Make Your Pictures Look Their Best

Today’s post comes from Alyshia Olsen, the program manager responsible for improving our picture editing tools in the new Publisher.


People use Publisher to make a lot of different types of publications – newsletters, photo albums, and brochures for example. Those publications look better with rich images. In the new Publisher, we’ve enabled you to easily create publications with professional-quality effects using a few simple clicks.  Our new picture features can help you to fine-tune images that are over or underexposed, or emphasize a specific part of a picture.

Live Preview

You can choose from a set of preset styles to change your picture brightness and contrast, as well as the color tones of the picture.  After inserting an image, go to the Picture Tools Formatting Tab on the ribbon to see previews of what your image will look like with the preset effects applied. As you hover over the options under Corrections and Recolor, a live preview is shown in your publication.


The first picture adjustment that we added was the ability to recolor photos based on a desired color palette (e.g. make them black and white, or sepia, or toned to a specific color to match the rest of your publication.)

The Recolor gallery is on the Picture Tools tab with all of the tools you’ll need to make adjustments to your publication’s photos:

Here are the results of a few recoloring effects. Black and White and Sepia are shown below, but you can choose any color from the color picker:


The next picture adjustment that we added was the ability to correct photos that are too dark, washed out, or just need a little bit of a different effect to really shine. The Corrections gallery is on the Picture Tools tab with a variety of brightness and contrast presets to help you quickly correct your pictures, or more in depth tools to make fine adjustments.

The results of some of our corrections effects are shown below. You can see that a washed out picture looks better with less brightness and more contrast, while a dark picture looks better with more brightness and less contrast. Try these effects out on your images to get them looking their best in your publication.

Crop to Shape

To make it easier to customize your pictures, we’ve moved the Crop to Shape command to a more accessible location: In the Picture Tools Format Tab in the Crop dropdown.

Just choose a shape and then drag the crop markers around the shape to crop your picture into a circle, oval, or any other shape in our gallery!

During Crop:

After Crop:

Picture Backgrounds

In the new Publisher, we’ve also added the ability to create beautiful full-page picture backgrounds from any image. Just complete all image adjustments that you’d like, such as recoloring or adding transparency, and then right-click the image and select Apply to Background. This command is also found on the Page Design tab under Apply Image. You can then choose to fill the background or tile the image in the background.

You can mix and match all of these picture adjustments and cropping to customize the look of your publication. The page in the picture below has a color effect, and changed brightness and contrast, and has been applied to the background of a page:

These new picture adjustment options offer you more choice than ever before so that you can get the right look for your publications. All of these changes were brought to you by the Picture Adjustments Feature Crew. We hope you try some of these built-in options in your next publication!

The Team