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Graphics in Microsoft Word

Graphics include Clip Art, photos, drawings and charts etc. Word 2010 offers a vast array of ways to include, create and manipulate graphics. This is a guide to some of the basic and most frequently used processes. It is assumed that users have a working knowledge of Microsoft Word 2010.

Note: Legally you must abide by Copyright legislation. Serious penalties apply to infringement of copyright.

Saving files

It’s recommended that you save your document frequently, while you are working on it, to your M (students) or G (staff) drive and that a backup copy is made elsewhere. It is also advisable to save your graphics in separate files. This ensures that you’ll always have uncorrupted versions of your document and graphics available in case something goes wrong.

Accessibility

Any graphic added to a document must have Alternative (ALT) text added to enable a screen reader or other assistive technology to access the information it contains. Information should never be conveyed by the image alone, a description of what the graphic represents must be in the document text.

Graphics made of multiple elements should be created in a separate document and added as a screen clipping. This is so alt text can be added to the finished graphic; otherwise Word will expect alt text to be added to each individual element, which will not be accessible.

To add Alternative text:

  1. Select the graphic. Click on Picture Tools: Format tab - Picture Styles group - click on the Dialog Box launcher.
    Alternatively, right-click the graphic and select Format Picture…
  2. Click on Alt Text. Add a brief, accurate description of what the graphic portrays in the Title field and duplicate this in the Description field. Decorative graphics can have ‘Decoration’ added to both fields.
  3. Ensure each sentence finishes in a full stop. Click on Close.

Inserting graphics

Individual graphic can be inserted directly into a document. However, if you are creating multiple element graphics, (e.g. a flowchart, adding arrows to a picture) then you may want to use the Drawing Canvas. See the section on: Drawing Canvas.

There are several different ways to insert a graphic:

  • Pictures from a file - Click on the Insert tab - Illustrations group – Picture – Navigate to the file - Insert.
  • Clip Art – Click on the Insert tab - Illustrations group - Clip Art. In the Clip Art pane, type a search term in the Search for: box. Select one of the results.
  • Screenshots – Click on the Insert tab – Illustrations group – Screenshot – select a screenshot from the gallery.
  • Screen Clippings - Minimise all open applications except the one you want to take the screen clipping from. In Word click on the Insert tab - Illustrations group – Screenshot - Screen Clipping. Word will automatically minimise and the remaining application is displayed as a faint background. Click and drag the area you require. When the mouse button is released the selection will appear in the document.

Drawing Canvas

If you are creating a multiple element graphic you may want to use the drawing canvas, it is especially useful if you intend to use arrows or connecting lines. To open the drawing canvas:

1. Click on the Insert tab - Illustrations Group – Shapes - New Drawing Canvas.

Adding shapes to the Drawing Canvas

  1. Select the Drawing Canvas. On the Drawing Tools Format tab - Insert Shapes group - More - select a shape from the gallery - click inside the Drawing Canvas to insert it.
    To add pictures or Clip Art to the Drawing Canvas, click inside the Canvas, and then add your picture from the Insert tab, Illustrations group.

Note: You can change the resize or the orientation of the shape using the handles around the edge when it is selected. To resize an object more precisely, select it, then on the Drawing Tools Format tab, Size group enter values in the Height: and Width: boxes.

Drawing Connectors

Lines can be used to connect elements on the drawing canvas together. Not all Lines are connectors. To insert a connector:

  1. Select the Drawing Canvas. Click on Drawing Tools Format tab - Insert Shapes group - More and select a connector from the Lines group.
  2. Click the first shape. When you move you cursor over the second shape connection sites appear as small red squares. Click on a connection site.

If either shape is moved the connectors will remain attached. 

Drawing curves

  1. Select the Drawing Canvas. Click on Drawing Tools Format tab - Insert group – More - Lines group - select Curve.
  2. Click where the curve is to start, then click wherever you want to add a curve. Move the mouse and click again to create further curves.
  3. To stop adding curves, double-click or click near the starting point (which will close the shape).

Note: To modify the shape the curve and click on Drawing Tools Format tab - Insert Shapes group - Edit Shape - Edit Points. Click and drag a marker to a new position.

Manipulating objects on the Drawing Canvas

There are several ways in which shapes on the drawing canvas can be moved:

  • Drag and drop: Select the element and drag it to a new position.
  • Nudge: This moves the graphic a pixel at a time. Select the graphic, hold down the CTRL key and use the arrow keys to move it to a new position.
  • Aligning: To align graphics with one another; hold down the CTRL key and select the graphics. Click on Drawing Tools, Format tab - Arrange group - Align and make a selection.

Resizing and repositioning the Drawing Canvas

The Drawing Canvas can be resized depending on whether you want it to affect the graphics on it or not, use one of the following methods:

  • To change the size of Drawing Canvas without altering the graphics on it, right-click on the border of the canvas, and select Expand.
  • To make the Drawing Canvas fit tightly around the outer edge of the graphic, right-click and select Fit.
  • To scale all the objects and the canvas, right-click and select Scale Drawing. When you drag the handles on the edge of the Drawing Canvas, all the objects scale proportionally along with the canvas.

Manipulating graphics

Documents containing graphics can be very large. If you want to reduce the file size you can choose to compress or reduce the resolution of a graphic or crop it and delete the cropped areas. This cannot be done with vector graphics.

Note: Be aware that once changes have been made to a graphic it cannot be returned to its original state. Always ensure you have a backup copy.

Compressing and changing the resolution of a graphic

  1. Select the graphic. Click on Picture Tools Format tab - Adjust group - Compress Pictures.
  2. Ensure Apply to selected pictures only is selected to avoid changing the resolution of all the graphics in the document.
  3. Select a Target output and click on OK.

Note: Depending on the target output selected you may see a slight deterioration of picture quality.

Cropping

If you only want use a section of your image you can crop it.

  1. Select the graphic. Click on Picture Tools Format tab - Size group - Crop. Cropping handles now appear around the image.
  2. Click on a cropping handle and drag to resize. To crop equally on all four sides, hold down the CTRL key while dragging a corner handle inwards.

Note: To delete the cropped areas and so reduce file size: click on Picture Tools Format tab – Adjust group - Compress Pictures. Ensure Delete cropped areas of pictures is selected and click on OK.

Resizing

To resize a graphic:

  1. Select the graphic. Click on one of the handles around the edge of the image and drag it to a new position. Use one of the corner handles to maintain proportions.

Note: For more precise resizing, select the graphic, then click on Picture Tools: Format tab and enter Height: and Width: values in the Size box.

Rotating

To rotate a graphic:

  1. Select the graphic. Click in the green handle above the top middle handle around the edge of the graphic and drag it to a new angle.

Note: To select a more precise rotation, select the graphic and click on Drawing Tools, Format tab - Arrange group - Rotate. Select an appropriate option or click on More Rotation Options.

Wrapping text around graphics

Inserted graphics default to being In-Line with Text. To move the image:

  1. Click the graphic to select it. Click on Picture Tools Format tab - Arrange group - Position. Select an alternative position.

Alternatively:

  1. Click the graphic to select it. Click on Picture Tools Format tab - Arrange group - Wrap Text.
  2. Select an alternative wrapping style. Square or Tight will be most suitable as this will then allow you to drag the image to where ever you want it on the page.

Note: To include additional white space around the graphic, click on Picture Tools Format tab - Arrange group - Wrap Text - Edit Wrap Points.

Anchoring

Editing a document after a graphic has been inserted may cause it to move. Anchoring the graphic to a particular paragraph will ensure they always move together.

  1. Select the graphic. Click on the Picture Tools, Format tab - Arrange group - Position - More Layout Options.
  2. On the Position tab, select options from the Options section and click on OK. The options will be greyed out if you are using the text wrapping option In line with text.

Grouping graphics

To prevent graphics made of multiple elements from moving away from each other, they can be "grouped" and held together as one unit. You can then move them to any position without having to realign each shape.

  1. Select all the objects to be grouped. (Hold down CTRL and click each one.)
  2. Click on Drawing Tools Format tab - Group - Group.

To ungroup a grouped selection, click on Ungroup.

Stacking graphics

When you create multiple drawing elements in one area, you create an ‘overlapping stack’. This sometimes results in part (or all) of one or more shapes being hidden by another. Changing the order in which these elements are stacked will result in one coming to the front, and others are sent behind.

  1. Select an element and click on Pictures Tool: Format tab – Arrange group - select an option from the Bring Forward or Send Backwards drop down list.

Text boxes

Text boxes can be used as part of multi element graphics e.g. as labels. Text boxes should not be used to emphasise text as Word treats them as graphics, a border should be used instead. See the section Backgrounds and Borders.

  1. Click on the Insert tab - Text group - Text Box. Select a text box from the gallery or click on Draw Text Box.
  2. Click and drag to create the text box.
  3. Type your text in the Text Box. This text can be formatted as normal.

Manipulating the text box

  • Move the text box: Use the drag and drop method.
  • Alter the size: Click and drag one of the handles around the edge to the required size. Alternatively, click on Drawing Tools, Format tab - Size group - enter new values in the Height and Width boxes.
  • Adjusting the Internal Margins: Click on the Drawing Tools Format tab - Size group - Dialog Box launcher - Text Box tab – enter new values under Internal margin.

Inserting an Excel chart

  1. In Excel select the chart and then click on the Home tab - Copy.
  2. In the Word document, click where the chart is to appear. Click on the Home tab - Clipboard group – PastePaste Special.
  3. Select either Microsoft Office Excel Chart Object to paste it as an embedded object that can be edited using Excel or Paste link – if you want it to be updated whenever the source data changes.

Note: Other options in the Paste Window include pasting it as a Picture or Bitmap, or as a Microsoft Office Graphic Object which can be edited using the chart tools in Word.

Creating diagrams and organisation charts

The SmartArt graphics feature allows you to create professional looking graphical lists and diagrams such as Process, Venn and Organisation Charts. Before you begin it is a good idea to first sketch out your diagram on paper to help you decide on the best layout rectifying a wrong choice can be very time consuming.

Choosing a layout

1. Click on the Insert tab - Illustrations Group – SmartArt – make a selection - OK.

The layout will now appear in your document, with placeholder text, so you can see how the graphic will look. Use the commands in the SmartArt Tools tab to add or remove shapes and change the colour or design.

Entering text in a SmartArt graphic

  1. Click a shape and then type the text.
    Alternatively you use the text pane. If this is not displayed, click on SmartArt Tools - Design tab - Create Graphic group - Text Pane.

Adding shapes

  1. Select the shape next to where you want to place the new one.
  2. Click on SmartArt Tools Design tab - Create Graphic Group - Add Shape – select an option.

To delete a shape, click on the edge of the shape and press the DELETE key.

Customising the Diagram

The SmartArt Tools tab contains commands for working with your diagram. This includes changing to styles of shapes, adding shapes and promoting / demoting shapes.

Swapping the complete diagram for another

  1. Select the diagram and click on SmartArt Tools Design tab - Layouts group – select an alternative layout or More Layouts.

Backgrounds and Borders

Watermarks

Watermarks appear behind text and are useful for identifying the document as a ‘Draft’, or ‘Confidential’.

Note: Watermarks are only visible in Print Layout or Full Screen Reading Views.

  1. Click on the Page Layout tab - Page Background group - Watermark.
  2. Select a watermark from the gallery. Alternatively click on Custom Watermark at the bottom of the list to create your own or insert a picture.

Note: To remove a watermark click on the Page Layout tab - Page Background group - Watermark - Remove Watermark.

Backgrounds

Backgrounds are primarily used for online viewing and do not automatically print. To add a background:

  1. Click on the Page Layout tab - Page Background group - Page Color.
  2. Select a colour. Click on More Colors or Fill Effects for more options if required.

By default, backgrounds do not print. To print a page with a background:

  1. Click on FileOptions - Display - Printing options - Print background colours and images.

Borders and shading

Borders and shading can be added to any part of a document to add emphasis.

  1. Select the text. Click on the Page Layout tab - Page Background group - Page Borders.
  2. Select the Borders tab or Shading tab. Make selections as required and click on OK.