Thursday, October 20, 2011

Clipart

A few years back, I had to find a piece of clipart--a dradle, which is a four-sided spinning top associated with Hanukkah--for a presentation to a Jewish society. I'm not Jewish and I know only a passing bit about Hanukkah. What I did know was the address that would get me to Microsoft Clipart (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/). When I got there, I typed in Jewish...a nice broad term that should net lots of results. The broad search term worked and not only did I pick up a dradle but I also found lots of other Hanukkah-related graphics that I could use in the presentation.

In addition to presentations, I routinely use Microsoft clipart when producing newsletters. A piece of art or two can be just what you need to take up that bit of extra space at the bottom of a page and make lines of text bump right up to the bottom margin...the ideal layout.

When you visit the site, you can search for just about any type of clipart. Be sure to enter a number of different search terms. You'll also get some funny results because of word association.

When you find a piece of clipart that you want to use, you usually have the option of Download (for Chrome) or Copy or Download (for Internet Explorer (IE)).

Copy

Click Copy and IE places a copy of the clipart on your pasteboard (a.k.a. clipboard), which is a temporary memory area on your system.

Open a new Word document and paste (Ctrl + V) the graphic in the blank Word document.

Resize the graphic. Copied graphics frequently are large and they are easier to resize in a blank document.


Click the graphic to display handles, and then point your cursor at the lower right handle until a double-headed arrow appears ( ↔ ). Click your mouse button and do not let it go. Move your mouse and the graphic will resize larger or smaller, depending on how you are moving your mouse. When you get a size you're happy with, let go of your mouse button.

Copy and paste your resized graphic into the document where you want it to appear; for example, to the right of the first line in a newsletter article.


Download

Click Download to download the graphic to a location on your system. A download dialog appears with two options: Open or Save.

Click Open to open the graphic on screen.
  • If the graphic is a drawing, it will most likely open in MS Paint, a graphics program.
  • If the graphic is a photograph, it will most likely open on screen...frequently in Picasa.
If you know how to use either of these programs, you can alter your graphic and save it to a location on your system.

Click Save to save the graphic to a location on your system, and then insert it into a new Word document, resize it, and then copy and paste (Ctrl + C, then Ctrl +V) your resized graphic into the document where you want it to appear; for example, as a new chapter graphic in a book. 

I keep a file folder on my system titled Delete. Everything that I think I'm going to use once and not need again, I place in this folder. When the folder gets too crowded, I delete all contents.

Comments

Microsoft Clipart is free...one of my favorite words. It's reliable...you won't pick up a virus. It's updated regularly by pros. Can you find additional clipart online? Yes, you can. I tend to shy away from it because I've had problems. When your're on the Web, it's always better to be safe than sorry.

On the next post, I'll talk about the dreaded text wrap around a graphic...we'll talk about anchors...they won't sink you but some days you'll swear they are trying.


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