Windows Live Photo Gallery provides a set of tools for enhancing, and even artistically modifying, photos. The tools in Office 2010 go Photo Gallery one better in offering a collection of interesting artistic effects. These are available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
First you must “Insert” a picture. Then when you select a picture in the document by clicking on it, the “Picture Tools” tab is added to the Ribbon. A wide array of tools is provided. Here I will concentrate on the “Artistic Effects” tool. When the little down-arrow, , is clicked, the collection of artistic effects is presented in tiny thumbnails of the selected image. As you point to a thumbnail, the effect is applied to the picture so you can see it. Click on the thumbnail to keep the effect.
It is that easy! The effect “amount” can be customized. Click Artistic Effects Options… to open the Format Picture dialog. The effect can be selected and then customized with slider controls. Most of the effects are scaled in terms of pixels – it does not tell you that – so the effects are stronger on smaller pictures. I like to “pre-size” my photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery (File – Resize). For a photo on a typical page, the maximum size of 1200 pixels works well.
When a picture is inserted into a document in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, a copy of the picture is stored inside the document. The original picture is not modified. So no harm is done to your photo. Internally in the Word, PowerPoint or Excel file, actually two versions of your picture are kept. A copy of the original, and a modified version.
Once you have made a photo into a your work of art, can you get it back into your picture library? Yes. Just right-click the picture and select Save as Picture… The default format is BMP, you can select JPG (or others) as the file format.
Unfortunately this process strips all picture details, tags, etc. from the image.
Since the photo was “artistically enhanced”, the original camera data is no longer of much value. However, title, tags, and maybe some other information, need to be manually added.
You can have a lot of enjoyment with this. Besides, there is no mess, no paint, no brushes! Have fun!
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