How to Use Images and Photos in Word: Page 2

Posted November 23, 2007

Helen Bradley

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Wrap points tool screen shot
Using the Edit Wrap Points tool you can configure how text wraps around an image.
(Click for larger image)

The Format Picture button opens a dialog box that you can also access by selecting the image and choose Format > Picture. There are some additional tools in this dialog that you can use to format your image.

The Set Transparent Color button is of most use when you are working with a drawn image. Use this to click on a single color in the image to set it as a transparent color. You might use this, for example, to remove the background from an image so that it looks transparent on the page. Note that you can only make one color transparent at a time.

Finally, the Reset Picture button, when clicked, resets the picture to how it looked when it was first inserted in the document.

Images in Every Shape
Images stored on your computer are rectangular or square in shape – it’s just not possible to save a circular image. However, you can create a circular image in Microsoft Word very easily. Display the Drawing toolbar and select the Oval shape tool. Hold the Shift key and drag a circle on the page. Don’t worry too much about the colors you’re using as the fill is about to be replaced.

Circle tool screen shot
Using AutoShapes you can create pictures in your documents in any shape you choose.
(Click for larger image)

Next, right-click the shape and choose Format > AutoShape and then the Colors and Lines tab. From the Fill Color dropdown list choose Fill Effects > Picture tab and click Select Picture. Select the image to use and click Insert. Click the Lock Picture Aspect Ratio checkbox, deselect the Rotate Fill Effect With Shape checkbox and click OK twice. The image now appears inside the shape.

If you change the shape, the photograph adjusts to fill it. If you rotate the shape the photograph will stay in place because you deselected the Rotate Fill Effect With Shape checkbox when you inserted the image.

You aren’t limited to using circles, and you can fill any AutoShape with an image using the same process. You make the image in the shape semi-transparent using the Transparency slider on the Colors and Lines tab and, to remove the border from the shape, choose No line from the Line Color dropdown list. To adjust how text wraps around the shape, right click it, choose Format AutoShape and click the Layout tab.

Sourcing Images
If you are looking for images to use in your Word documents you can use any image stored on your disk whether it be clipart or your own photography. You will also find a good selection of photos and clipart available on this page of the Microsoft Web site. Just make sure to look for the free Microsoft content – some of the content advertised here requires payment.

Screen shot
You can take a copy of the screen and insert it into your document and use it to illustrate it.
(Click for larger image)

If you are creating documents that explain how to use various software tools, you can use your own screenshots in your documents. To do this, first display the screen that you want to capture on your computer screen and then press the Print Screen key.

Alternatively, you can capture just the current window by pressing Alt + Print Screen. Switch to your Word document and choose Edit > Paste to paste the screen shot into position. You can now edit the image. For example, you can crop the screen shot to show just the portion that you want to use, or you can resize it. You can add a callout to it using the AutoShapes tool on the drawing toolbar. Locate the AutoShape Callouts collection, draw the shape and write your text in it. This is a handy way to annotate screenshots to make them easier for readers to understand.

If you plan to place the screen shot image in a shape, you’ll need to paste it into your photo editing software first, save it as a file and then follow the instructions for inserting it into the shape.

Use the image tools in Word as a handy way to add visual elements to your Word documents.

This article was first published on SmallBusinessComputing.

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