You can add photos to a Word document. However, there are a number of things to be aware of.
- File size. Using a large number of photos, or photos of high resolution, will greatly increase file size.
- Printing. The photo quality may be poor on a printed copy, depending on the printer you use, paper quality and other factors. Even if printing to a colour printer, the colours may not be the same as those on the monitor.
- Legibility. If photos are used behind text, make sure the text remains readable.
Photos are possibly more useful in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, where they can be used as a background image
Sources of Photos
So, where do you get your photos from? You have a number of options.
- Photos from your own collection. These need to be scanned and saved to your computer.
- Photos taken with a digital camera and uploaded to a computer.
- Photos others have taken that have been scanned in. Remember to get permission.
- The Internet (check copyright and any other restrictions first). This includes Microsoft's clipart gallery website. This is accessible via the Insert Clipart task pane. Click Clips Online to link to the web page. Photos from the Internet may include the URL or other copyright information on the photo itself. This should not be deleted or cropped.
- Photo CD-ROMs, or CD-ROMs that have both photos and clipart. Again, check for any restrictions on their use.
- Scanned in objects - eg put paper clip, pen, notepad, on scanner glass. Scan it. Use your imagination to come up with other objects. Be careful not to scratch the scanner glass.
- Graphics you have created yourself, from scratch or by modifying existing photos, combining two photos, adding special effects, etc.
Scanned-in photos can be modified (eg brightness, contrast, removing unwanted objects, cropping). This requires the use of a graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop or JASC Paintshop Pro. However, Microsoft Photo Editor provides some limited editing capability (including brightness and contrast). See below for more information on opening and using Photo Editor.
Microsoft Photo Editor is part of the Microsoft Office XP package.
Using Photos in Documents
Photos can be used as:
- A background, with your text displaying over the top. Remember to check that the text is readable. If used on every page of a Word document, file size increases dramatically. Use on one page, or on short documents only.
- A watermark. Similar to above, but added via the Format - Background - Printed Watermark feature.
- A picture which takes up all or part of a slide in PowerPoint (eg for a self-running slide show or photo album). Put one or more photos per slide depending on their size and relationship to each other. Photos can have animation effects applied.
- A graphic in its own right, with text wrapped around it, or above and below it.
- Part of a cover page, or as a background to a cover page.
- A fill effect for clipart, table cells, graphs and autoshapes. For example, fill a map with a matching photo. To fill clipart with a photo, you will need to ungroup the clipart object.
- Cropped and used as a divider.
- Repeated throughout the document in different forms (watermark, divider, cropped photo).
Use a graphics program to do your editing, including cropping, resizing and recolouring (brightness and contrast). Although some of these options are available on the Picture toolbar, Word handles the graphic better if it does not need any modification after inserting on the page.
Make a copy of the original picture and work with the copy, if you want to also keep an original without your changes. It also leaves the original photo intact if you make a mistake while editing, or do not get the results you expected.
A useful graphics program already on your PC is Photo Editor. This application is found under Start - Programs - Microsoft Office Tools. First open the application. Then open your graphic file (or a copy of it).
The tips below give information on using some of Photo Editor's features.
JPG Image Quality
Use this feature to reduce file size and image quality.
- Open the photo. Click File - Save As.
- In the Save as Type box, select JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg). Click the More button.
- Move the slider to the left to reduce file size and quality, or move to the right to increase file size and quality.
- Click on Save. If you do not want to overwrite the original file, you will need to give the file a new name before saving.
- Click on Image - Resize. Type a new measurement for width and height.
- Change other options as needed.
- Click OK.
- Open the photo.
- Click on Image - Rotate.
- Select an orientation (eg Mirror) or type in an angle next to By Degree.
- Click OK.
Zoom In or Out
Click on View - Zoom and type in a percentage, or click the drop-down arrow in the Zoom Control button on the toolbar.
Or click the Zoom button on the toolbar and click on the image. To zoom in, click on the photo. To zoom out, hold down the Shift key and click the photo. Click the Zoom button again when done.
Note that each click halves or doubles the magnification, from 10-1600 percent.
The Smudge Brush smears or blends adjacent colours when dragged across an image. Click the Smudge button on the toolbar. Click and drag the brush across the photo.
Click the Sharpen button on the toolbar. Click and drag the brush across the photo.
Brightness, Contrast, Gamma
Brightness adjusts the amount of white in colours and shades of grey. Contrast changes the difference between adjacent colours and shades of grey. Gamma control changes the contrast in the dark areas of the image.
- Click the Image Balance button on the Standard toolbar.
- Move the Brightness and Contrast sliders until you get the effect you want. The effect shows up in the picture.
- Click OK when done, and save your picture.
- Note that you can leave the setting as All Colours, or choose to change the settings separately for Red, Green and Blue.
Brightness and contrast can be adjusted automatically. Click on Image - Autobalance.
Select Part of an Image
To select an entire image, use Edit - Select All. To select part of an image, click the Select button on the Standard toolbar and click and drag over the area of the photo you want.
Selections can be resized, via their sizing handles. Click and drag a sizing handle.
Selecting part of an image is used for copying that part of the image. After making the selection, click Edit - Copy. Switch to the document you want to paste into. Click Edit - Paste.
To erase part of an image, select the area. Then choose Edit - Cut.
To crop an image, select the part of the image you wish to keep. Click on Image - Crop. Make any other changes in the dialogue box. For example, by entering settings for mat margins, you can frame the image with white. Crop margins are rounded.
To cancel a selection, press the Esc key.
Click on File - Properties to get information about an image. For example, location, resolution and size. Resolution and image type can be changed. For example, choose Grey Scale to change your photo to black & white.
To view the dialogue box, click on File - Print. This lets you modify position on the page. For example, untick Fit to Page, and click the Centre button. Modify height and width of the printed photo.
There are other changes you can make using Photo Editor. Use the Effects menu to sharpen, or add special effects such as Watercolour. Move the slider bars, and click the Preview button to view the effect. Save your work when done. Note that you can use the Undo menu option to undo your changes.