Publisher 2010: Working with Pictures

Lesson 6: Working with Pictures



Publisher 2010

Pictures are a great way to add visual interest to your publication. Depending on the type of publication you're creating, adding pictures can even be essential. For instance, you wouldn't create a brochure for a product without including at least one picture of it. The picture tools in Publisher 2010 make it easy to incorporate images into your documents and modify those images in interesting ways.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to insert, fit, and format pictures, including clip art. You'll also learn about preparing your pictures for publication and using other Office programs to make advanced edits to your pictures.

Adding pictures

To add a picture to your publication, you can either insert an image you have saved on your computer or choose one from Publisher's large selection of Clip Art. Once you've added images, you can then edit them as you wish.

To insert a picture from a file:

  1. Select the Insert tab, then locate the Illustrations group.
  2. Click the Picture command.
    The Picture commandThe Picture command
  3. The Insert Picture dialog box will appear. Locate and select the picture you would like to insert, then click Insert.
    Selecting a picture to insertSelecting a picture to insert
  4. The picture will be added to your publication.
    The inserted pictureThe inserted picture

To Insert Clip Art:

  1. Select the Insert tab, then locate the Illustrations group.
  2. Click the Clip Art command.
    The Clip Art commandThe Clip Art command
  3. The Clip Art pane will appear on the right. Use the search tools to search for a suitable image.
    • Enter keywords in the Search for: field that are related to the image you wish to find.
    • Click the drop-down arrow in the Results should be: field, then deselect any types of media you do not wish to see.
    • If you would like to also search for Clip Art on, place a check mark next to Include content. Otherwise, it will just search for Clip Art on your computer.
    The Clip Art PaneThe Clip Art Pane
  4. Click Go to begin your search.
  5. Publisher will display pictures that meet your search terms. When you've found a picture you wish to use, click it.
    Choosing Clip ArtChoosing Clip Art
  6. The Clip Art will be added to your publication.
    The inserted Clip ArtThe inserted Clip Art

If you can't find Clip Art that suits your needs, you can also search on the Microsoft Office website by clicking the Find more at link at the bottom of the Clip Art pane.

A link to more clip art at the Microsoft Office websiteA link to more clip art at the Microsoft Office website

Replacing existing pictures

If you started your publication from a template, you're likely to want to replace some of the template's pictures with your own. The Change Picture command lets you insert new pictures in place of existing ones. When you use this command, the new picture will appear in the location of the original one, with the original picture's formatting applied.

The Change Picture commandThe Change Picture command

Fitting pictures in your publication

To get your picture to fit well on the page, you may have to adjust it by resizing, cropping, and rearranging it.

To resize a picture:

  1. Select the picture.
  2. Click one of the corner sizing handles and drag your mouse until the picture is the desired size.
    Clicking and dragging the picture to resize itClicking and dragging the picture to resize it
  3. Release your mouse. The picture will be resized.
    The resized pictureThe resized picture

If you know exactly how many inches tall and wide you want your picture to be, you can resize it to those specifications. Click the Picture Tools Format tab, then locate the Size group. Enter the desired height of your picture in the top box and the desired width in the bottom box.

Entering precise measurements for the pictureEntering precise measurements for the picture

To crop a picture:

  1. Select the picture, then click the Picture Tools Format tab and locate the Crop group.
  2. Click the Crop command.
    The Crop commandThe Crop command
  3. The black cropping handles will appear. Click and drag a handle to crop the picture. The areas that will be cropped will appear to be semi-transparent.
    Crop handlesCropping handles
  4. When you are satisfied with the appearance of your picture, click the Crop command again.
  5. The picture will be cropped.
    The cropped pictureThe cropped picture

Arranging pictures

To get your pictures to fit properly with text and other objects, you may have to align them and adjust their text wrap settings. The procedures for doing these things are identical to the procedures for working with shapes and other objects. To learn how to arrange and align pictures, review our Working With Shapes and Objects lesson.

Picture text wrapping optionsPicture text wrapping options

Modifying pictures

Brightness and contrast

One of the most basic edits you can make to a picture is modifying its brightness and contrast. Although these tools are separated into two commands in Publisher, they are most effective when used together.

To adjust brightness and contrast:

  1. Select the picture you wish to adjust, then select the Picture Tools Format tab and locate the Adjust group.
  2. Click the Brightness drop-down command.
    The Brightness commandThe Brightness drop-down command
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, select the desired brightness. Positive numbers (+) will make the picture brighter, while negative numbers (-) will make the picture darker.
    Increasing the picture brightnessMaking the picture brighter
  4. Click the Contrast drop-down command.
    The Contrast drop-down commandThe Contrast drop-down command
  5. Select the desired contrast level. Positive numbers (+) will create a greater contrast between the light and dark areas of the picture, while negative numbers (-) will reduce the contrast.
    Increasing the picture contrastIncreasing the picture contrast

To recolor the picture:

  1. Select the picture you wish to recolor, then select the Picture Tools Format tab and locate the Adjust group.
  2. Click the Recolor drop-down command.
    The Recolor commandThe Recolor command
  3. From the drop-down menu that appears, select a recoloring option or select More Variations to see additional color choices.
    Recoloring optionsRecoloring options
  4. The picture will be recolored.

To apply a picture style:

  1. Select the picture, then click the Picture Tools Format tab and locate the Picture Styles group.
  2. Click the More Picture Styles drop-down arrow.
    The More Picture Styles drop-down arrowThe More Picture Styles drop-down arrow
  3. A drop-down list of styles will appear. Move your cursor over the styles to see a live preview of each style in your publication, then select the desired style.
    Selecting a picture styleSelecting a picture style
  4. The style will be applied to the picture.
    The picture, with the style appliedThe picture, with the style applied

To add a caption:

  1. Select the picture, then click the Picture Tools Format tab and locate the Picture Styles group.
  2. Click the Caption drop-down command.
    The Caption drop-down commandThe Caption drop-down command
  3. A drop-down list of caption styles will appear. Move your cursor over the caption styles to see a live preview of the captions with your picture, then select the desired caption style.
    Selecting a caption styleSelecting a caption style
  4. Click the caption text box and type your caption text.
    The captionThe caption

To restore a picture to its original appearance:

  1. Select the picture, then click the Picture Tools Format tab and locate the Adjust group.
  2. Click the Reset Picture command.
    The Reset Picture commandThe Reset Picture command
  3. The picture will be restored to its original appearance.
    The picture, reset to its original appearanceThe picture, reset to its original appearance

Additional formatting options in Word and PowerPoint

If you've worked with pictures in Word or PowerPoint 2010, you probably noticed that Publisher includes only a fraction of the image editing tools featured in those programs. If you find yourself reaching the limit of Publisher's editing capabilities, you may wish to edit your picture in one of those programs, then insert it back into your publication.

While some of these tools are simply better, more complex versions of features that already exist in Publisher, other useful tools like image background removal and Artistic Effects are not present in Publisher 2010.

Additional picture-editing options in PowerPointExtra picture editing options in PowerPoint

Additional image editing features available in these programs include:

  • More advanced brightness and contrast tools
  • A larger selection of recoloring options
  • Artistic effects that allow you to apply a number of filters to your pictures
  • Additional cropping options, including the option to crop your picture into any shape
  • A larger and more visually appealing selection of picture styles
  • The ability to capture and modify screenshots

These tools are identical in Word and PowerPoint, so use the program you feel more comfortable with. To learn more about these tools and how to use them, review one of the following lessons:

To edit your pictures in another program:

  1. Open Microsoft Word or PowerPoint 2010. A blank document or presentation will be created.
  2. Insert the picture you wish to edit into your blank document or presentation. You can do this in two ways:
    • Copy the desired picture from your publication and paste it into the document or presentation
      Pasting an image into PowerPointPasting an image into PowerPoint
    • Use the Picture command to insert the picture
      The Picture command in PowerPointThe Picture command in PowerPoint
  3. Use the tools in the Picture Tools Format tab to modify the picture as desired.
    Removing the picture backgroundRemoving the picture background
  4. When you are satisfied with the appearance of your picture, right-click it and select Save as Picture... from the menu that appears.
    The Save as Picture commandThe Save as Picture command
  5. Browse for the desired save location, then click Save.
    Saving the pictureSaving the picture
  6. Return to your publication in Publisher, then follow the Insert Picture instructions on page 2 of this lesson to insert the edited picture into your publication.
    The inserted pictureThe inserted picture

While you could skip steps 4-6 by copying the picture from Word or PowerPoint and pasting it back into your publication, this is not recommended. Depending on the tools you used to modify your picture, some of the edits may not be saved.

Preparing your pictures for publication

Compressing pictures

You'll need to monitor the file size of publications that include pictures, especially if you send them via email. Large, high-resolution pictures can quickly cause your publication to become too large, which may make it difficult or impossible to attach to an email. In addition, cropped areas of pictures are saved with the publication by default, which can add to the file size. Publisher can reduce the file size by compressing pictures, lowering their resolution, and deleting cropped areas.

Only compress pictures after you have edited and resized them. Attempting to enlarge or otherwise edit a compressed picture may result in a blurry or otherwise low-quality image.

To compress pictures:

  1. Select a picture, then click the Picture Tools Format tab and locate the Adjust group.
  2. Click the Compress Pictures command.
    The Compress Pictures commandThe Compress Pictures command
  3. The Compress Pictures dialog box will appear. Review the settings in the Compression Options section. All four boxes should be checked.
  4. In the Target Output section, select your planned method of publication.
  5. Choose whether to compress every picture in the publication or the selected picture only.
  6. When you are satisfied with the publication settings, click OK. The picture or pictures will be compressed.
    The Compress Pictures dialog boxThe Compress Pictures dialog box

Test printing

Depending on the types of edits you make to your pictures, they may not print exactly as they appear onscreen. While this could signal a problem with your printer or ink, these print errors are often caused by problems in Publisher itself. For this reason, you should print a test copy of your publication as soon as you have added any pictures.

If the pictures are especially blurry, grainy, oddly colored, or otherwise distorted from their onscreen appearance, consider saving your publication as a PDF, then opening and printing the PDF version. Instructions on saving your publication as a PDF can be found in the Producing a Publication lesson.

Errors with color printing An example of distorted printing
Good color printing The same publication, saved and printed as a PDF


  1. Create or open a publication. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Insert a Clip Art picture. Use the search tools in the Clip Art pane to find a photograph of a family.
  3. Crop the picture, then resize it so it fits well on the page.
  4. Align the picture to the center of the page.
  5. Recolor the picture.
  6. Apply a picture style.
  7. Add a caption.
  8. Compress the picture, then close the publication without saving.