Microsoft Office Logo

Whether you’re using Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, adding images and other objects adds visual appeal to your document, spreadsheet, or presentation. Here’s how to do it.

Inserting Images from Your Computer

Office applications allow you to insert images stored on your computer’s hard drive. To do so, place the cursor in the location that you would like the image to appear and select the “Pictures” option, found in the “Insert” tab.

In Word or Excel, this option can be found in the “Illustrations” group.

Insert a Picture in Word or Excel

In PowerPoint, it’s found in the “Images” group.

Insert a Picture in PowerPoint

File Explorer will open. Navigate to the location of the image file, select it, then select “Insert.”

Selecting the picture from File Explorer

The image will now be inserted.

RELATED: How to Position Images and Other Objects in Microsoft Word

Inserting Images from the Web

If you don’t have the image you want to insert stored locally on your computer, you can pull one from the web directly from the Office app. To get started, in Word and Excel, click on the “Insert” tab, locate the “Illustrations” group, and select “Online Pictures.”

Online pictures in Word or Excel

In PowerPoint, go to the “Images” group within the “Insert” tab. From there, select “Online pictures.”

Online Pictures in PowerPoint

Bing’s Image Search will appear in a separate window. Input the search terms in the search bar and select the image that you want to insert. Once selected, click “Insert.”

Search for online pictures

You can also select and insert multiple images at once using this method.

RELATED: How to Automatically Size Pictures in PowerPoint

Inserting Charts

Charts are a good resource for displaying trends in data over a set period. If charts are what you’re looking for, you can find the option in the “Illustrations” group of the “Insert” tab in Word and PowerPoint.

Select Chart option

Selecting the “Chart” option will open the “Insert Chart” dialogue box. Select a category on the left-hand side, click the chart you want to use, then choose “OK.”

Select and insert chart

The chart will be inserted.

RELATED: How to Create a Flowchart in Word

With one of the major purposes of Excel being to display data trends, Microsoft gave it a dedicated “Charts” section—along with a “Tours” and “Sparklines” section—for quicker access to the selection of charts available in Office.

Charts in Excel

Taking and Inserting Screenshots

Office has a built-in snipping tool that allows you to take screenshots and place them directly in your document. This option can be found in the “Illustrations” group on Word and Excel of the “Insert” tab.

Screenshot in Word, Excel

In PowerPoint, you’ll find the option in the “Images” group.

Screenshot in PowerPoint

Once you select the “Screenshot” option, a drop-down menu will appear. It will display a snapshot of any window you currently have open on your computer. If you wish to insert one of those, simply clicking it will do the trick. If you want to take a screenshot of a specific portion of the screen, you can select “Screen Clipping.”

Screenshot tools

Once selected, all you need to do to capture part of your screen is click, drag, and release. The portion you captured will automatically appear in your document.

RELATED: How to Use the Snipping Tool in Windows to Take Screenshots

Inserting Shapes

Sometimes a simple shape is all you need to illustrate a point. If a shape is what you’re looking for, select “Shapes” found in the “Insert” tab’s “Illustrations” group on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Insert Shapes

A drop-down menu will appear, showing a library of shapes. Select the one you wish to insert.

If you want to tweak a shape a little, you can do so by using its edit points. Alternatively, you can draw and edit your own shape if you can’t find the shape you’re looking for.

Inserting Icons

You can also help illustrate your point by using symbols and icons. By selecting “Icons” in the “Illustrations” group of the “Insert” tab on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you’ll find a generous selection of icons to choose from.

Select Icons

In the new window that appears, you can browse through the selection of icons provided by Microsoft. Once you find the one you’re looking for, select “Insert.”

choose and insert icon

The icon will now appear in your Office app.

Inserting 3D Models

Office offers a selection of 3D models, providing a unique resource for users wanting to rotate an object to see it from all angles. This option can be found in the “Illustrations” group of the “Insert” tab.

3D Models

Selecting “3D Models” will open a new window. Here, navigate through the different models available and choose the one you wish to use. Once selected, click “Insert.”

select and insert 3D model

The 3D model will now be inserted. To rotate the model, click and drag from the middle of the image.

Rotating Cow GIF

RELATED: How to Add Alternative Text to an Object in PowerPoint

Inserting SmartArt

SmartArt provides a collection of diagrams, lists, charts, and so on. To insert a SmartArt graphic, select “SmartArt,” found in the “Illustrations” group of the “Insert” tab in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Select SmartArt option

The “Choose a SmartArt Graphic” dialogue box will appear. Select a category from the list on the left-hand side. Next, choose your graphic, then select “OK.”

select and insert smartart

Your SmartArt will now be inserted.

RELATED: How to Build a PowerPoint Organizational Chart With Excel Data

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the technology industry. He worked at Synology, a manufacturer of network-attached storage solutions. Marshall also serves as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview, providing detailed reviews of storage technology.
Read Full Bio »