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How to find images for Office documents now that Microsoft's killing Clip Art

Derek Walter | Dec. 16, 2014
Microsoft is sending its Office clip art to the digital beyond, where it shall rest in glory with Clippy, Zune, and the rest of the Redmond saints.

If you use copyrighted images, you're setting yourself up to get a nasty letter from the company or whomever holds the copyright to the images. If it's possible that your work may see public eyes in any form, make sure you're in the clear by sticking with licensed work.

There's always OneDrive for your own files

If you're all-in with Microsoft then there's a chance you're using OneDrive as your cloud backup service. If so, then importing your own images into Office is way easier than digging through the Windows file menu.

Unfortunately there's no search option after selecting OneDrive as your file source — you just need to work your way through the scroll of images or folders that you have saved in your cloud storage. 

Once you've found the image you want you want, click on it and select Insert for it to appear in your Office document. 

Use Google search instead

There's a reason Google still has the bulk of search market share; it's usually better than the competition at finding exactly what you're looking for. Such is the case with finding images. You can always just fire up your browser of choice and head to Google's image search.

There are a couple of additional tools to help you sniff out proper images to use. After conducting a search, you'll see different sub categories with previews of other image groups. You can check any of those and see if something tickles your fancy.

Yet again you have the ability to make sure you're not violating copyright law by restricting the search to free-to-use images. Click Search Tools and Usage Rights. There are five different types of options that vary by how you intend to use the image. Select the one appropriate for your particular case. "Labeled for reuse" means you can use it for business or commercial works, or anything else you have in mind. "Noncommercial reuse" means you can't use the image in a work that will be sold or shown to the public in a way that will make you money.

Once you see an image you want, right-click and save it to your computer. You now have an image ready to import.

Go back into your Office project and select Pictures from the Insert tab and it will fire up the Explorer menu. Just find what you downloaded and insert it into your file.

Once you've used Bing, OneDrive, or Google search to find pictures you'll forget all about those zany Clip Art images. Well, some of them are hard to forget — but at least you won't be caught using them again.


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