Tip o’ the Week 328 – Clip for art’s sake

clip_image001As discussed in Tip o’ the Week 28, Office Clip Art changed a while back – out was the staid clip art composed of vectors and 1990s bitmaps.  In was an online search for stuff you might like, filtered loosely by content that’s maybe not always what it seems.

clip_image002You can, of course, use your own photos – in fact, the Online Pictures option within Office apps includes Flickr, OneDrive and Facebook – and you’ve always got the option of uploading from your PC or any other URL.


If you’re after some high-quality clip art to insert into you magnus opus, you could try a service called Pickit, previously known as PicHit.me.

The Pickit Photo Finder app gives you a nice Modern app way of finding cool photos given a theme or keyword (though there’s a subscription fee if you want the higher quality pics). It’s even Cortana enabled, supposedly. There’s an Office Addin too, which lets you search for and add photos and art straight into your documents.

Pickit is a Microsoft BizSpark success story, and the service runs on Azure.

There are many ways of finding decent clipart for your projects – there’s Open Clip Art for an archive of more traditional vector & standard clipart image fare, or image hosting services like Pixabay, which offer free Creative Commons photos. Check out these other alternatives too.

Tip o’ the Week #256 – Clip Art clips off


Exactly 5 years after publishing the very first instalment (though it was internal only for a year before I started posting the tips on this blog), clip_image003Tip o’ the Week goes Old Skool: #256, or 28, the number of combinations possible from a single byte. If you want to join the retro-fun, Sir Clive is backing a new crowd-funded Speccy games console. Sinclair was a hero of the 1980s’ UK 8-bit computer market, before having to sell out to the-then un-betitled upstart Alan Sugar.

Time moves on. The oft-mocked and much-maligned Clippy died, aged 10. Not enough people wanted to write letters any more, it seems.

Other things change, too – the very idea of Clip Art within Office apps, for one. Word 6 from the early 1990s had a handful of clip art images, but later versions of Office had full libraries of pictures and vector-image clip art. But Clip Art is going the way of the dodo…


clip_image007Microsoft announced recently that the Clip Art collection was being closed down, to be replaced by Bing Image searches.

To insert Bing images into Word docs or Outlook emails, just go to the Insert tab and look under Online Pictures.


The Bing Image Search option shows pictures which are available for free use, licensed through an arrangement called  Creative Commons – so you should be able to use them without charge, though do bear in mind that the license to re-use may have specific conditions – select the desired image  and click on the link for more details.


So, let’s raise our hats to Clip Art – even if it’s sometimes pretty naff, with images that are out of date and a bit cheesy.

If you don’t like the Bing Image options, you can always select Pictures from your own PC, or add your own collections to the “Online Pictures” list  – from online accounts such as OneDrive, Flickr or Facebook.