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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Inserting Images from the Internet

In the prehistoric days of early computing, digital artwork was quite rudimentary, jaggedy-edged and limited in color scope. It often looked like a caveman drew it rather than a highly qualified computer programmer. As time progressed, predrawn clip art began to proliferate among software manufacturers as clip art collections, allowing users to easily illustrate their files with cartoony-like graphics. The collections themselves used to install with software programs, such as Microsoft Word, and included a small variety of themes related to business, desktop publishing, and computer technologies. Eventually, full-blown photographic images—also called stock photography—made their way into clip art collections, too.

Today, most of the image collections offered with software programs are available online. Rather than clog up your computer’s hard drive with lots of images you might not ever use, you can access pictures on the Web instead and find just the right ones you want. With an Internet connection, you can peruse vast libraries of pictures, from drawings and illustrations to photographs and video clips.

You need an online connection and a Microsoft account to tap into the Office.com site and search for artwork. The Insert Pictures feature, shown in Figure 15.2, lets you search for pictures in the following sources:

Figure 15.2

FIGURE 15.2 The new Insert Pictures box lets you search for online pictures from several sources.

  • Office.com Search through Microsoft’s own collection of royalty-free pictures.
  • Bing Image Search Use this option to search for pictures on the Web using Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
  • SkyDrive If you store pictures on your cloud account, you can use this option to look for picture files among your SkyDrive content.

That’s not all: If you use a Flickr photo sharing account, you can add it to the mix and search for digital pictures from it as well.

Thumbnails are miniatures of images. Rather than take up a lot of space with full-size images, most photo displays used in galleries, photo viewers, and search engines show smaller versions of the images. The term thumbnail also applies to files you view using Windows Explorer. For example, you can choose to view folder contents as thumbnails. This sort of gives you a glance at what the files contain without the inconvenience of a full-on screen-hogging view.

Using Pictures from Office.com

To insert a picture from Microsoft’s online collection, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. Click Online Pictures to open the Insert Pictures tool (see Figure 15.2).
  3. Click in the Office.com Clip Art search field and type in a keyword or words for the type of picture you’re looking for.
  4. Press Enter or click the Search icon.
  5. A search results page lists any matches, similar to Figure 15.3. Use the scrollbar to look through the thumbnails.
    Figure 15.3

    FIGURE 15.3 Look through the search results to find the picture you want to use.

  6. When you find one you want, click it. If you find more than one, press and hold the Ctrl key while clicking each image.
  7. To download the picture, click Insert.

When the download is complete, Word inserts the picture into your document, much like what you see in Figure 15.4, and displays a new Format tab for working with the image. You might need to resize the picture right away to make it fit. More often than not, you’ll find yourself having to do this with any artwork you bring into Word. Drag a picture’s corner selection handle to resize the image. To move the picture around in the document, click and drag it.

Figure 15.4

FIGURE 15.4Word downloads the picture and inserts it for you. In this example, I inserted a clip art illustration.

If your initial search doesn’t result in any good matches on Office.com, try typing in another keyword or phrase in the Search box. Finding the right picture for an occasion might take a few tries. If you give up on searching, click the Back to Sites link in the upper-left corner to return to the main Insert Pictures screen and try another source.

Searching for Pictures Using Bing

Now let’s try searching for pictures using the Bing Image Search feature. As you might or might not know, the Bing search engine is part of Microsoft’s world domination plan, so all the Microsoft Office programs point you toward Bing any time you want to conduct a web search from within the programs.

To search the Web for pictures using Bing, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. Click Online Pictures.
  3. Click in the Bing Image Search field and type in a keyword or words for the type of picture you’re looking for, as shown in Figure 15.5.
    Figure 15.5

    FIGURE 15.5 This time, let’s search with Bing.

  4. Press Enter or click the Search icon.
  5. A search results page lists any matches, similar to what you see in Figure 15.6.
    Figure 15.6

    FIGURE 15.6 The results are images gathered from all over the Web that match your search criteria.

    Use the scrollbar to look through the thumbnails. Notice this time there’s a big warning in the box about copyright material. Unlike the Office.com site, the items you search for using Bing are not necessarily royalty-free.

  6. When you find a picture, click it to view its details, as well as a link to its web address you can use to learn more about the image.
  7. Click Insert.

Searching for Pictures on SkyDrive

SkyDrive is Microsoft’s file-hosting service, and if you store your photos on your cloud account with Microsoft, you can insert pictures from SkyDrive and place them in your documents.

To search your SkyDrive account for pictures, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. Click Online Pictures.
  3. Click the Browse link under the SkyDrive option (see Figure 15.7).
    Figure 15.7

    FIGURE 15.7 Now let’s try searching your SkyDrive storage for pictures.

  4. Open the folder containing your pictures and click the picture you want to insert (see Figure 15.8).
    Figure 15.8

    FIGURE 15.8 I’m looking for a frog picture, and I think this is the one.

  5. Click Insert.

As soon as you click the Insert button, Word downloads the picture and inserts it into your document. You will probably need to resize the picture to fit; just drag a corner selection handle, pointed out in Figure 15.9, to resize the image.

Figure 15.9

FIGURE 15.9 It’s a tree frog resting on a zinnia flower leaf, if you must know.

If you have a Flickr account, click the Flickr icon at the bottom of the Insert Pictures window and follow the instructions to connect your account. If you don’t have a Flickr account, you can use the link to make one.

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