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Editing images in Word 16 [Part 2]

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Although it’s always preferable to edit images using dedicated graphics software, it’s often necessary to do minor edits once the images have been inserted into a Word document. This is especially true after the A4 Word document has been converted into the required paperback size [trim size].

In this post, we’ll look at basic image editing tasks you may have to perform in Word 16.

Selecting an image

To select an image in Word 16, simply click it.

You should now see a frame and circular ‘handles’ around the outer edge of the image:

All of the handles will resize the image, but only the corner handles will keep it in proportion.

Change the size of an image

To decrease the size of the image, hover the mouse over one of the corner handles until the mouse pointer changes to a diagonal arrow.

Click-hold-and-drag the handle into the middle of the image.

To increase the size of the image, drag the corner handle away from the image.

Cropping an image in Word

Cropping allows you to cut away the unwanted parts of an image. This technique is particularly useful if you want to create a ‘close up’ of one particular detail, or when the details are too small to see clearly, but the image itself is already at the maximum size for your page.

To illustrate this point, have a look at the two screenshots below:

In the first screenshot, you can barely see the ‘Crop’ option. You certainly can’t see any details about it. In the second screenshot, only part of the Ribbon is visible, but the ‘Crop’ option is shown in ‘close-up’ and is easy to read.

How to crop an image

First, click the image to select it.

This will cause the image frame to be displayed. It will also make the ‘Picture Tools’ tab available on the Ribbon.

If the tab is not open, click Format as shown below:

You should now see the ‘Crop’ option on the far right of the tab:

To crop the selected image, click the Crop icon [not the word or arrow] on the Ribbon.

The image will now display the distinctive black, crop handles:

Point the mouse at one of the crop handles until it changes shape and looks like a smaller version of the crop handle:

Click-hold-and-drag the handle towards the middle of the image.

When you release the mouse button, the grey area visible in the background represents the area of the image that will be cropped:

To complete the crop process, click the Crop icon on the Ribbon again.

Once the image has been cropped, click it again and use the corner ‘handle’ to make the image bigger. This basically creates your ‘close-up’.

Moving an image in Word

Depending on how you originally inserted your image into Word, changing the page setup of your document may mean that you also have to re-align the image on the page.

The first step is to click the image to select it.

Next, point the mouse at the image. When the mouse changes to a four-headed arrow, click-hold-and-drag the image to a new location:

If the image won’t move, it means that the default ‘Wrap Text’ setting – i.e. In-line with Text – is still in force. This setting locks the image to the text at its current location.

To ‘unlock’ the image, open ‘Format’ on the Picture Tools tab:

Next, click Wrap Text to display the menu of text wrapping options. In the example shown, ‘In Line with Text’ is the active wrap text setting. You can find detailed pictures and descriptions of the wrap text settings here.

To select one of the other Wrap Text options, click the icon next to it. Depending on which option you chose, you should now be able to move the image on the page.

Placing a border around an image

Borders are not necessary, but if the image contains a lot of white space, a border can give the image more definition.

To place a border around an image, click the image to select it, then click Picture Border on the Ribbon as shown below:

A small, drop down menu of Picture Border options is displayed. These include Border colour, line thickness and line style:

Colour – click one of the colours on the palette to select that colour for the border.

No Outline – click to remove the border around the image.

More Outline Colors – Click to display extra colour palettes from which to choose the line colour of the Border.

Weight – click to display a menu of line thicknesses. Click one to select a different thickness for the Border.

Dashes – click to display a menu of line styles – e.g. dots and dashes etc. Click one to select a different line style for the Border.

In the next post we’ll look at creating captions for images.

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