How do I link inserted images by default in Writer?

When working with a large number of images it’s often a better idea to link images than to embed them into the document itself. This helps reduce document size and allows you to easily change or edit an inserted picture at a later point in time. However, so far I haven’t found a way to do this by default.

From what I can gather there are four distinct ways of inserting a local picture into an .odt document (actual menu entry names might differ):

  1. Drag and drop the image in question from a file manager
  2. Copy and paste the picture in a similar manner
  3. Insert it via a dedicated dialog: InsertPictureFrom file
  4. Create a new gallery theme and insert your pictures from there: ExtrasGallery → New themeSearch through filesAdd allOKright click on imageAdd

Out of these methods only the last two offer an option to link an image instead of embedding it:

  • the insert dialog comes with a link checkbox that controls switching between embedded and linked images
  • similarly with images in a gallery you can choose between adding images as a copy, i.e. embedding them, or as a link.

Unfortunately none of these methods appear to be capable of storing the previous setting. The respective link option has to be selected each time an image is inserted into the document. Both insertion methods are tedious to start with but this slows down the regular workflow even more.

That’s why I wonder:

  • Is there a setting or configuration option that would allow us to choose between embedded and linked images for all the insertion methods above?
  • If not, is there any way of linking an image with a drag-and-drop or copy-paste operation?
  • For the two insertion methods that do support linking images, is there any way of storing the user setting across single images and sessions?
  • If there currently is no no good method to do this, where and against which component can I file a bug report/feature request?

This question is based on this Q&A over at


@MHC: Drag and drop the image in question from a file manager […]

is there any way of linking an image with a drag-and-drop […] operation?

To link the image file:

Press "Ctrl+Shift" while dragging the image.


Request for enhancement:

Bug 61358 - UI: Remember state of option “Insert image from file → Linked”

Status: NEW

1 Like

Thank you! This is just what I was looking for!

@manj_k Do you mind if I cross-post your answer to the AU thread?

@MHC – Feel free to use it as you like. :wink:


What exactly do you mean with

…storing the previous setting.


Is there a setting or configuration option… - I am not aware of a such a setting tools / options but check yourself for the case I overlooked it.

If not, is there any way of linking … - I don’t think so because drag&drop or copy&paste move real objects and do not trace there path, thus linking is not possible

For the two insertion methods… - here I don’t understand your question sufficiently. Please. some more information.

If there currently is no no good method… - I would put the bug report/enhancement request under Writer / editing. (

Thank you for your answer. With “storing the previous setting” I mean remembering the last option I chose, e.g.: If I click the checkbox for “link” when inserting an image, I would like the checkbox to remain checked so that I won’t have to set it again the next time I insert an image. This is the option I am asking for in my third question. Thanks for the link. I will wait a while and if there turns out to be no solution I will file the bug report there.

@MHC - reading your comment about “storing the previous setting” I would say go for an enhancement request. You can do this via bug report and flag it at the very end as an enhancement or write enhancement into the subject line.

I was about to file the request when @manj_k’s answer came in. Looks like someone already beat me to it. Good to see that other users are interested in this as well.

@MHC - I am glad that @manj_k could provide you the information with ctrl+shift while dragging. I need to remember this.