I just tracked down how to eliminate an annoyance that has plagued me several times in the past. Sometimes a client sends me a PowerPoint file where some graphics look fine and others won’t display. Instead, I see a message stating “QuickTime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.” This is particularly frustrating because I know I have the latest version of QuickTime installed and tested on my computer.
If I use a web conferencing technology that relies on screen sharing to display the slides, I’m out of luck. If I use a technology that uploads and converts the slides, results vary. Some products show the graphics, others don’t.
I recently received a Word document with the same problem. I couldn’t see the graphics in the document. Just that cryptic message. Some digging finally turned up the culprit…
If you work on a Macintosh computer, make sure to embed images in your PowerPoint or Word documents by using the toolbar commands to Insert Picture From File. Those get encoded properly for cross-platform visibility. If you copy/paste a graphic into your file, it looks fine on your Mac, but PC users can’t see the image when they open the file.
It’s unclear whether we should hoist torches and pitchforks outside the Microsoft or Apple offices, but the solution is simple once you know the problem.