Word Document only showing an image in read mode or Word Online


My colleagues and I were updating a Word document and we noticed that if the document was opened in Word Online (as it is stored in SharePoint Online) then a mystery image appeared in the top-right corner. As it only appeared like this in Office 365 we weren’t too concerned as this document is primarily for sharing as a PDF. However, it started to bug me and, as I recently qualified as the top-ranking Microsoft Office Word Expert Specialist in our company, I thought I had a rep to protect 😉.

As you can see in the screenshots above, the document layout was pretty messed up in the reading/online views but I wasn’t concerned with that, it was just very frustrating that I could see that Microsoft Certified Professional logo but I couldn’t select it to delete it! I tried all the different viewing modes (Web, Outline and Draft) with the Show/Hide button enabled (¶) but I still couldn’t track it down. The Document Inspector showed no hidden or invisible content either.

I had an inkling (and more of a last-ditch attempt) that it was something to do with the headers & footers, as the doc I was working on had a lot of section breaks which I’ve experienced strange formatting with in the past. Thankfully, this is where I found the solution! It is quite straightforward but there are a number of steps to do to actually be able to select the errant image:

  1. On the Word Ribbon, go to Insert > Header > Edit Header.
  2. The Header & Footer ribbon will appear and on this go to the Position section and increase Header from Top to a large number. The default is 1.25cm and my hidden image appeared on the screen around the 10cm mark. Header and Footer Toolbar
  3. Now you can see the image but you may not be able to delete it as it’s not actually embedded in the header. So, click the Close Header and Footer button and you should then be able to select, move or delete the image.
  4. After the image is gone, you can then repeat the steps above to put the header back to the original size.

I’m still not sure how it got there, or why so many documents still get messed up layouts when viewed in Word Online, but I’m satisfied that I’ve fixed my issue so hope it helps some other people out by sharing it.

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