Office decor

The interface in Office 2007 has such a radical new look that it gets a lot of attention, but the upgrade is more than just a pretty face. Colouring in cells with bars and gradients, to show values graphically, will make spreadsheets clearer. But for daily use, the changes I like the most are simple things such as Excel not clearing the Undo list as soon as you hit save - in the current version, if you save a spreadsheet after a big change, you can't undo the change any more.

I also like the way in which the currency button has become a drop-down menu. This has the most useful currencies listed. The list changes depending on where you are in the world.

Changes to working with graphics and colours will make a big difference in Word and PowerPoint. Instead of a basic palette, the colour picker shows you various tints of the colours in your theme. Themes work across Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

The added features in Office 2007 left me no difficulty in answering this reader's question. MaryAnn Ellis wrote: "I'm trying to edit a document that came from Apple's pages software, saved in Word format. It has images styled to look as if they are photos with a white border and 3-D shadow. How can I change the photos in Word, because I have some better images? I tried the Picture button and Picture toolbar, but I keep getting a new image instead."

In Office 2007, this process will be simple - and obvious. You'll need only to right-click on an image in Word (see Figure 1) or PowerPoint and choose Change Picture. The Format Picture dialogue will have buttons to select a different file, choose a clip art image or paste in what's on the clipboard.

For now though, I'm afraid it takes hard work.

Word doesn't make it easy to change images without treating them as fields and changing the field properties. It's possible, though, but only if you placed the images as inline and linked them in the first place. Use <Alt>-<F9> to reveal the field codes for linked images and you can type in the file details instead.

When you're working with someone else's document this isn't an option, and inline images can't be rotated - one of the things that makes photo borders work. Think about whether you need the precise positioning of the existing images, or you just want a similar effect.

The easiest thing is to place an image near the one you want to replace - turn on the Drawing toolbar to give you quick access to the tools you'll need. Double-click on the image to open the Format Image dialogue and on the Layout tab change the Wrapping style from "In line with text" to "Square". Click OK in the dialogue box and you'll get the rotate handle so you can set the picture at an angle.

If you're going to work with a lot of images, it's worth changing the way Word inserts pictures. Choose Tools-Options-Edit and for "Insert/paste pictures as" pick "Square", "Tight" or anything except "In line with text".

Now double-click on the image and choose Colours and Lines, or select the Line Style button from the Drawing toolbar and choose More Lines. Set the Colour to white and the weight to 5pt - see Figure 2. Now choose the Shadow Style button on the Drawing toolbar and choose one of the shadow styles that puts shading along two edges. You can't choose the width of the shadow, but if it's too thick or thin, select Shadow Settings from the Show Style menu and use the Nudge buttons to move it around under the image - see Figure 3.

Now that your photo has a white border with a 3-D look, size it and drag it into place next to the existing picture, which you can now delete. Once you've formatted one image with the border and shadow, you can use the Format Painter to add the same effects to any other image - as long as the wrapping style is anything except inline.

Format Painter may apply the Layout settings from the original picture, so it's best to format the image and then drag it into position. Graphics may jump up and down the page as you add the border to each one if you don't.

You could use the Format Painter to copy the border style from the original images in the document - but now you know the line and shadow settings that produce the effect, you can tweak the look instead. If you have several overlapping images, right-click and choose Order to select the way in which the images should be arranged on top of each other.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mary Branscomb

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?