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How to Edit Clip Art in Microsoft Word

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Editing Clip Art in Microsoft WordHave you ever wanted to use Clip Art in your document, but didn’t because it had the wrong colors, or an element you didn’t like? It’s actually possible to edit graphics found in the Clip Art Gallery. Note that this only works on drawings, not photographs, and not on all of them. Here’s how you do it:

Ungroup the Graphic

On the right side of the PICTURE TOOLS > FORMAT Tab, click on the GROUP button, and then select UNGROUP. An alert box may appear that says, “This is an imported picture, not a group. Do you want to convert it to a Microsoft Office drawing object?” Click YES.

Occasionally, you need to Ungroup twice.

The image changes into a Drawing Canvas, with all the elements of the Clip Art broken up into tiny pieces. To see this in action, click once inside the frame, then press CTRL-A on the keyboard to SELECT ALL. You now see all the resizing handles for all of the graphic elements. Click outside the box—don’t change anything yet!

Ungrouping Graphics in Microsoft Word

Change Colors

Find an element to recolor. Click on it (it may take several tries to find the right one if there are a lot of overlapping elements), and use the DRAWING TOOLS > SHAPE FILL to change the color.

Changing Clip Art Colors in Microsoft Word

Delete and Add Elements

Click on any element to remove, and tap Delete on the keyboard.

To add an element, use INSERT SHAPES to create and position it in the Drawing Canvas.

Delete and Add Elements

Regroup the Image

To finish, click anywhere inside the Drawing Canvas and SELECT ALL or CTRL-A again. On the DRAWING TOOLS ribbon, click on GROUP, and then on the GROUP option.

Regroup the Image

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4 Responses to How to Edit Clip Art in Microsoft Word

  1. Me April 14, 2016 at 7:42 am #

    sadly as Microsoft has changed and there is no ‘clip art’ in the new word, this is totally obsolete.

    • Alicia Katz Pollock April 14, 2016 at 8:33 pm #

      I miss it too, but fortunately I still have Word 2010 on my computer so I can open it up and do the honors!

  2. Jacky January 9, 2017 at 8:06 am #

    Alicia… my when I click on my clipart item, the Group button is deemed and I can’t click on it…. any thoughts why?


    • Alicia Katz Pollock January 10, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Jacky, Not all clip art was created in layers. It has to be simple line art, and vector-based instead of pixel-based.

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