Preventing images from printing

I am writing a dissertation that includes many images. Is there a way to print a document excluding its images? I want to save my ink while I am editing!

Many thanks, Harry

There is no longer a good retroactive way of doing that. In the past you could copy an image and then paste into the Replacements compile pane, replacing “nothing” with nothing. In fact an invisible container character would have been pasted, a character used to stand-in for images on the Mac. But like I say, I haven’t seen that method work reliably for a few years now.

That aside, I would consider using image placeholder tags (§15.5.4, Image Placeholder Tags, pg. 224 of the user manual PDF). The idea is to store your document’s images in the binder somewhere and then call upon them by name using this text tag. Since the tag itself is text that means we can search for these tags and replace them with nothing during the compile process itself (not touching the original). To get images back, simply remove the replacement from compile settings.

Here is an example search pattern:


That will require the “RegEx” flag to be checked off for this replacement. Note this will also wipe out the paragraph break after the image, if one exists, closing any gaps in the printed document where the image would have been otherwise. You can delete the \n? part on the end if that doesn’t work out for you or you don’t want it to work that way (maybe you want to insert some placeholder text where it would be, instead of snipping them out entirely, for instance).

Image placeholders are going to be useful whenever you want to dynamically alter image output on the fly. You can adjust image sizes, even swap out low-res for high-res with this same concept of text replacement during compile.

Another approach is to just compile to plain-text. That will wipe out all images by virtue of being a file format that cannot embed images in the first place. Of course you would also have to do without any formatting whatsoever—for personal proofing though that might be fine.

Thanks everso for your help!

Another approach would be to place the images in separate sub-documents and then exclude either those documents or their contents from the Compile command. If the images are all at the same outline level, you can use the Compile -> Formatting pane to accomplish this: just uncheck the “text” box for the appropriate level. This also lets you use the Title or Synopsis to hold descriptive information – “Map of Mordor goes here” – that you can swap for the actual images when the time comes.


I misinterpreted that to mean RegEx should be turned off. Once I checked the box to turn RegEx on, it worked like a charm. Thanks!