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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Working with Clip Art

Clip art has been available in the Office applications for a very long time and has served as a way to add design elements and thematic images to Office documents. Clip art was at one time merely a collection of line drawings and cartoons. The clip art library provided by the Office 2010 applications, however, consists of photos in the JPEG format (.jpg), illustrations in the Windows Media File format (.wmf), and animated GIFs or videos in the GIF format (.gif). The clip art library also contains audio files in the WAV file format.

The Clip Art task pane provides you access to all the clip art provided that is placed on your computer when you install the Office applications. You are also provided access to Office.com, which houses an ever-growing collection of clip art files that will serve just about any clip art need you might have.

To insert clip art into an Office document, select the Clip Art command on the Ribbon's Insert tab. When you select the Clip Art command, the Clip Art task pane will open on the right side of the application window. Type a search string in the Search For box and then click Go. A collection of clip art that meets your search criteria will be listed in the Clip Art task pane. Figure 4.17 shows the Clip Art task pane after a search was conducted for the text string "hockey."

Figure 4.17

Figure 4.17 The Clip Art task pane.

By default, the Clip Art task pane searches for all media file-types that meet your search criteria and includes files located on Office.com. You can fine-tune your search based on file type by selecting the Results Should Be drop-down list. On this list, you can select specific file type categories such as Illustrations, Photographs, or Videos. You can then rerun the search to filter the results.

After you have located a clip art file that you want to insert into your application document, such as a Word document or PowerPoint slide, you can do so by clicking on the thumbnail of the clip art provided in the task pane.

When the clip art is selected in the document, the Picture Tools Format tab becomes available on the Ribbon. This can be used to adjust the image settings, add picture styles to the image, and specify how text in the document should flow around the clip art frame. This is the same set of tools available when you are working with digital pictures such as JPEG files (which many of the clip art images are) and screenshots that you have added to your document. The Format tab tools were discussed earlier in the chapter in the section "Formatting Pictures."

Viewing Clip Art Properties

You can view the properties for a clip art file before you insert it into an Office application document. This enables you to view the file format and resolution for the clip art file and to preview clip art videos in the animated GIF file format.

Click the drop-down arrow on the right of a clip art thumbnail in the Clip Art task pane. Select Preview/Properties on the shortcut menu. The Preview/Properties dialog box will open for that clip art image. Figure 4.18 shows the Preview/Properties dialog box for a clip art WMF file.

Figure 4.18

Figure 4.18 The Preview/Properties dialog box.

The Preview/Properties dialog box provides all sort of information on the selected clip art file. It provides the filename, type, resolution, and size. It also provides a list of keywords that are associated with the clip art file. You can edit the keywords list by selecting the Edit Keywords button. This will open the Keywords dialog box. You can add keywords as needed and then click OK to return to the Preview/Properties dialog box.

The Preview/Properties dialog box can also be used as a way to quickly view the properties related to the other clip art that was found based on your original keyword search in the Clip Art task pane. Use the Next or Previous buttons at the bottom of the Preview/Properties dialog box to move to the next or previous clip art file shown in the task pane, respectively. When you have finished working with the Preview/Properties dialog box, select Close.

Adding Clip Art to Your Collection

A lot of the clip art available in the Office applications is actually on the Microsoft.com website. So, you might want to make certain clip art images available offline if you know you are going to be working on an Office document in a situation where you do not have an Internet connection.

You can copy clip art to your My Collections folder and you can also create subfolders, which enables you to keep similar clip art images in the same container. To open the Copy to Collection dialog box, click the drop-down arrow to the right of a clip art image in the Clip Art task pane and select Make Available Offline.

By default, the Copy to Collection dialog provides the My Collections folder, which contains a Favorites and Unclassified Clips folder. If you want to add a subfolder, select the New button. The New Collection dialog box will open. Type a name for the collection subfolder and then click OK. The new collection subfolder will appear in the Copy to Collection dialog box.

Select the collection folder that will serve as the destination for the copied clip art file. Then click OK. The file will be copied to your collection.

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