How to Edit an Image in a Word 2010 Document - dummies

How to Edit an Image in a Word 2010 Document

By Dan Gookin

Word 2010 lets you work with graphics (just remember that Word isn’t a graphics program). You can use some of Word’s touch-up features for dealing with a document’s illustrations.

Resizing an image in Word

You can change an image’s size on the page:

  1. Click to select the image.


    The image grows handles.

  2. Hold down the Shift key.

  3. Use the mouse to drag one of the image’s four corner handles inward or outward to make the image proportionally smaller or larger.

  4. Release the Shift key.

Holding down the Shift key keeps the image proportional. Otherwise, you’re changing the image’s dimensions when you resize, which distorts the image. For example, grab the top handle and drag up or down to make the image taller or shorter.

You can use the buttons in the Format tab’s Size area to nudge the image size vertically or horizontally or to type specific values for the image’s size.

Cropping an image in Word 2010

In graphics lingo, cropping works like taking a pair of scissors to the image: You make the image smaller, but by doing so, you eliminate some content, just as an angry, sullen teen would use shears to remove his cheating-scumbag former girlfriend from a prom picture. This figure shows an example.


Here’s how to crop:

  1. Click the image once to select it.

  2. Click the Crop button in the Format tab’s Size group.

    You’re now in Cropping mode, which works much like resizing an image.

  3. Drag an image handle inward to crop, which slices off a side or two from the image.

  4. After you’re done cropping, click the Crop command button again to turn off that mode.

Rotating an image

You have two handy ways to rotate an image:

  • Fixed rotation: Use the Rotate menu found in the Format tab’s Arrange group. From the menu, you can choose to rotate the image 90 degrees to the left or right or to flip the image horizontally or vertically.

  • Free rotation: Use the mouse to grab the rotation handle at the top of the image. Drag the mouse to twist the image to any angle.

Changing an image’s appearance

Pictures can be manipulated by using the tools found in the Adjust group on the Picture Tools Format tab. Only a few tools are available, but the good news is that each tool’s button shows a menu full of options previewing how the image will be affected. To make the change, simply choose an option from the appropriate button’s menu.

For example, to wash out a picture you’ve placed behind your text, choose the color Washout from the Recolor part of the Color button’s menu.

Arranging multiple images in a Word document

The Format tab’s Arrange group offers buttons that you can use to arrange how multiple pictures appear:

  • Bring to Front and Send to Back: New images that you plunk down on a page appear one atop the other. You don’t notice this arrangement unless two images overlap. When you’re displeased with the overlapping, you can change the order of an image by using these buttons.

  • Align: To help you keep multiple images lined up, use the Align button’s menu. First select several images by holding down the Shift key while you click each one. Then choose an alignment option, such as Align Middle, from the Align button’s menu to properly arrange images in a horizontal line.

To help you organize multiple images on a page, show the grid:

  1. Click the View tab.

  2. From the Show/Hide group, select Gridlines.

    Instantly, the page turns into graph paper, to assist you in positioning your graphics and text.