may be nontrivial work, but you can often avoid re-embedding and re-positioning the image: Various in-document image-related actions automatically mean conversion to a more usual format as a side effect. When this works it's probably the simplest fix.


If you have no access to a mac, you could choose to extract just the images, which you can do without access to a mac, via a trick: when you tell Office to export to a web page, images are either directly converted to something useful, or in the case of PICT/TIFF, images are saved to .pcz files, which are gzipped PICT files. (You can extract the image from that .pcz using winrar, 7zip, gzip for windows, or something like it).

You should probably rename it to give it the .pict extension. It may still be quite hard to view and convert this file. In my case, the Quicktime for Windows image viewer crashed on it, and photoshop complained that it could only open raster PICTs.

Irfanview managed to view and convert it -- once the optional irfanview plugins were installed.


Further notes:

One page suggests that this is caused specifically by pasting such images into a document - which seems to suggesting that 'Insert image' may embed in a more portable way. I don't know how true that is(verify).


See also