Using clips and the Clip Organizer

Applies to
Microsoft Office Excel 2003
Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003
Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003
Microsoft Office Word 2003
Book cover This article was adapted from Microsoft Office System Inside Out by Michael J. Young and Michael Halvorson. Visit Microsoft Learning to buy this book.

This article explains how to insert pictures into a Microsoft Office document using the Office Clip Organizer. In Office, the term picture refers to a graphic object that’s derived from outside the Office program.

You can use the Office Clip Organizer program to organize, find, preview, and insert into your documents the contents of media files (picture, movie, or sound) that are stored on your computer. The Clip Organizer, introduced with Office XP, replaces the Microsoft Clip Gallery program that was included with Microsoft Office 2000.

The Clip Organizer provides access only to those media files that have been imported into the program. In the Clip Organizer, these imported files are known as media clips. The Office Setup program automatically imports a set of media files that are provided with Office. If you wish, you can import additional media files that are stored on your local or network drives. Note that some of the Clip Organizer clips provided with Office, insert AutoShapes, not pictures.

For each imported media file, the Clip Organizer stores the file’s location and description, as well as a list of keywords (to help you find an appropriate clip) and a thumbnail image of the file’s contents (to let you preview the clip). The file itself remains in its original location.

This article describes how to:

Insert Clip Art

Run the Clip Organizer in Freestanding Mode

Import Clips into the Clip Organizer

Important     If Microsoft Clip Organizer is not available, you may need to install it.


If you originally installed Microsoft Office from a network file server or from a shared folder, you must install Clip Organizer from that location. If you installed Office from a CD-ROM, you must install Clip Organizer from the disc.

  1. Quit all programs.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you run Microsoft Windows 2000, double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon in Control Panel.
    • If you run Microsoft Windows XP, click Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.
  3. In the Currently installed programs box, click the listing for Microsoft Office or the individual Office program, depending on whether you installed the program as part of Office or individually, and then click Change.
  4. On the Maintenance Mode Options screen, click Add or Remove Features, and then click Next.
  5. If a Custom Setup screen appears, select the Choose advanced customization of applications check box, and then click Next.
  6. On the Advanced Customization screen, in the list of features to install, click the expand indicator (+) next to Office Shared Features.
  7. Click the arrow next to Clip Organizer, and then click Run from My Computer.
  8. Click Update.
  9. Restart the Office program you were using.

Insert Clip Art

  1. In Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or FrontPage, the fastest way to use Clip Organizer to insert a graphic clip into a document is to place the insertion point at the position in your document where you want to display the picture.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click Clip Art or click the Insert Clip Art button Insert Clip Art toolbar button on the Drawing toolbar (if it’s displayed).

The Clip Art task pane will display within the Office application you’re using. In the example below, The Clip Art task pane is displayed in Word.

Clip Art task pane displayed in Word

  1. Next, you'll search for clips using keywords in the Clip Art task pane. In the Clip Art task pane, enter a keyword in the Search For text box.

For example:

  • To find all pictures of leaves, enter leaves.
  • To find all pictures that depict seasons, enter seasons.
  1. In the Search In drop-down list, select the collection or collections you want to search, or click Everywhere to search all your collections.

The Clip Organizer stores your clips within different named collections, such as Academic, Fantasy, or Nature. Like file folders, collections are arranged in a hierarchical treelike structure, with collections stored within other collections. That is, a given collection may contain one or more subcollections as well as media clips.

There’s a subtlety in selecting collections in the Search In list. If a collection has subcollections within it and if it is expanded to show all subcollections, then the first time you click the collection’s checkbox, that collection alone is selected. The second time you click the checkbox, that collection plus all its subcollections are selected. The third time you click, that collection alone is deselected. And the fourth time you click, that collection plus all its subcollections are deselected.

If you want to browse all clips in a particular collection, select that collection in the Search In drop-down list and leave the Search For box empty.

  1. In the Results Should Be drop-down list, select the specific types of clips you want to find—Clip Art, Photographs, Movies, or Sounds—or click All Media Types to find all types.

To insert a picture into your document, select Clip Art, Photographs, or both types. (Graphics of the Photographs type typically have a large number of colors and are in Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format.) If you’re creating a document meant to be viewed online (rather than printed) or if you’re designing a Web page, you might want to insert movie or sound clips as well as pictures.

  1. Click the Go button to begin the search.

When you click the Go button, the results area of the Clip Art task pane will display all matching clips. The example below shows the results of searching for “leaves” in the Clip Art task pane.

Clip Art task pane

You can widen the Clip Art task pane, so that you can view more clips at once, by moving the pointer over the outside edge of the task pane until it changes to a double-headed arrow, and then dragging the edge of the task pane to the wider size.

  1. The fastest way to insert a particular clip is to just click on it, as shown below:

Clip Art with arrow pointer

You can also insert a clip, or manage it in other ways, by clicking the down arrow that appears when you move the pointer over the clip and choosing a command from the drop-down menu:

Clip Art with drop-down menu displayed


  • The Clip Organizer includes a collection named Web Collections, which is displayed both within the Search In drop-down list on the Clip Art task pane as well as in the freestanding Clip Organizer program, discussed below. This collection is intended for media clip collections that are located on the Web. Office provides a subcollection within Web Collections named Microsoft Office Online, which lets you directly access the media clips provided on the Office Online Web site (when an Internet connection is available). When a clip is located on the Web, a small globe icon appears in the lower left corner of the clip’s thumbnail image, and the Copy To Collection command on the menu shown above is replaced with the Make Available Offline command, which lets you download the clip and store a permanent copy in one of your local collections.
  • If you want to view and download clips from Microsoft’s site in your browser rather than from the Clip Art task pane, click the Clip Art on Office Online command at the bottom of the Clip Art task pane.

However, neither the Web Collections clip art collection nor the Clip Art on Office Online command will be available if the Show content and links from Microsoft Office Online check box is cleared. To access this option, on the Help menu, point to Customer Feedback Options, and then in the Service Options dialog box, under Category, click Online Content.

  • When you insert a clip, it will appear as a picture in your document, as shown in this example:

Clip Art inserted in a Word document

Run the Clip Organizer in Freestanding Mode

Rather than working with the Clip Organizer through an application task pane, you can run it as a freestanding program. When you run the Clip Organizer in freestanding mode, you can’t paste a clip directly into a document. You can either copy the clip into the Clipboard and then insert it into your document using the Paste command or drag and drop it. However, the freestanding program lets you view and work with your clips in ways that aren’t possible in the task pane. It also lets you add clips to a Microsoft Outlook item or a Microsoft Access database object (these programs don’t display the Clip Art task pane).

When you start Clip Organizer, you’ll see the following dialog box:

Add Clips to Organizer dialog box

If you click the Now button, the Clip Organizer will find and import media files that are currently located on your computer. (These are imported in addition to the previously imported clips provided with Office.) The Clip Organizer will categorize the imported clips (that is, add each one to a particular collection that’s named according to the folder where the clip is stored) and assign keywords to each clip. If you let the Clip Organizer perform this search, you might discover clips you didn’t know you had stored on your computer. If you want to start using the Clip Organizer without importing additional clips, click the Later button.

  1. If you’re currently displaying the Clip Art task pane in an Office program, the fastest way to run Clip Organizer in freestanding mode is to click the Organize clips link in the task pane.

You can also run the freestanding program by clicking the Start menu in Windows, pointing to All Programs (or Programs), and then pointing to Microsoft Office. Point to Microsoft Office Tools, and then click Microsoft Clip Organizer.

  1. To use Clip Organizer, first select one of its two main views: Search or Collection List, by clicking the corresponding toolbar button.
  2. To perform a keyword search for a clip, click the Search button to open the Search view.

Clip Organizer in Search view

  1. Then, perform your search using the Search task pane in the Clip Organizer window, which works just like the Clip Art task pane that appears in other Office programs, as explained in the previous section. The search results will appear in the main part of the program window.

You can modify the way the Clip Organizer program displays clips by choosing the Thumbnails, List, or Details commands on the View menu (art in this article shows the Thumbnails view).

  1. To work with a particular clip that has been found, click the down arrow that appears when you move the pointer over the clip in Thumbnails view and choose a command from the drop-down menu.

Drop-down menu for found Clip Art

Notice that this drop-down menu is similar to that shown in the Clip Art task pane of other Office programs.

  1. To insert a clip into a document, click the Copy command on the drop-down menu.
  2. Then, switch to the document, place the insertion point where you want to insert the clip, and use the program’s Paste command to insert it.

You can also perform several operations on a clip (such as copying it to a different collection) by clicking the clip to select it and then choosing a command from the Edit menu in Clip Organizer, as shown below.

Edit menu

An alternative way to insert a Clip Organizer clip into any type of Office document is to drag the clip and drop it at the position in your document where you want to display it. You can use this technique with either the freestanding Clip Organizer program or with the Clip Art task pane displayed in another Office program.

To browse the available clips or to organize your clips, click the Collection List button to display the Collection List view. To open a particular collection, expand the hierarchy (if necessary) in the Collection List task pane and then click on the collection. Its contents will then appear in the main part of the window.

Clip Organizer in Collection List view

The example above shows the Clip Organizer program in Collection List view, displaying the clips in the Business collection.

In the Collection List view you can also manage your collections by right-clicking a particular collection in the Collection List task pane and then choosing a command from the shortcut menu.

Shortcut menu for the Logo Collection


  • You can add a new collection or a new media clip only within My Collections, and you can modify a collection only if it’s one that you’ve added.
  • Clicking the Clips Online toolbar button in the Clip Organizer program has the same effect as clicking Clip Art on Office Online in the Clip Art task pane—running your browser and opening the Clip Art And Media home page on the Office Online site.

Import Clips into the Clip Organizer

The fastest way to have the Clip Organizer import all the media files stored on your computer is to run the automatic import feature in the Add Clips to Organizer dialog box that’s displayed when you start Clip Organizer. After you use the automatic import feature, the dialog box will no longer appear automatically. However, you can display it and use the automatic import feature at any time in the Clip Organizer program.

  • In Clip Organizer, on the File menu, point to Add Clips to Organizer, and then click Automatically.

You can also import an individual clip into the Clip Organizer using any of the following methods. (You can import the clip to any collection except one of the collections in the predefined Office Collections or Web Collections group.)

  • To import a clip from a media file, in the Clip Organizer program on the File menu, point to Add Clips to Organizer, and then click On My Own.
  • To import a graphic object that’s displayed in a document (such as a Word document), drag the object and, in the Clip Organizer program, drop it on the collection in which you want to store it. You can drop it either on the name of the destination collection in the Collection List view, or if the collection is currently displayed, you can drop it in the main part of the window (which shows the collection’s contents).
  • Another way to import a graphic object displayed in a document is to copy the graphic to the Clipboard, switch to Clip Organizer, open the collection where you want to store the clip, and on the Edit menu, click Paste.

 Tip   Clip Organizer automatically assigns keywords to a clip that you import. However, it derives these keywords not from the actual content of the clip but rather from fairly irrelevant information, such as the folder where the media file is stored and the format of the clip. To make it easier to find the clip when you need it, you should add meaningful keywords based on the actual content of the clip. To do this, select the clip in the main window of the Clip Organizer program. Then on the Edit menu, click Keywords, enter your keywords, and click Add. To assign the same keywords to an entire set of clips, select them all prior to choosing the Keywords command. To select several clips, press Ctrl while clicking each one. To select adjoining clips, click the first one in the range and then press Shift and click the last one.

Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003