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Overview and Explanation of Microsoft Photo Editor

Updated on October 30, 2012

Where did your favorite program go?

Many people have been wondering what happened to Microsoft Photo editor, the application that they used to use to edit their photos and other images. Most of the people who used this program got it in a bundle with other applications when they bought Office 2000. The program is still around - sort of. Microsoft Photo Editor has changed forms and been given a new name: Microsoft Office Picture Manager. It's still available through the Office bundle (and has been since Office 2003 was released).

Unfortunately a number of people don't like using the Microsoft Office Picture Manager in comparison with Microsoft Photo Editor. That's because the people who used it primarily for editing pictures (and not just storing them) are lacking the features they need to do that editing. You can still do some basic editing through Microsoft Office Picture Manager but the major editing that was available with Microsoft Photo Editor isn't available anymore.

Here are some of the things that you can do if you have Microsoft Photo Editor:

  • Create new images; change details in the images and set the images against different backgrounds.
  • Alter the contrast and brightness of images. Better lighting is more flattering after all!
  • Cut and paste images; erase images. This allows you to chop out people you don't want in a particular picture or create collages with multiple images.
  • Change the dimensions of a photo. You might need to downsize your images because you want to upload them to a website with specific size requirements. Or you might want to blow them up. You can do either with Microsoft Photo Editor.
  • Rotate your photo to varying degrees.
  • Smudge or sharpen different parts of the pictures. This allows you to be creative, drawing attention to certain areas of your image and taking attention away from other parts of the picture.

Here's what you can do if you miss your old Microsoft Photo Editor program:

  • Reinstall Microsoft Photo Editor. If you still have the old disk that you used to get Microsoft Photo Editor in the first place, you can reinstall it. What happened to many people is that they upgraded from Office 2000 to Office 2003 (or newer) and then lost the Microsoft Photo Editor program. You can take the Office 2000 disk and opt to only reinstall the Microsoft Photo Editor. This way, you retain the new Office programs but get your old editor back.
  • Upgrade to a new photo editing program. The most popular replacement for Microsoft Photo Editor is probably Microsoft Digital Image Pro. This has many of the same features that Microsoft Photo Editor had as well as a number of additional features that are fun to play around with.

Most people have found that they can use some alternative to Microsoft Photo Editor to alter their images in a way that they like. However, some people prefer Microsoft Photo Editor to the newer programs that are out there. If you want to reinstall the old program, you need to get into storage and dig out those old disks!


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  • profile image

    Kay  7 years ago

  • profile image

    A. Nonamous 8 years ago

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    Lorne 9 years ago

    Actually you probably can't re-install your old copy of Photo Editor - most licences only support one machine - non transferable. And if you're running vista who knows if it will work. What we need is a good replacement with an open licence. I've had it up to here these 'rental' software packages.

  • profile image

    Damker 9 years ago

    High there! I have the XP Windows disc with MS Photo Editor, and I've tried to to reinstall it after I installed Office 2007 on my WinXP SP2 system. However it gives me the following error:

    Error 1402. It's not possible to open the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\Office\Shell\Open\ddeexec by the installation program. Any ideas? I'd be indebted. Email:

    Thanks a million.


  • amerdad profile image

    amerdad 9 years ago from California

    I was wondering where that went!! Thanks for letting me know :)