Finding and Inserting Images Through the Clip Art Task Pane

Microsoft Word and Office come with their own library of clip art, as well as two related tools for accessing it: the Clip Art task pane and the Microsoft Clip Organizer applet.


The Clip Art task pane and Clip Organizer are primarily intended for working with clip art. Microsoft Office now contains a third tool, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, which provides basic tools for managing, editing, and sharing photos you create.

Microsoft Office Picture Manager is a standalone application that can work with any Office application?or any other Windows application. It is introduced later in this chapter, in the section "Working with Microsoft Office Picture Manager."

In general, it's easiest and quickest to use the Clip Art task pane to find and insert an image. Although you can also find and insert images through Clip Organizer, it's generally easier to use the Clip Organizer primarily for organizing your clip art.

To find and insert a clip art image from the Clip Art task pane, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Insert, Picture, Clip Art. The Clip Art task pane opens (see Figure 13.5).

    Figure 13.5. The Clip Art task pane, displaying search results.


  2. Enter one or more keywords corresponding to the contents of the image you're looking for. For example, you can enter a broad keyword, such as business; two keywords that narrow your search, such as business + money; or a very narrow keyword search, such as Yen.

  3. Click Go. Word searches all its clip art resources. If you are connected to the Internet, it also searches clips available through the Microsoft Office Clip Art and Media Web site. You may see images that are stored on your hard drive or network in a matter of seconds, but Clip Art may continue to search for minutes, adding images it finds on the Web.

  4. The Clip Art task pane displays thumbnails of the images it has found. If you want to see more images in each row, click Expand Results (see Figure 13.6). To insert an image in your document, click on its thumbnail image, or drag the thumbnail to the location where you want the image to appear in your document.

    Figure 13.6. Seeing more results on each row.


If you haven't found the image you're looking for, enter new text in the Search For text box, and search again.

Controlling Where to Search for Clip Art

To speed up your search, you can control where to search for clip art. Microsoft organizes clip art into three "collections":

  • My Collections? Images you already own, which can be organized and displayed through the Clip Art task pane and Microsoft Clip Organizer.

    To learn how to add clips, see "Cataloging Images on Your Computer," p. 448.

  • Office Collections? Images that were installed with Microsoft Office.

  • Web Collections? Additional images found on Microsoft Office Online.

By default, the Clip Art task pane searches all three sources (All Collections). To limit the search, click the Search In down arrow; then clear the check boxes corresponding to collections and folders you do not want to search (see Figure 13.7). When you're finished, click Go to search the collections and folders you've specified.

Figure 13.7. Choosing collections and folders you do not want to search.


For example, if you want an image of a Yen symbol, you can clear all collections and then check the Business folders within Office Collections and Microsoft Office Online. Then, Word won't search folders you know are unlikely to include a Yen symbol.

Controlling What Types of Clips to Search For

Graphics include photographs, drawings, and anything else designed primarily to communicate visually. All graphics files stored on a computer are stored in some type of graphics file format. Most of them differ by the degree of image quality they offer and how big the files are they store them in. Word recognizes and has support for most of the major graphic file formats. By default, the Clip Art task pane searches for every type of media clip, including

  • Editable clip art provided in WMF and other vector formats

  • Photographs in JPG and other bitmap formats

  • Movies provided in AVI, MPEG, and other video formats

  • Sounds provided in WAV, MP3, and other audio formats


This chapter focuses primarily on "still image" graphics such as photographs and drawings, rather than movies and audio files, which still have far more limited application in most business environments.

Of course, in many cases, you already know what kind of clip you need. For example, if you're creating a printed flier, it's unlikely you'll need a movie or audio clip. To tell Word not to bother searching for some types of clips, follow these steps:

  1. In the Clip Art task pane, click the Results Should Be down arrow. The list in this drop-down box is formatted similarly to the one shown earlier, in Figure 13.7.

  2. Clear the check boxes corresponding to media file types you don't need.


    If you know exactly what format of clip you are looking for, it's much easier to clear an entire group of formats and enable one or two, than it is to clear all the ones you don't need. The simplest way to do this is to clear the check box associated with the high-level category of clip (for example, Clip Art or Movies); this clears the check boxes for all the types it contains. Then click the + symbol to expand the list and enable only the check box for the category (or categories) you do want (for example, Windows Metafile *.wmf or Animated GIF *.gif).

  3. When you're finished, click Go to search the media types you've specified.

Working with a Clip You've Selected

You've already learned that you can insert a clip by clicking on its thumbnail image in the Clip Art task pane. But sometimes you might not be ready to insert the image immediately. For example, you might want to learn more about the image before you insert it. Or you might want to add the image to a specific collection of images so that it is easier to find the next time you're looking for it.

If you simply want a brief description of an image, hover your mouse pointer over it; Word displays a ScreenTip describing the image's format, keyword descriptions, and size in pixels and kilobytes. This can be especially helpful if you're creating a Web page and are concerned about download speed (large files slow download speeds considerably).

For more options, click the gray down arrow on the right side of the image. Word displays a shortcut menu (see Figure 13.8).

  • Insert places the image in your document.

  • Copy copies the image into the Clipboard; from there, you can insert it into any document, in Word or another program.

  • Delete from Clip Organizer removes the clip from Clip Organizer altogether.

  • Open Clip In, if available, allows you to choose a different program stored on your computer to edit the image with.

  • Make Available Offline copies a clip file from Microsoft Office Online so that it will be available to you even if you aren't connected to the Internet.

  • Move to Collection allows you to move an image from one collection of images on your computer to another.

  • Edit Keywords allows you to change the keywords associated with a clip. Editing keywords and other properties associated with an image is covered later in this chapter, in the section "Editing an Image's Keywords and Properties." Adding keywords, of course, makes the clip easier to find later. (You cannot, unfortunately, change, add, or delete the keywords associated with clips provided by Microsoft?only your own and third-party clips.)

  • Find Similar Style instructs Word to search for other images from Office's built-in library of clips that are complementary in look and feel.

  • Preview/Properties displays a larger version of the image and lists its properties and keywords.

Figure 13.8. The Clip Art shortcut menu offers several options for working with an image.


    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word