Inserting and Swapping Pictures in the New Publisher

Today’s post comes from Alyshia Olsen, the program manager on the Publisher team responsible for improving our experience around inserting and swapping pictures in the new Publisher.

Creating and modifying pages with many rich graphical elements, such as photos, has always been something Publisher is great at. In the new Office, we did a lot of work to make working with pictures even easier, and help you keep all the photos you’re working with organized from start to finish, making it easier to get the exact page layout you want.

Inserting Pictures

Now you can quickly add all the images you need into your workspace.

The new Publisher lets you add online images right from your publication. On the Insert Tab, the Online Pictures command will open up a dialog that lets you search for clip-art or do a web-search for the images you need without needing to switch to a browser. If you have a Flickr or SkyDrive account, you can add those too!

Screenshot of dialog for inserting pictures in Publisher 2013

Additionally, when you insert a group of pictures all at once, such as by selecting multiple online pictures, multi-selecting several pictures from the same folder, dragging and dropping multiple pictures onto the window, we now automatically tile them in the scratch area next to the page for you, instead of putting them on top of each other.

This means that you can insert an entire folder or set of pictures you’re thinking about using in your publication all at once, while still keeping your workspace organized. Pictures and other page elements in the scratch area are available for you to use no matter what page you’re working on.

Organizing Pictures

If you end up finding your workspace getting disorganized as you work, the “Arrange Thumbnails” command helps clean things up for you. Just select the pictures you want to organize and click the button on the Picture Tools tab, or in the right-click context menu, and we’ll arrange everything into a tidy grid in the scratch area. Take a look at the before/after screenshots below:


Screenshot of scratch area after arranging pictures

Swapping Pictures

Swapping pictures to quickly preview and change the location of the pictures on the page is easier now too.

When you download a template you like, it often contains placeholder pictures that you want to replace with your own photos or images. When you select a picture in the new Publisher, a swap picture icon appears at its center that you can use to drag your image over another image or placeholder to preview or swap the images. Formatting applied to the object, such as borders, shadows, or other picture effects, will stay right where you put it, but the images will swap places. This makes it easy to work with picture rich templates, or to get the setup for your publication just right, and then easily swap pictures around the page to find the arrangement that works best. The before/after screenshots below show you what we mean:


Screenshot of publication's page with two images after swapping them

Try it out

That covers the improvements we’ve made around inserting, swapping, and arranging pictures, so go try it out yourself! We hope these improvements help make it even easier for you to work with publications. All of these features were brought to you by the Swap Improvements and the Insert Picture Improvements Feature Crews.

Picture of the Publisher 2013 feature crew