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Using, grouping and working with pictures in Word 2007

Updated on December 27, 2012

Introduction

Hi, and welcome to my latest hub on Word 2007. Today’s hub is on using, grouping and manipulating pictures in Word 2007. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is particularly apt in today’s fast moving information age and often the best way to get a particular point across in a document is to use a picture or diagram. As a writer of technical documents, pictures are an invaluable tool. Often, however, a picture will need to be cropped, resized or adjusted in some way to fit into my document. This and much more is achieved by accessing Word 2007s Picture Tools tab.

The three buttons I use the most when working with pictures are the Crop and the Height and Width buttons. I will also cover a number of other important buttons which will greatly help you when working with pictures in Word 2007.

Importing Pictures into Word 2007

Pictures saved as a file can be imported into Word 2007 by clicking on the Insert tab. Click the Picture button in the Illustrations group, browse to the file and click Insert. The picture will be added next to the cursor. You can also insert Clip Art, Shapes, SmartArt or Charts using the same Illustrations group. If your picture is in another document, you can simply Copy and Paste it into your Word document (Ctrl-C for Copy, Ctrl-V for Paste).

Formatting pictures

When you select a picture, Word adds a new tab, the Format tab, in a group called Picture Tools as shown below.

Format tab for formatting pictures in Word 2007.
Format tab for formatting pictures in Word 2007. | Source

Before we begin making changes to our picture, lets look at some useful buttons in the Adjust group.

Compress Pictures allows you to reduce the overall size of the pictures you are importing depending on how you plan to use them. The figure below shows the settings available. If you, for example, have a series of 3 MB photos in your document, you may wish to reduce these to a smaller size so that they can be printed without a loss of quality and emailed to people easily (many companies limit the size of email they are willing to receive).

Using the Compress Picture button to shrink picture sizes in Word 2007.
Using the Compress Picture button to shrink picture sizes in Word 2007. | Source

Reset Picture is a very useful button indeed. If you end up with your picture not looking exactly as you want, you can quickly and easily return it to how it was when you imported it with a single click of a button.

Change Picture allows you to import a different picture in the same position as the picture you selected.

The other buttons in the Adjust group and also all of those in the Picture Styles group allow you to style or format your photos in any number of ways. As you can see below, you can radically change any photo using the buttons available.

Examples of how the Picture Style buttons can assist in formatting a picture,
Examples of how the Picture Style buttons can assist in formatting a picture, | Source

The Crop button in the Size group is a very important button. You will often have a picture that you want to remove parts from and Crop is the tool you will use to achieve this. It is the button that I use the most when I work with pictures. Take, for example, the picture below. On the left is the original picture and on the right is the original with crop selected. The resultant cropped picture is shown below the original. To crop a photo, move the cursor to one of the crop handles and drag it to crop the image. If you are not happy with the result, use either the Undo function, or the Reset button.

How to use the Crop button in Word 2007.
How to use the Crop button in Word 2007. | Source

Resizing pictures can be done one of two ways. You can simply select a picture and drag it using the handles on the corners. If you want your pictures sized exactly, you can use the Height and Width buttons in the Size group. I use these buttons as I like my pictures to all be identical in size and this is the best way to ensure that they are exactly the same size.

If you have a picture that is simply too big to fit on a page and you can’t resize it or it will loose too much detail you can change the orientation of a single page in Word 2007 to landscape. This is covered in detail in my hub on changing the orientation of a single page which can be found via the following link.

Using Groups

Groups are very useful in Word 2007 to overcome a problem that has existed in Word since it was first created. Positioning pictures exactly where you want them is very difficult and often times very frustrating. Using groups it is simply a matter of cutting and pasting the pictures onto a drawing canvas, placing them exactly where you want them to be in relation to each other and then placing the group in your document.

  • To begin, create a drawing canvas by selecting New Drawing Canvas using the Shapes button which is in the Illustrations group on the Insert tab
  • Cut and Paste your pictures onto the drawing canvas
  • Position and resize them as you see fit
  • Select all the pictures by left clicking while holding down the Ctrl key

A selected collection of pictures ready to be added to a group.
A selected collection of pictures ready to be added to a group. | Source

On the Format tab, you will see in the Arrange group a Group button. Click Group and the pictures will all be added to a group. You can also ungroup your pictures using the same button

  • Next, select on of your pictures and drag it to where you want them to be located
  • Click on the drawing canvas and delete it

You will notice that the photos will now always retain their relative positions to each other. When you select the group, the Format tab which is part of Drawing Tools is activated rather than Picture Tools. When you add a format the whole group is formatted as one. I added a shadow effect to my collection of clip art below.

Grouped pictures in Word 2007. The group can now be formatted together.
Grouped pictures in Word 2007. The group can now be formatted together. | Source

Conclusion

Pictures are a powerful and integral part of documentation and are an excellent way of communicating ideas or concepts within documents. Today I have covered importing, formatting and grouping pictures as well as covering a number of buttons in detail including Compress Pictures and Reset Pictures as well as Crop and Height and Width. I also covered grouping pictures in detail which allows you to place pictures exactly where you want them and to format them together. I do hope that you found my hub interesting and informative and that you have learnt something that you can apply to your work in Word 2007. Many thanks for reading, please feel free to leave any comments you may have below.

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