With Word 2010, Microsoft has taken a giant leap into the image manipulation domain that was formerly reserved for dedicated image editing packages such as Photo Shop. Users can now add effects such as erasing a background, adding three dimensionality, shadowing, automatic corrections and/or coloring changes.
Most of the new effects tools apply to pictures rather than graphics, but some apply to all of the graphics types that can be used in Word: pictures, clip art, charts and graphs and Shapes and Smart Art.
Whenever you Insert a picture (or click on an existing one) you will get the Picture Tools ribbon menu, where you can access all these new features, as well as the old ones.
Moving from left to right on the ribbon, the first new option is the Remove Background tool. Choosing this icon when a picture is selected will cause the picture to change colors signifying which part of the picture it has identified as the main picture part and which is the background. There are button choices and you can use your mouse as well to change what is selected; the outcome is whatever has been selected as background, become clear white. It’s actually pretty cool.
The next ribbon choice is Corrections, which when selected displays a small page of mini versions of your original picture only with each offering a different correction for it. Red eye, for instance is erased in at least one of the ones shown. There are also additional tools for adjusting brightness and contrast manually. Again, this is very cool stuff as it truly does make a lot of photographs look better.
After that is Color, which when chosen displays a bunch of mini versions of your picture only with different color tones. A neat trick. There’s also an option for letting the user make one color transparent, which is useful for making different parts of a picture disappear.
After Color there is Artistic Effects, which is once again a bunch of mini versions of the original picture only with a bunch of different special effects made to it, such as increasing graininess, etc. Again, nice to have when you don’t have Photo Shop.
Next up is a mini menu where you can select: Compress Picture, Change Picture and Reset Picture. Compress gives you the option of saving the picture to a smaller physical size, which is very handy for when you need a photograph of yourself for a website for example when they won’t compress it for you. Change Picture allows you to replace the picture you’ve already Inserted into your document with another one, and Reset Picture gets rid of all the changes you’ve made to it.
After that there are seven icons that show representations of frame types you can automatically put around your picture, and a scroll bar that shows four more row, which comes to 28 different preset borders, all of which can be customized if you so choose through the use of the next mini-menu just to the right of the preset borders: Picture Border, Picture Effects, and Picture Layout.
Picture Border allows the user to adjust the color and thickness of the border; Picture Effects lets the user manipulate the image though Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Soft Edges, Bevel, and 3-D rotations; while Picture Layout lets the user add the picture automatically to a whole host of call out forms.
After that, everything else on the ribbon is pretty much all the same stuff that Word has had through several iterations.