Separate clip art into layers

Applies to
Microsoft Office Word 2003
Microsoft Word 2002 and earlier

Even though it looks like a single image, a piece of clip art is made up of a number of layers—the background, the foreground, text, etc.—that are drawn on top of each other. When you insert a clip into Word, you can work on and change each layer separately, which means you can customize the clip art that you get from the Clip Art and Media site to fit the look and feel of your project.

Separating a piece of clip art into layers is called "ungrouping" it.

Baseball player

Consider this clip art of the baseball player. There are many layers to this piece—for example, the black border around the green background, the green background, and the batter himself: his cap, his shirt. What if you don't like the color of his cap, the location of his bat, or the green in the background? Change them.

The first step in making these elements of the picture fit your needs is to separate them.

 Note   Although this tip uses Microsoft Office Word, this general task can also be performed in Microsoft Office Excel and Microsoft Office PowerPoint. For more information, consult Help in the program you are working in.

How to ungroup clip art

baseball player

Ungroup clip art

  1. Copy the clip you want to work on into a Microsoft Office Word document.
  2. Click on the clip. A box appears around the clip. Now you can edit it.
  3. Right-click on the clip and select Edit Picture.
  4. Select the clip, and then right-click on it. Point to Grouping, and then select Ungroup.

After you've ungrouped the clip, you can change any part of it separately with whichever graphics editing software you choose.

 Note   Only vector art can be separated into layers. Clip art is vector art. Photos, for example, are not.

Applies to:
Word 2003