Microsoft Clip Art Ultimate Guide: Editing, Changing, Drawing & More!

by | Oct 3, 2014

Editing Clip Art in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Clip Art Ultimate Guide: Editing, Changing, Drawing & More

Have you ever wanted to use Microsoft Clip Art in your document, but didn’t because it had the wrong colors, or an element you didn’t like? Like we teach in our popular Microsoft Word class, 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 Clip Art 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 Clip Art 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 Microsoft Clip Art 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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About Alicia Katz Pollock

With a Masters in Teaching from Tufts University, a QuickBooks®️ Online Advanced Certification and more than 30 years’ experience in the tech industry, Alicia is passionate about finding creative, practical solutions to complex and everyday tech problems. She also loves a good laugh!



  1. Jacky

    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

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

  2. Me

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

    • Alicia Katz Pollock

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


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