Working with Microsoft Clip Organizer

To organize your images and other media clips, work with Microsoft Clip Organizer, an applet shared by all Office applications.

To display Microsoft Clip Organizer, choose Insert, Picture, Clip Art; then click the Organize Clips hyperlink at the bottom of the Clip Art task pane.

When you open Microsoft Clip Organizer, it displays a detailed Collection List?a list of all the collections and subfolders you already have. The My Collections list corresponds to folders on your computer that contain media clips; Office Collections lists the 39 categories of images provided with Office; Web Collections lists the 46 similar categories of images provided by Microsoft Office Online.

To view all the images in one subfolder, click on the subfolder; Clip Organizer displays a list of images (see Figure 13.9).

Figure 13.9. When you select a collection, Microsoft Clip Organizer first displays a list of images.


To display thumbnails of your images, click the Thumbnails button. After you've displayed thumbnails (see Figure 13.10), you can click on an image to insert it in your document, or click the gray down arrow next to the image to view options for working with it.

Figure 13.10. Viewing thumbnails of the images in a collection.


If you prefer to view a list of images instead of thumbnails, click the List button; if you prefer to view detailed information about each image, click the Details button.

To search for an image from within Microsoft Clip Organizer, click the Search button. A Search pane appears that is identical to the Clip Art task pane covered earlier in this chapter.

Cataloging Images on Your Computer

You can have Microsoft Clip Organizer create thumbnails and keywords for all the images and clip media on your computer so that you can search for them just as you search for clips provided by Microsoft.

The first time you open Microsoft Clip Organizer, the Add Clips to Gallery dialog box appears (see Figure 13.11). If you want to catalog all the files on your computer, click Now.

Figure 13.11. Choosing whether to catalog clips now or later.


Cataloging images may take several minutes or more, depending on how many you have, and how fast your computer is. If you prefer to defer cataloging to another time, click Later. You can always ask to catalog your images by choosing File, Add Clips to Gallery, Automatically.

If you want to control which images are cataloged, click Options; the Auto Import Settings dialog box appears. Clip Organizer searches your computer to determine which folders contain images; you can then clear the check boxes next to folders you do not want to catalog (see Figure 13.12). After you've made the selections you want, click Catalog to create the catalog.

Figure 13.12. Clear check boxes next to folders that contain images you do not want to catalog.


Occasionally, you might copy several images to your computer, or perhaps an entire folder full of images. Rather than recataloging the entire computer, you can catalog only the images in that folder. To do so, choose File, Add Clips to Gallery, On My Own. The Add Clips to Gallery dialog box opens.

From this dialog box, you can browse to and select the images you want to add. To choose the gallery or folder where you want the images to be added, click Add To, which opens the Import to Collection dialog box.

Here, you can select the collection you want to add your images to, or, if you want to create an entirely new collection, click New to open the New Collection dialog box (see Figure 13.13). Enter the name of the new collection and click the folder you want to place it in.

Figure 13.13. Creating a new collection and choosing which folder to store it in.


Click OK in the New Collection dialog box to set the name of the new collection; then click OK to confirm that you want to import new images to the collection (be it a new collection you've just created, or an existing one). In the Add Clips to Gallery dialog box, make sure that the images you want to add are selected, and click the Add button. Thumbnails of the images you created are added to the collection you chose.

Editing an Image's Keywords and Properties

Like Word document files, each image in the Clip Organizer database has a set of properties that contain information about the image. For example, each image that Microsoft provides with Office, or via the Microsoft Office Online Web site, contains a list of keywords that make the image easy to search for. Images can also contain a caption that describes them.

When Clip Organizer catalogs your own images, it adds keywords based on the folder and file type of the images it finds and a caption corresponding to the filename. However, in many cases, these keywords and captions will not be very descriptive. If you want your images to be as easy to search for as Microsoft's, you'll often want to add your own keywords and captions.

To review the keywords, captions, and other properties associated with an image, select the image in Microsoft Clip Organizer (or in the Clip Art task pane); then right-click on the image (or click on the gray down arrow) and choose Preview/Properties. The Preview/Properties dialog box opens (see Figure 13.14).

Figure 13.14. From the Preview/Properties dialog box, you can review the properties associated with any cataloged image.


If the image has a caption, it appears immediately under the image preview. Information about the image appears on the right, including a scrolling list of keywords.


Clicking the left-arrow and right-arrow buttons under the image preview allows you to browse among images in a folder.

To edit an image's keywords and captions, click Edit Keywords to open the Keywords dialog box. (This dialog box is similar in appearance to Figure 13.15, which is shown in the next section.)

Figure 13.15. Adding keywords or captions to multiple images at once, through the All Clips at Once tab of the Keywords dialog box.



You can't edit keywords or captions associated with an image provided by Microsoft, either with Office or via Microsoft Office Online.

To change the caption associated with an image, enter a new caption in the Caption text box. To add a keyword, enter it in the Keyword text box and click Add. To remove an existing keyword, select it from the Keywords for Current Clip list and click Delete. To change an existing keyword, select it, edit it in the Keyword text box, and click Modify. When you're finished making changes to the keywords and captions associated with an image, click Apply.


Although you can delete the caption and all keywords associated with an image you've added to the Clip Organizer, doing makes it nearly impossible to find your clip. (You can still find it by searching all clips in a folder.)

If you want to change the keywords and captions associated with another image in the same folder, click Previous or Next to display that image. When you've finished making changes to keywords or captions, click OK.

Adding Keywords to Multiple Images at Once

In some cases, several related pictures will use some or all of the same keywords. You can add the same keywords to multiple images at once. To do so, display the Collection List in Microsoft Clip Organizer; display the folder containing the images; click List or Details to display all the images in the folder; and select multiple images (using either the Ctrl or Shift key and clicking them).

Then, right-click on the images, choose Edit Keywords from the shortcut menu, and click the All Clips at Once tab (see Figure 13.15).

Now, edit the keywords and captions as you want and click OK. Your changes will be applied to all the images you selected.

Restoring or Compacting a Clip Organizer Database

Clip Organizer's keywords, categories, descriptions, and image thumbnails are stored in a database. As time passes, it is possible for this database to become corrupted. Failing that, Clip Organizer may start to run slowly as you add many more images. To alleviate this problem, Clip Organizer provides the Compact tool, which squeezes unused space out of the Clip Organizer database so that it will run faster. It also attempts to repair your database if it is damaged.

To run Compact, choose Tools, Compact. Note that Compact has no settings; as soon as you select it, it runs.

    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