Software

Emphasize a picture in a Word doc by changing its shape

Square is square. However, you can change a square picture in a Word doc to any number of shapes in just a few quick steps.

An ordinary square picture plopped into a corner is a rather boring. One way to emphasize a picture is to change its shape and Word makes it easy.

The first step is to insert the picture by clicking the Insert tab and clicking Picture in the Illustrations group. Locate the picture and click Insert. It doesn't matter where you insert it because you can easily move it.

With the picture in your Word document, you're ready to change its shape using the Crop Shape option as follows:

  1. Select the picture.
  2. On the contextual tab, click the Crop drop down in the Size group.
  3. Choose Crop To Share and then click a shape to apply to the picture.

To position the picture within the text, you'll need to change a few properties-which properties depend on the results you want. To achieve the results shown below, do the following:

With the picture selected, choose Through from the Wrap Text dropdown in the Arrange group. Then, select In Front Of Text from the same option. Next, simply move the picture to the right margin of the bulleted list. Make sure the picture doesn't block any text.

This is a simple example; its focus is changing a picture's shape. Good composition and balance in a complex document are also important-what changes would you make to improve this simple document's composition and balance?

In Word 2003, you start with the shape you want - an AutoShape - and then use the shape's Fill property to insert a picture.

Editor’s note: An example word document is provided as an aide to understanding this technique.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

9 comments
nick.marshall
nick.marshall

This option only appears to be in Word 2010. You can, however 'fill' a shape as described by wrdwzard previously.

fishcad
fishcad

I don't see the Selection Pane option in Word 2007. I do have a .docx open.

S. Giesbrecht
S. Giesbrecht

Love this idea. I make the changes in word then copy it to Paint to make the new picture and icons. Thnx

laser
laser

How can this be done using LibreOffice or OpenOffice?

Robiisan
Robiisan

...for highlighting or emphasizing the subject of the picture is to use the "Remove Background" command in the "Adjust" group on the picture contextual tab. This is particularly useful for people's head-and-shoulder shots, but might work just as well on the sample photograph in the article. In that example, the statue's arms are almost completely lost in the greenery in the background. Some judicious work with "Remove Background" (it's not a perfect function) would really bring out the statue.

deb
deb

That in Word 2010, if the Word document is a .doc file (compatibility mode), those options won't appear (there will be no drop-down on the Crop button). You'll need to save it as a .docx file to be able to do this.

fishcad
fishcad

That was my guess but at the end of the article it was mentioned that 2003 was different implying (at least to me) that the feature was in 2007.

ssharkins
ssharkins

It does take a bit of patience, but can produce a better effect. Thanks for mentioning it.

wrdwzrd
wrdwzrd

Hi Deb (and others), didn't read the whole discussion (instruction), but this effect is achievable in 2003 as well. Just introduce any 'autoshape' at all, right mouse click to 'Format autoshape', choose tab 'Colors and Lines', 'Color', 'Fill effects'. The right tab 'Picture' gives the possibility to select any picture you want to fill your autoshape with. I don't know how to attach a sample, mail me if you want to see one. Good luck trying.

Editor's Picks