According to the Microsoft Office blog, the Office Clip Art gallery is going away.
I’m very upset by this, because I use its photos daily. While much commentary (include a funny riff by Conan on TV) focus on the line art, the text of the blog post makes it clear that photos will also disappear.
When? I don’t know. The blog post makes it sounds as if it’s already gone, but I’m still seeing all of the clip art — both photos and line art. How about you?
Also, the post says, “Customers can still add images to their documents, presentations, and other files that they have saved to their devices.” Maybe the Clip Art gallery will continue on as long as you use an existing presentation. I wonder if you could take an existing presentation, choose File, Save As to make a copy, and still have the Clip Art gallery. I’m checking with Microsoft directly and will let you know what I hear. (Update: Nope. It’s gone.)
What about Bing search?
The blog post says that you can add images using Bing Image Search. It adds:
Bing Image Search uses a copyright filter based on the Creative Commons licensing system. The results that are returned are images that have been tagged with Creative Commons licenses. A link to the source of the image is provided, which you should use to review the source of the image and the applicable license to determine whether your use will comply with the license.
If you have PowerPoint 2013, try it yourself to verify what I’m saying. Here are the steps:
- Choose Insert, Online Pictures.
- In the Bing Image Search box, enter a keyword.
- Click an image. Note the size of the image, because some of them too small to put on a slide.
- At the bottom, click the link to the source of the image.
- Click Insert.
- Go to your browser where the link opened and check it out.
Why online search is NOT a good substitute for the Clip Art gallery
Here are my reasons:
- To use a Creative Commons (CC) image, you have to provide attribution. This means that you add a text box to your slide with the link to the website and/or the name of the photographer. This is only fair and right (and the only legal way to use the image), but it won’t look good on a sales presentation or most other public presentations, for that matter.
- It’s hard to verify the license. I’ve tried a number of searches. Sometimes, there’s a statement on the website that says the image has a CC license, but more often than not, you can’t tell. Some of the links no longer work, others don’t load. For example, you might find the image on a blog post, with no idea of where the blogger got the image. Moreover, you need to verify the type of CC license — most of you will need one that allows editing and commercial use.
- If there are people in the image, you almost never know if there’s a model release. That’s right, recognizable images of people require a model release.
- It’s often hard to find out how to credit the image. If you find the image on a blog, for example, where it’s obvious that the blogger took the image from somewhere else, it’s often hard to find the original source, so you don’t know how to credit the image. Researching the source can be very time-consuming.
Exactly what does the Creative Commons license allow?
There are several variations of Creative Commons licenses and you need to make sure that the image you want to use has a license that you can live with. Some don’t allow commercial use or modification (like cropping). Others require you to share your modification. Here is the list of licenses — scroll down to the “The Licenses” heading.
What should you do?
If you use the Office Clip Art gallery regularly, you’ll have to come up with alternative solutions. Here are some of my ideas.
- Start saving images from PowerPoint’s Clip Art gallery immediately! Do searches for keywords you use a lot, insert them on slides, and save them as pictures. I’m assuming that as long as you do this now, while the images are available, you’ll be able to use them in the future. The alternative would mean that you couldn’t use presentations you’ve already created with images from the Clip Art gallery — and that would be an impossible limitation. UPDATE: FOR MOST OF YOU, IT’S NOW TOO LATE FOR THAT.
- Find other sources for free images that don’t require attribution. I have a blog post, “Find free photos and images for PowerPoint,” with a list of free images here — although some of those sources do require attribution.
- If you’re OK with giving attribution, use Flickr and Wikimedia instead. Both make finding the license and proper attribution fairly easy and are more trustworthy. I give instructions and links in the same blog post.
- Get a budget to buy photos. An excellent, low-cost resource is 123rf. (This is an affiliate link.) With about 35 million images, you’re bound to find something that’s perfect for your presentation.
- Start taking your own photos.
I’m working on finding more image resources for you–keep posted!
Update: As of 1/8/2015, the Clip Art gallery is gone from all versions. You may still have it if you have updates set to manual but you’ll lose it when you do the next update. Sigh…
What are your plans for finding images for your presentations? Leave a comment!
Copies of MS Office 98 and below include a clip art folder. If you have an old copy you can import the art into the clip gallery.
Thank you. This information was very useful
FYI Ellen – I’m still seeing the link to Office.com clip art in PPT 2013 and can still add photos in PPT 2010 too.
I already copied what I could, plus I have a 2007 old computer that has clip art saved from disks that were sold in stores, I don’t know if they sell the disks anymore, but if I need a clip art I pull up the old computer and look through 5,000 images. It has to copied and pasted and transferred but it works. I also thought what if Ellen, somehow there could be a clip art and picture share site. Literal free share. People intentionally create clip art or take pictures and put them on the site for other people… Read more »
I have another suggestion, find a trade and used video shop, where you can purchase cd’s that have images and vector images, which will require an old operating system. I have an old computer with an old operating system that is keep just for this purpose, but I have read where somehow old cd’s that require older system versions can be opened, if you are knowledgeable or understand how to do this, this would be an option. Maybe Ellen, you could have a quest on that could teach people how to open up old cd’s that require the use of… Read more »
Judy, I’ve never heard of that. As far as I know, a CD that has images on it can be opened on any operating system — that is, it isn’t dependent on the operating system. But maybe I’m just not aware of this. I can imagine some of them using some software to hold the images. I know that there are programs that simulate older operating systems for the purpose of playing old games. Sorry I can’t help more.
It is the “Clip Art on Office Online” option that now directs you to Bing – everything that ships with Office is still around so the cheesy pictures are still accessible. Not sure about stuff in the cloud versions though. I guess it became too hard for MS to keep up with rights management for clipart (I was never clear where a lot of it came from and whether or not you have a licence for it in any case) so they simply chucked it over the side and put the problem on the users with a pious hope that… Read more »
I am not tech savory about some things, the particular software I was referring to is Broderbund and Print Shop Clip Art software. When I tried to upload on my new computer which was Windows 7 and I had Windows XP before, it would not accept the installation. I also, have not bought any software from stores where people can trade and sell their software because I don’t understand how that works because my impression is, the software is only good on the computer that you install it on, or that is what I was told by a customer service… Read more »
Judy is correct. The photos on those old CD compilations are not something you can just download onto your PC – you have to install the program from the CD, when then gives you access. The programs will install on old versions of Windows but might or might not install on newer versions. The only things you can directly download off the CD without the install routine are the thumbnails. Yes, there are workarounds, but the simplest workaround is just to keep an old PC around just to open and save the images you might eventually want. Then you can… Read more »
Yes, because they had their own software which is no longer updated. For most people don’t want to keep an old PC around but I can see that the workarounds are also complex. After checking on the box which versions of Windows the software supported, you could look for a simulator for that version. For example, if you search for Windows 3.1 simulator, you’ll get some results. I do NOT know if these are safe!
Ellen, the emulation of an earlier version of Windows within Windows 7 or 8 is what I was thinking of. Not sure, but I THINK you can get old versions of Windows to run as a virtual machine directly from Microsoft. Haven’t tried it myself, but I think I read about it a few years ago on a windowssecrets.com newsletter. Fortunately, I made a CD years ago by saving all the clipart photos in one of those old programs I bought as jpeg files then copying all them to a blank CD. I located that old CD today, so I… Read more »
Lately I’ve been using the free photos on 123RF. Another inexpensive site is Dollar Photo Club, which is $10 a month for 10 photos, and $1 for each additional.
Andrea, thanks for sharing those resources.
Peter, as of yesterday, the last update came through to the versions of PowerPoint that are installed on your computer. I know that Microsoft was sued more than once over the photos, so you’re right about the difficulty of maintaining them. Also, they got out of date quickly and buying/commissioning more was expensive.
Kelly, I think it all went away yesterday, but if you update manually, you might still have them. I don’t.
Using the search bar at this Microsoft site (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/??lc=en-us) still provides access to Office Clipart. Not sure about attrition from here.
I get a “This page is unavailable” message, but you’re right, you can use the search bar. Shhh!
Thanks Ellen for posting about this. I thought something was wrong with my Powerpoint because I kept on restarting my computer and couldn’t locate the Clip Art search. I am pretty aggravated that this feature was removed. They made it so much easier to find free royalty-free photos — finding out the CC attribution for photos online is very challenging because there are a lot of photos out there that don’t list out its type of licensing.
As a teacher in an elementary school this is very frustrating. We use PowerPoint for so many things and my kids starting searching and it was pulling inappropriate images. I now have to completely change the way I have been teaching this because we can not have kids searching any internet pictures. I am not happy about this!!!!
In PowerPoint 2010, Insert/ClipArt is bringing up the Clip Art task pane as before with an Include Bing content tick box. Ticking this box and doing a search gives a panel of images, but no licence information or information for attribution.
So, are these images royalty free, and can I use them without attribution in any presentation/document – haven’t been able to find an answer on MS websites.
What I really miss are screen beans. I go to the search page mentioned above but it can’t find any screen beans.
What used to be relatively simple has now turned into a hassle.
Thank you so much for publishing this information. I too, thought I was losing my mind, but my detailed google search found this site and listed it as #1 hit. I teach PowerPoint, was reviewing the Exercise we will be doing tomorrow and “OMG” where is the clip art I’m telling them to get!
I so miss the little illustrations! I don’t mind finding photos on the web, but I can’t find all those lovely little illustrations I would often use to provide a visual for the concept(s) on a slide. I am a teacher and try to make my slides interesting. I respect copyright, but surely they had copyright license to all that art that was freely available in their collection. And screenbeans! I have found Bing to be useless, and the internet seems to provide only ones with paid subscriptions (not cheap either and I have no budget for this) or very… Read more »
I agree with you. For elementary students this is a really bad decision. The images are so inappropriate. Please come up with another solution. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I wonder if I can get my money back for my ppt since what I purchased is no longer what I receive.
Use Bing.com to find clip art images. You should specify in the search window: clip art + (name of image type) or (image name) + clip art. For example: clip art cleaning / cleaning clip art.
Most of the old Word clip art images will be picked up from online webpages and documents.
My biggest issue with this is that I actually WANT the old-style, cheesy, clunky, quirky, line-drawing stuff. I’m trying to make and update simple signs for school fun fair games, which I did on Publisher for the last 4 years, and now can’t find those images when I need new content. I’ve got photos of my own of just about anything in the world so I don’t care about that. If I’m making a fun sign for the kids about a cell phone game, i want the cartoonized line drawing of the brick and flip phones, not a photo of… Read more »
I was curious if anyone who had all the clipart on their hard drive would copy them to a zipped folder and provide it to this site so people can download it… or be kind enough to email it to me and I’ll set up a free wordpress site with a download link ?
I’ve asked about a situation where I gave someone a slide that had one of the photos from the old clipart gallery that she wanted. While this isn’t a legal opinion, it was suggested that it wouldn’t be legal to pass on those photos–we don’t have the license to do that. This webpage has links to detailed license agreements: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/intellectualproperty/Permissions/default.aspx Here’s one statement that would seem to make what you’re suggesting illegal: “If you use Office Services, you may have access to media images, clip art, animations, sounds, music, video clips, templates, and other forms of material (“media elements”) provided… Read more »
Hi, A group of programmers called the Archive Team has saved the entirety of the Microsoft clipart website for Internet Archive purposes. However, the file containing the archive is in a cryptic format called .warc, which their wiki says is for internal system use and not intended for regular usage as a “normal” file archive. Does anyone know how I can get in touch with the people who did this to request that they upload the archive in a normal format to Wayback Machine? It says they have an IRC outlet, but I’m terrified of social media and am too… Read more »
I have a clip art library that I can still access using Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. Under Microsoft Office, go to Microsoft Tools and then Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Find the picture you want and right click, copy and then paste in your document.
you can access the open resource clipart gallery https://openclipart.org/
Thanks for that link, asdf, you really saved my day! (some 6 months later)
Thanks for finally writing about > Office Clip
Art gallery is going away « PowerPoint Tips Blog < Loved it!
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He’s right !