Monday, March 28, 2016

How to open/view/share embedded documents in Microsoft Word for Mac (2011/2016)

You would be surprised to know that Microsoft doesn't support a viable option to view embedded documents. Embedded PDF's are the worst, even the .docx files doesn't allow you to save even in latest version of Microsoft word for OS X.

What is even more surprising is that why can't they provide a "save as" option when I do right click on the embedded object?

After a lot of digging I've figured out the way to view all the embedded files, though it is not easy it is better than booting your VM for this task alone.

Basically rename your .docx or .xlsx file to .zip and unzip using your favorite application. If you digg deeper, in my case I was unzipping .docx file, you can find all the embedded document in "/word/embeddings" path. In my case all the pdf's are embedded as oleObject.bin which can be unzipped to view the original pdf file "CONTENT" after renaming it to ".pdf"


  1. Thank you x1000000! This worked wonderfully!

  2. @Christopher I found that after renaming from .docx to .zip I had to use the command line to unzip e.g.

    # unzip

    as the default "Archive Utility" app got in a pickle creating a ".zip.cgzip" file

  3. Sorry...I am trying to do this but can't seem to. I get the same .zip.cgzip file and I get stuck. How does one use the # unzip on a mac? Thanks for your help.

  4. @anonymous ?

    Unzip command in mac doesn't work well with office docs (XML). I recommend a better tools like

    It might solve your issue, unless the file is docx/xlsx file (XML format, not the old ones), hope it helps

    1. Yup this one works, but you need to browse folders, rename extensions to pdf and the like. This should be a default feature.