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Inserting Pictures into Email & Microsoft Word Documents

Nash Williams called to ask about inserting pictures into a Word document. Well, there are several methods and several options within the methods, depending on your version of Word. All versions let you click into a document and go to Insert>Picture>From File, whereupon you browse to the target image and double-click it.

Another method is to have a document open while your picture’s icon is visible on the Desktop, whereupon you can drag the picture directly onto your Word page. A third method is to right-click your picture’s icon and choose COPY. Then right-click inside your document and choose PASTE.

If you want to resize an inserted picture grab any corner and adjust as you see fit. Double-clicking the graphic will display an "Edit Picture" toolbar with additional options. You can mouse-grab the picture and drag it around on your page – but here’s where different Word versions have different options.


In Word 2003/2007 (and later) double-clicking the picture will display "Layout" options for flowing text around, behind, or in front of the image. In earlier versions a picture must be inside a "Text Box" to have text-flow options.

Click on Insert>Text Box. Your cursor changes to a tiny cross (+) that can be used to draw a box the approximate size needed to contain the picture. Click inside the box and use one of the above methods to insert the image. Double-clicking the Text Box and/or the image will bring up various text-flow, placement, and sizing options.

Other word processors have similar tools. It pays to experiment.

"Insert Picture" options for email are too numerous to fully itemize, but here are some pointers: The words "insert" and "attach" are often used interchangeably, even though the former originally meant "insert picture into the body of the message" and the latter meant "attach picture as a clickable option to be opened separately."

In any case, if you see the word "Attach" or a "paperclip" symbol in an email toolbar, they can be clicked on to include a picture with an outgoing message. You may then see an option for modifying the picture so that it can be uploaded and downloaded faster. Faster speed is usually achieved by reducing a picture’s file size (quality) or print size.





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