Microsoft Closes Clipart Library

December 3, 2014 Timothy Online Presence

office-clipart-closedMicrosoft has closed its reknown clipart library at The next time you decide to search for clipart within Office, you’ll be directed to Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.

Any clipart you installed on your computer with Office remains available. Only the extra clipart located on the website is being affected. Clicking the “Find more at” link in Word and PowerPoint will take you to a support document describing the new Bing search requirement.

Finding Clipart on Bing

1. Load in your browser.

2. Enter your search term in the search box. Remember how nouns like computer, customer, or money resulted in lots of clipart. The same goes for Bing. Start with nouns and then add modifiers as necessary.

3. Bing will display a selection of images. Beware the initial search may include protected, copyright images which are not for commercial use.

4. Filter the results by selecting the license drop down on the black and white text menu just above the images. Select “Public domain” or “Free to share or use commercially.”

5. Filter the remaining images further by selecting “clipart” or line drawing” under Type on the left side of the black and white text menu.

Hopefully at this point you have found suitable clipart for your project. We tested several unique nouns like “Aikido.” We were somewhat disappointed at the results, but then “Aikido” wasn’t included in the original Office clipart collection. So, your mileage and clipart results will likely vary. We assume this is due to few content creators completing the hidden fields in an image to reflect a Creative Commons license status.

Other Sources of Free Legal-to-Use Clipart

Since your Bing results may be less than adequate, where are some other places you can find free, legal-to-use images? I’m glad you asked! – While designed for K12 users, you’ll likely find some useful clipart among their collection of over 56,000 images.

PublicPhoto.Org – You’ll find a collection of over 25,000 photos you can use commercially. – This is the web’s largest collection of scaleable vector graphics (SVG) files. Great if your using one of the new “drawing hands” apps that only use SVG files.

So there you have it! Microsoft has ended clipart. Microsoft is directing customers to Bing. If you don’t like what Bing serves, then go somewhere else or pay for access to commercial image archives.

Source: Clip Art now powered by Bing Images, Microsoft


About Timothy Lee

Tim, the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center's webmaster and technical training specialist, has been with ASBTDC since 1995. He retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of master sergeant. He's a bit gung-ho, turns cat food cans into cook stoves, and keeps packing ASBTDC equipment for rapid worldwide deployment, but he's your "go to" guy for technical solutions and full-scale disasters.


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