RIP Clip Art: Microsoft is killing off its iconic picture library in favour of Bing Images | Daily Mail Online
RIP Clip Art: Microsoft is killing off its iconic picture library in favour of Bing Images


  • Microsoft is retiring its Clip Art tool and replacing it with Bing Image search
  • Customers can still add their own photos to documents and presentations
  • Bing uses a filter, based on the Creative Commons licensing system
  • Images tagged with these licenses can be used in projects, under certain conditions


For almost two decades, school projects, presentations and homemade invites have been adorned with various clip art illustrations.

But as of this week, Microsoft is retiring this tool and replacing it with Bing Image search.

Customers can also still add images from their own files saved on their PC, SharePoint and OneDrive.

In a blog post, Doug Thomas from Microsoft wrote: ‘The Office.com Clip Art and image library has closed shop.

‘Customers can still add images to their documents, presentations, and other files that they have saved to their phones, tablets, and PCs.

‘Customers also still have the ability to add images to their documents using Bing Image Search.’

This update increases the number of images available from the Online Pictures menu in Office, but not all the images available through Bing Images can be freely used.

Bing Image Search, instead, uses a copyright filter, based on the Creative Commons licensing system.

Images tagged with Creative Commons licenses can be used in projects, under specific conditions.

Clicking a link to the source of the image reveals details of an image's license, and any conditions.

Google has a similar tool.

The Bing filters can be accessed by going to the Images tab and selecting License. On Google, the filters are under Search Tools and Usage rights.

During the mid-1990s, T/Maker specialised in clip art and developed a library of more than 50,000 copyright-free images.

Microsoft didn’t add clip art files to its software until 1996. It began with 82 images and its library closed with more than 140,000 files.

WHAT BING'S IMAGE USAGE RIGHTS MEAN

Public domain: The image creator has waived their exclusive rights, to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Free to share and use: You can share and use them. Changing or editing might not be allowed. Also, modifying, sharing and using them for commercial purposes might not be allowed.

Free to share and use commercially: You can share and use them for personal or commercial purposes. Changing or editing for personal or commercial purposes might not be allowed.

Free to modify, share, and use: You can modify, share, and use them. Modifying, sharing, and using them for commercial purposes might not be allowed.

Free to modify, share, and use commercially: You can modify, share, and use them for personal or commercial purposes. This option typically has the fewest results.