Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Support for PICT images is being turned off in Office for Windows [MS]

In an effort to do away with a seldom-used feature, Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 are discontinuing support for the ability to insert and display PICT-based images in Office documents. Windows-based versions of Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 are affected by this change. 

Office for Mac is unaffected by this change. 

Changes beginning in August 2019

Beginning in August 2019, the ability to insert or render images based upon the PICT format was turned off in Office 2019 and Microsoft 365 for Windows. This change is being rolled out gradually to everyone starting in August 2019.  

It looks like a product bug, but it's intentional

If you open a document that contains a PICT image, you'll only get an image placeholder with a message that says the picture can't be displayed: 

Error message: This picture can't be displayed

Why this change was made

This change was done to improve and simplify image handling in Office documents. 

Can I still use PICT files in Office? 

It depends on which version of Office you're using. See the following table: 

Version of Office

Can I still use PICT files in it?

Office 2010 for Windows

Office 2013 for Windows 

Office 2016 for Windows


Office 2019 for Windows 

Microsoft 365 for Windows


Office 2016 for Mac

Office 2019 for Mac

Microsoft 365 for Mac


Office Online

No. Office Online has never supported PICT files

Office for iOS


Office for Android

No. Office for Android has never supported PICT files

Note: Common PICT image file extensions are .pict, .pct, .pic, and .pcz.

Substitutes for PICT files

SVG and PNG are other graphics metafile formats that can be substituted for the PICT file format:

File Type

Supported by this version of Office


Office 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and Microsoft 365


Microsoft 365

Export or convert from a PICT to a different format

If you have a graphics application such as Adobe Illustrator, you can open a PICT file in it and save or export the file to PNG or SVG format. You can also perform the conversion on a Mac. 

Similarly, you can use an online conversion tool or service to convert a PICT file to PNG or SVG format. 

Once you've converted the file to a compatible format for Office and saved it to your computer, you simply insert it in your document as usual. 

Supported image-file formats in Office 2019 and Microsoft 365

File name extension

Name of image type

Raster or Vector?


Scalable Vector Graphic



Windows Enhanced Metafile

Can contain both


Windows Metafile

Can contain both

jpg, jpeg, jfif, jpe

JPEG File Interchange format



Portable Network Graphics


bmp, dib, rle

Windows Bitmap



Graphics Interchange Format



Compressed Windows Enhanced Metafile

Can contain both


Compressed Windows Metafile

Can contain both

tif, tiff

Tagged Image File Format


Raster versus Vector

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