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Edit photos with MS Office Picture Manager

Microsoft Office Picture ManagerDid you know that you may have photo editing software hidden away on your PC? I'm not talking about Microsoft Paint. I mean Microsoft Office Picture Manager!

Where can you find it? MS Office Picture Manager has been bundled with the Microsoft Office suite since Office 2003. On most* PCs with MS Office, you can find it by going to Start > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools > Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

You can also start using it by clicking on your image in Windows Explorer and then selecting File > Open With > Microsoft Office Picture Manager, like so:

Screen shot of File > Open With > Microsoft Office Picture Manager

What is it used for? Basic changes and corrections to photos, like:

  • Brightness and contrast
  • Color
  • Crop
  • Rotate and flip
  • Red-eye removal
  • Resize

Why would you choose MS Office Picture Manager instead of MS Paint? MS Paint doesn't have options specifically for correcting photos (like red-eye removal), and on Windows XP its crop/resize capabilities don't make it easy to get photos sized to pixel-precise dimensions. MS Office Picture Manager does better with these tasks.

Where can you get help using MS Office Picture Manager? Support for MS Office Picture Manager.

When will you know you need a higher-powered tool for editing images?

  • You want more control over colors and corrections.
  • You want to combine your photos with text, color, and other images and edit each component as a separate "layer."
  • You want to be able to save your work and come back later to edit the "layers" of photo, text, color, and other images.

* On SCLS-supported patron PCs that have MS Office, MS Office Picture Manager is not in the Start menu and you will need to use the "Open With" technique to start using it.

Comments

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I just needed to edit a picture and I remembered you guys had posted something about a picture editor. Thanks for this. Picture Manager worked out perfectly to crop and resize my pic.

MS picture manager has gone south 2 weeks AFTER a supposed service pack update--it no longer "SAVES" anything!! I'm using old XP software and maybe the update ran some code for "vista" or "7" or something--but if anybody knows anything about this problem please post a reply or use the email. thanks, jackflash@frontiernet.net

have tried for hours to establish add ons i selected all ms ones but cannot make them take i am sick of this complicated sys i wish i coul go baxk to plaine XP

Can you add comments to the photo file? As in: when I am saving pictures, I typically file it by the name of the "main" person. But, I would like to ADD all the names to the file, somehow, in a comments section (that I can't find).

Image files can have descriptive info added (title, subject, etc.), but Microsoft Office Picture Manager doesn't provide access to view or edit these fields. Many other programs do -- for example, this tutorial uses Windows Explorer: http://ludwigkeck.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/metadata-managing-information-with-windows-explorer/

Descriptive info stored in an image file is somewhat fragile -- not all programs or social media sites preserve it, so it may be lost if you save additional copies of the image or upload it to Facebook. If you take the time to add metadata to your images, it is a good idea to make sure your image-editing program preserves it, keep your own high-quality copies, and make backups.

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