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Using Picture Tools in MS Word 2007

In order to use Picture Tools in Word 7 you first need to insert a picture or clip art image into your document. To insert a picture or clip art image, select Insert then choose Picture or Clip Art. Selecting Picture allows you to choose a picture on your computer. Selecting Clip Art opens the Clip Art window where you can search for the image you want. Search will look through Office, web or your collections and you can also choose whether you want photos or clip art. Once inserted, select the image and the Picture Tools Format tab appears. When the image is no longer selected, the Picture Tools Format tab disappears.

The first box under the Format tab is Adjust, where you can adjust brightness and contrast, recolor the image, compress for when saving, change to a different picture while keeping the same size and format of the picture that is being replaced, and the last option is to reset the picture which removes all the changes made to it.

The Recolor options are pretty cool. You can take your image and turn it grayscale, sepia, washed out or black and white. Or you can change the color to various dark or light colors. The first image, the yellow flower, came from the clip art collection. The second image was changed to sepia as has the box around it. The third image I applied the Set Transparent Option to it by clicking on the color area that I wanted transparent. That removed the background color. Then I changed it to a different color.

The next section under Format is Picture Styles. There are preset options that will frame your picture, add a drop shadow, mirror the image and change the perspective. The shape of the image can be changed to a star, heart, oval, arrow and a multitude of other shapes. The border around the shape can also be changed in thickness or color. And then there is Picture Effects. Along with Presets, there are Shadows, Reflections, Glows, Soft Edges, Bevels and 3D Rotations. The arrow in the lower right hand corner of the Picture Styles box opens up the dialogue box where the formatting of the picture can be fine tuned even further.


The next option box is Arrange where you arrange the position of the placement of your image on the page, move it to the front or back of other objects and control how the text will flow around it. This is where you can also align, group or rotate or image(s).

The last box is Size, which allows you to re-size or crop your image. To crop your image select it and then select Crop, which turns your cursor into a crop tool. Along the edges and corners of your image black lines appear where you can then take the crop tool (your cursor) and crop your image anywhere there is a black line: from the top, sides, corners or bottom.

Being a Photoshop user I would not have thought to use Word to modify images. Both programs definitely have their own special talents and there are some that they share, like shadows and beveling. One thing though, is that Word does not allow you to export your finished creation as an image file. You can, however, copy the image and then paste it into Windows Paint, MS Publisher, and even Photoshop to then export as an image file.

After researching and writing this article, I discovered I could play with Word's Picture Tools for hours. And I think I already have!

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