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Office Clip Art Goes The Way Of The Dinosaur

Office Clip Art Goes The Way Of The Dinosaur

Office Clip Art Is Being Retired In Favor Of Bing Image Search

Longtime users of Office will be familiar with all the iterations of the Office ClipArt library and the numerous times they were able to easily add images to documents, presentations and or blog posts.

Bye Bye - Office Clip Art

With thanks to Facebook Message Stickers for the above image

Users have had the option of searching for and using images from Bing’s Image Search but only last week Microsoft announced the end of Office Clip Art.

Office Blog - Office Clip Art

Screen capture courtesy of the Microsoft Office Blog

Where Do We Go From Here?

Users will now be able to search and use Bing Image Search exclusively and will have to rapidly come to grips with the Creative Commons, understanding the different licenses and appropriate uses for images that Bing provides. At the end of the Office blog post, the author provides a link explaining the subject of copyright and fair use.

Office Clip Art - Creative Commons

Screen capture courtesy of the Creative Commons website

That said the Bing Image Search will allow users to select the license that best suits their needs, filtering out images that do not match this criteria.

The Warptest POV

Progress is a good thing but better than progress are the user having choices. The reasons for eliminating the Office Clip Art gallery escape me and as someone prone to using clip art in my posts I’m sorry to see this resource vanish.

One comment that seemed to repeat is the feeling that the Office Clip Art gallery was a paid for resource bundled with Office and as such these images could be used without fear or prejudice of running afoul of Creative Commons licensing issues; now the onus is on the user and I’m unsure why Microsoft would retire a resource that their competitors didn’t have.

If the first rule is do no harm, then surely the next rule is do nothing to sow confusion amongst your consumers.

Update: If you own Office 2010 or earlier then you can go to the Install / Uninstall and select Change > then add the Clip Art to run locally. This will download the gallery to your hard drive (In the case of Office 2010 to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\CLIPART). However, if you have office 365 then this option is not present from what I can see.

Right now I’m waiting for an answer from Microsoft Support if there is a way to download the Office Clip Art gallery to my hard drive but failing that I will have to get creative and either: –

  1. Use stickers from apps like Facebook Messenger or Skype in lieu of Clip Art.
  2. Improve on my sketching abilities and create my own, by-hand Clip Art.
  3. Ensure I completely understand Creative Commons.

I don’t know about you, but this is one resource I am going to miss. In the event that I get an answer on downloading the Office Clip Art gallery, you can be sure I’ll share the solution in another post.


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