How to Download Microsoft Word Clip Art

by Kevin Lee

Before computers existed, people cut clip art pictures from books or magazines, pasted the images onto illustration boards and used a photo-mechanical process to reproduce the images. Today, Microsoft and other providers host clip art libraries online that you can access for free. Although clip art images may lack the visual impact of photographs, strategically placed clip art can add value to Word documents and help you draw attention to important information.

Add Clip Art to Word


Click a location in your Word document where you want to add clip art. For instance, if you want to insert an image at the top of the document, click that location. Whenever you insert a picture, Word places the image at the document's insertion point.


Click Insert followed by "Online Pictures" to open the Insert Pictures window. This window contains free images you can download from Microsoft without leaving the application.


Type a search term in the "Search" search box and press "Enter." Word returns thumbnail images of clip art that matches your search term; for example, if you need a car clip art picture, search for car.


Scroll through the clip art and find one you like, then click the image and choose "Insert" to add it to your document. If the picture is larger or smaller than desired, click one of the handles along its edges and drag the handle to resize the picture. Add and resize additional images as needed using by repeating these steps.

Adjust Text-Wrapping Properties


Click on one of your document's clip art images to select it, then click "Format" followed by "Wrap Text" to view wrapping options such as “Square” and “In Line with Text.” These options control the way Word wraps text around graphics.


Move your mouse over these options and note how they affect your clip art image and surrounding text. The “Top and Bottom” option, for instance, makes text appear above and below a picture. “Square,” on the other hand, wraps text around all the image’s sides.


Click the option that produces the effect you like to apply it to the document. Choose an option that surrounds an image with text when you'd like to conserve space in the document.


  • check You can download quality clip art images from sites such as Graphics Factory, Public Domain Clip Art and Arthur's Free Clip Art. After you download a clip art image from a website, add it to a Word document by clicking “Insert” followed by “Picture.” Open the folder where you saved the file and double-click it to insert it into Word. In addition to searching at the Public Domain Clip Art site, you can click one of the categories to view clip art in that category.
  • check Word’s wrapping options also apply to shapes and other types of graphics you add to documents.
  • check Although you may find free clip-art websites, many of the sites that offer professional clip art graphics require membership. One benefit of joining a membership site is that you'll probably find the image you need if the site has a huge library that contains hundreds of thousands or millions of images. Review membership plans carefully before joining a site. Ideally, choose one that allows you to download as many clip art images as you like.
  • check Experiment with the layout options by trying different ones on the Layout Options menu. Each one changes the way text wraps around your clip art.

About the Author

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.

Photo Credits

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