Quicktime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture

Of all the useless error messages, this one would have to take the cake. I found it in a Word document tonight.

Quicktime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture

It appears to be caused by the author using Mac Word, and having pasted a picture into the document in some weird and wonderful way.

The error is useless, because I already have Quicktime installed on this machine. (I didn’t particularly want it; it came with iTunes.) And if it wants a particular decompressor, it would be very helpful if it gave me a hint as to which one, and where I should get it from.

I couldn’t even see a way of extracting the picture so I could try and throw it at another viewer program.

In this age of standards, when the vast majority of pictures flying about the place are either GIF, JPEG or PNG, and even proprietary standards like MS Word are almost universal, why on earth should I be getting an error message like this?

Evidently the only fix is to go back to the source (on the Mac) and change the picture to something more universal. Thankfully the document’s author was around, so I could do that. But who knows why Mac Word lets people insert pictures in this way in the first place. (Powerpoint is susceptible too.)

Conclusion? Blame Microsoft!

8 thoughts on “Quicktime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture

  1. Rob

    This has been a problem for ages, and is the result of the Mac clipboard using compressed tiff to store images (so if you drag/drop or copy/paste your image, regardless of original format, it gets converted by the OS). Since Mac Office stores the image in the format in which it gets it, you get compressed tiffs in your documents. Windows Office can’t handle them (even if it can handle normal, uncompressed tiff files).

    However, latest Office SP1 for Mac (released last week on the Microsoft Mac site) finally has a fix, after _years_ of people complaining about it, and at least two versions of Office.

  2. daniel Post author

    Thanks for explaining it Rob.

    Apart from a fix on the Mac, it would help if MS Word on Windows would allow the object to be opened by an external program. Compressed TIFFs can be opened by a number of programs, even if WinWord itself can’t handle them.

  3. Anonymous

    Blame Microsoft? It has been the standard for more than 2 decades, and instead of making things easier and compatible, Apple had to screw things up.

  4. Aaron

    Mac is the one trafficking in unsupportable expectations in terms of easy platform compatibility; Office For Mac sets people up for problems by purporting to work seamlessly but then immerses users in a world of ridiculous errors; Mac’s disingenuous arrogance is as annoying as ever given the volume of Windows users in the computing world; forgive the blue collar slobs who a just trying to do business without overspending on swanky show and tell trophies. *Written on a mac.

  5. Krishna Prasad C

    I found the following and it works !

    Method to troubleshoot error method with Quicktime
    Error: QuickTime and a TIFF (or JPEG) decompressor are needed to see this picture here is a list of steps to un-compress and then open the embedded Macintosh PICT images:
    1. open the word or powerpoint file on your pc
    2. “save as HTML” or web page, image files will be saved to a separate folder
    3. find one of the *.pcz files
    4. change the *.pcz extension to *.gz
    5. open the file with a zip program like 7-zip
    6. save the uncompressed file to your hard drive (there will be no extension)
    7. add the *.pic extension to the file
    8. open the file with quicktime

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