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Three Differences Between Clip Art and Photos When It Comes to Dressing Your Document

Using graphics and photos to illustrate your Word documents.

Microsoft Word is a text-editing software program that is used by people around the world to create and edit documents. Many times, people enjoy including graphics in their documents in order to “dress” the documents up with visual interest. After all, without graphics, a Word document is simply black and white text.

Some people use Clip Art with their documents as opposed to photo sharing. Clip Art is a bank of simple graphics that come with Microsoft Word and are available to anyone. Other people enjoy photo sharing to enhance their Word documents.

Here are 3 major differences between using Clip Art and a photo in Word:


In most cases, Clip Art provides a sense of playfulness and cheer in a Word document. However, it is generally not used with serious documents, such as an annual report. Therefore, if you are looking for graphics or other images to add to a serious document, a photo would probably be more appropriate, as long as the photo is of something professional (and not a family photo.)


When using Clip Art, as long as your document is not for profit, it is usually okay to use as many Clip Art images as you would like without facing any legal repercussions.

However, when it comes to photo sharing with your Word document, it is important to be sure that you have the copyright to any photos that you include in a document, especially if the document is created for any business purposes. Thus, it would not be legal to simply down load a famous photo from the Internet and place it into your Word document.

However, if you took the photo or if you own the copyright to a photo, you may use the photo as you wish.

File Size

Clip Art files are sized to be small so that they can be included in a Word document without adding too much mile size to the document. However, many photos are rather large and, therefore, add a great deal of size to your document.

If you would like to use photos rather than Clip Art with your document, it would be best to reduce the size of the photo prior to introducing it to the Word document by using a photo editing software.

Remember, graphics and photo sharing can enhance your document, but it can also take away from the message. Therefore, it is important to use tasteful images that add to the words on the page rather than detract from the overall purpose of the document.

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