For those of you who are currently using the Microsoft Office software, here’s a great tip for easy access to thousands of free graphics on the Internet. Remember that because of copyright you must be using Microsoft software, to access this resource. To find an image or sound from the Internet while working in your Microsoft program follow these steps:
(Please note that these steps are based on the Office 97 and may be slightly different in other versions.)
- Click on Insert in the Menu Toolbar.
- In the dropdown menu, click on Picture.
- A second dropdown menu will appear. Click on Clip Art.
- A new window will open. In the bottom right hand corner of the new window, you will see the symbol for Internet Explorer.
- Click once on this picture and the Microsoft’s Design Gallery Live page will open in a new window.
The address to access this graphics page directly is: http://dgl.microsoft.com. Once you have opened this site, you can search for graphics by virtually any topic. Because of the huge range of graphics available, there are many ways to limit your search including keywords or categories. The results can be clip art, photos, sounds or motion. If you’re fairly new to graphics and you have lots of free time, then you can also choose to browse through the graphics by clicking on Browse at the top of the page. Some other features of this site are: Monthly Featured Clips; Collections, which you can preview before you download; Styles and Tips of the Month. To give you an idea of the vast resources of this feature, a sample search for Spring clip art only, brought back 43 pages of results with approximately 12 images per page. When I included all categories, the results increased to an overwhelming 55 pages. This site is a great feature for all Microsoft users as it offers almost unlimited resources. Importing the pictures is simple since everything is compatible. If there is a particular image that you like and will use often, you have the option of saving it to your hard drive, but the beauty of this site is that you have access to thousands of images without using up valuable memory. Here’s how to insert an image into a document without saving it on your hard drive:
- Right-click your mouse on the image.
- In the drop down menu that appears, left-click your mouse on copy.
- Close the Microsoft Design webpage window(s).
- Return to your document and right-click your mouse.
- Left-click your mouse on paste and the image will appear in your document. You can now move it around and adjust the size as needed.
If you really like the image and wish to download it, click on the red download arrow. The size of the image is given here so you will know how much memory it will use up. Once you have clicked on this arrow, you will be asked if you want to save this file or open it from the current location. If you choose to save the file, you will have to tell the computer where to save it. The Desktop is usually a good choice. After you have saved the file, you can insert it into your document by using the Insert File in the Menu Bar.
* This review was written in March 2001. Parts of this review may not apply to the current version of this website.