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Avoid the TIFF (LZW) error in Mac/Windows Office Apps
One well known problem experienced by Microsoft Office users in Mac and Windows environments is that some images inserted using the Mac cannot viewed in Office for Windows. Instead of seeing the image, you get an error message that says "QuickTime and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture." Typically this problem happens with images that have been inserted in the documents using the clipboard or drag and drop.

The quickest and easiest way to solve this problem in old documents is to use the red eye removal tool (or some other non-noticeable adjustment tool) in iPhoto or Photoshop on the images, as described in this blog entry. For new documents, the standard solution is to use Insert » Picture » From File in Office (as described here), but it is not as comfortable or fast as using the clipboard or drag and drop.

An easier way to avoid this problem uses Skitch as a translation tool. Instead of dragging the image from Safari or other program to Word or PowerPoint directly, you should drag it to Skitch first. Then, you have to drag it from Skitch to Word or PowerPoint, using Skitch's "drag me" handler. It's very important that you select .jpg or .png as file format in Skitch, just over the 'drag me' handler. Alternately, you can use the clipboard to do this operation.

For more information (only in Spanish, sorry), you can read this post on my blog.
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Why use Skitch?
Authored by: sapporo on Oct 15, '08 07:59:05AM

Using Skitch would only help while you're initially producing the Office document. In that case, I'd rather save the images to disk and import them into Office from there (avoiding the problems with drag&drop).

Peter Clark's blog describes a method to fix the images after you finished your Office document and found out the images won't display on a PC. Of course you could also save and import the images at that stage, but using the redeye remover is much more convenient.

Unfortunately, the redeye remover is no longer available in Office 2008 for Mac (or at least I couldn't find it). I guess there's a different tool that produces the same effect, but I never took the time to research that. If anyone knows, please leave a comment.

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Why use Skitch?
Authored by: leamanc on Oct 15, '08 11:12:12AM

I don't think the redeye tool is necessary. I think any of the graphic editing tools will fix the issue. Even just double-clicking the image within the Office document and clicking a few buttons should make the "magical changes" necessary.

I've also found that using Insert->Picture from the menus will not result in the problem. The problems seems to occur from copying-and-pasting or dragging images into the document. YMMV, however.

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Avoid the TIFF (LZW) error in Mac/Windows Office
Authored by: BrentT on Oct 15, '08 07:23:30PM

The scratch tool also works. Just click the image, then make a small line in the image with the scratch tool. It does not change the image appearance but it does make it visible on Windows machines.

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Avoid the TIFF (LZW) error in Mac/Windows Office
Authored by: sapporo on Oct 16, '08 01:17:32AM

As described in the blog post linked from the hint.

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Avoid the TIFF (LZW) error in Mac/Windows Office
Authored by: tomem on Oct 18, '08 06:42:01AM

The question here seems to be why setting the screenshot file format to jpg (or other) does not also change the screenshot format that is captured when the ctrl key is held down to send it to the clipboard.

Apple, are you listening?

Crofton, MD

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