This problem only rears its ugly head when opening/receiving using a version of Internet Explorer. Firefox, Safari and Chrome all work perfectly.

When a Word doc that contains embedded graphics (like screenshots) is opened in IE, a dialog box asking to choose the correct encoding appears and NONE of the available options corrects the text in the document. The images display fine, but all text is garbled beyond recognition.

Word docs that do not contain images come through fine. If the file is specifically downloaded then opened from the desktop, the problem still exists. Any ideas how to get these docs to behave in IE? I have been searching to find any similar issues and resolutions but have come up empty. I would think there were header issues except it works fine in other browsers, and other docs without images also work fine.

  • Can you provide a link (that causes the issue) and version of IE please?
    – Metalshark
    Apr 19, 2011 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


Sorry, Metalshark, I couldn't provide a link. Thanks for trying to help though. A colleague found this question when he was searching for a solution as well. The solution in our case was fairly specific to a product we are using, but I will give the gist of it in case it helps anyone else looking in the future.

The problem came down to MIME types and how we were sending them across to other applications. Specifically we had to account for the following (some we already had, others we had to add to complete the set):

// Microsoft Office MIME Types for Excel and Word
PDF = "application/pdf";
XLS = "application/vnd.ms-excel";
LXLS = "application/excel"; // Legacy Excel MIME Type
DOC = "application/msword";
XLSX = "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet";
DOCX = "application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document";

// Graphic file MIME Types
GIF = "image/gif";
PNG = "image/png";
PNGX = "image/x-png"; // Because M$ felt a need to be non-standard in IE7
JPG = "image/jpeg";
PJPG = "image/pjpeg"; // Because M$ felt a need to be non-standard with progressive JPEGs

Most notably the New Office types and the proprietary Microsoft image types were the fix.

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