Insert photos in Word web app documents: Find free images!

How to insert images in Word and apply effects

A picture is worth 1,000 words they say, but images have another use and they brighten up dull text documents. Insert photos in Word documents using the web app at OneDrive.com.

For many people only Microsoft Office installed on their computer will do, but for some people the free Word web app at onedrive.com is sufficient for their needs. If you have not tried it, you don’t know what you are missing. Word runs in a web browser at the site and it has all of the most common features of the desktop application.

You will be surprised at the range of features it has and while it cannot rival the desktop app, it has enough to create great looking Word documents. If your word processing needs are straightforward, free Word web app is fine.

In this article, let’s take a look at how to insert photos and other images into Word documents. A splash of colour can make a big difference to its looks and the impression it makes with people. To get started, go to the onedrive.com or office.com website and create a new Word document. You can do this on any computer with a web browser, Windows PC, Apple Mac or Linux.

Insert photos in Word web app

Insert a picture in the Word web app
Insert images using the Picture menu

To insert an image into a Word document, select the Insert tab and then click the down arrow below Picture. There are options to insert a picture from This Device (the computer), OneDrive, Stock Images or Bing Pictures. Select the source of the image.

Insert a picture from Stock Images

Insert an image from Stock Images in the Word web app
Stock images accessed in Word

A window appears that enables you to search for free and paid stock images. Paid images have a diamond icon in the top left corner of the thumbnail image. Free images don’t. Right at the top, select Images, Cutout People or Stickers. Images are photos and illustrations, Cutout People are people with a transparent background. Stickers are cartoon-like characters and images.

Click a category button to browse the images or click in the search box and enter a keyword or two to find images. Click an image thumbnail to select it and then click the Insert button at the bottom, below the thumbnails.

Insert pictures from Bing

Browse Bing images in Word web app
Browse image categories on Bing within Word

Select the Insert toolbar ribbon, click Picture and then Bing Pictures. Images are organized into categories and you can browse them by clicking a tile. There are too many images to browse though and it is best to enter a keyword or two into the search box at the top.

Not all photos on Bing can legally be used in your own documents because some are protected by copyright. After searching, tick the Creative Commons only box to show only images that can be used freely.

Mouse over an image thumbnail and click the three dots in the corner to see the image size, URL and title.

Insert an image from Bing into a Word document
Select Creative Commons images

Click an image to select it and then click the Insert button in the bottom right corner of this window. It is added to the Word document at the current cursor position.

Insert pictures with an add-in

Microsoft Word can be extended with add-ins and this includes the Word web app at the OneDrive.com website. Add-ins can perform many functions and there are a some dedicated to making it easier to find and insert images into documents.

There are many stock photo libraries, but if you are looking for free stock photos then Pexels is a good one that is worth exploring. It contains thousands of great photos that can be used in your documents.

You could open a browser tab, go to the Pexels website, search for photos, select one and download it, switch to the Word web app tab, then upload it to your Word document using the Picture menu. However, there is a simpler way and all you need to do is add the Pexels add-in.

Install an add-in in Word web app
Install the Pexels Word add-in

Select the Insert toolbar ribbon in Word web app and click the Add-ins button. In the window that appears, click the STORE link to see add-ins that can be installed into Word. Type ‘pexels’ into the search box and then click the Add button next to Pexels – Free Stock Photos.

Pexels add-in for Word web app
Insert images with the Pexels Word add-in

On the Insert toolbar ribbon, click the new Open Pexels button at the tend and a panel appears on the right side of the Word document. Use the search box to find images and then click an image to insert it into the Word document at the cursor position.

Scroll through the images in the panel, perform more searches and find a great image to use in your document. Double click it to insert the image at the current cursor position.

Add image effects in Word web app

We have looked at the various ways you can easily add images to a Word document, but what can you do with it once it is on the page? There are plenty of options to add effects.

Edit images in Word web app
Rotate and flip images in Word web app

Use the Picture toolbar to apply special effects, wrap text, rotate and crop the image. Click and drag the handles, small circles at the corners and sides of the image to resize it. In the middle at the top is the rotate button. Click it and drag it to rotate the image. There is also a Rotate button with options to rotate 90 degrees and flip vertically or horizontally.

Image options in the Word web app
Right click an image for a menu

Right click an image for a menu. At the top is a toolbar with buttons for Styles, Grow, Shrink, Crop and comments. Further down the menu is a Wrap Text sub-menu. This is useful for choosing how the image appears with text, whether it should sit apart from the text whether words should wrap around it.

Image options in the Word web app
Add image effects in Word web app

There is a row of image icons. Click the down arrow at the right side and a collection of image styles is displayed. Click an icon to apply that style. There are many effects and you can add borders, shadows, make rectangular picture oval, tilt images and more. Click a few of the buttons and explore the effects.

There is no excuse for dull Word documents and images can be searched on Bing, Pexels, Stock Images or OneDrive from within the Word document and inserted with a click of the mouse. It could not be easier, so brighten up your Word documents with a splash of color.


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