Office For Mac

Getting All 1,000 Words out of your Pictures

I love to find the right picture to bring an idea to life, or sometimes the picture itself inspires a new direction to go in. This year I got my hands on my first digital SLR camera and started making more frequent trips to popular photo sharing services and digital libraries – all in search of great ways to add strong visuals to personal projects, and to the work I do every day as part of the graphics team for the Mac Business Unit. We’re the team that builds the engine for shapes, diagrams, charting, and pictures throughout Office for Mac. Underneath, we share the same graphics engine with Windows Office.

A picture speaks a thousand words, but sometimes the picture needs a helping hand to realize its full potential. With Office for Mac 2011, we’re including a powerful set of photo editing tools to help you quickly get your pictures looking great throughout Word documents, PowerPoint slides, and Excel worksheets. Here’s a look at some of the features we designed to make the most of your favorite photos:


If you’ve imported your digital photos into iPhoto, you can access your photo libraries from Office for Mac 2011’s Media Browser, or simply insert an image from file if you’ve stored it somewhere else.  At any time, double-click on the photo to show the Format Picture tab in the ribbon, where you can access the new photo editing tools.


From left to right, you will find tools based on a workflow of making photo corrections, special effects and filters, removing unwanted parts of the photo, and choosing a framed look for the picture or other final formatting.

As most of us have experienced, a photo imported from a digital camera may need adjustments to look just right, including changes in brightness, contrast, sharpness, or coloring. The “Adjust” and “Color” menus in the Format Picture ribbon will show you thumbnail previews of the selected picture, and you can quickly choose one of the most common settings by clicking one of the thumbnails. With these controls, you can help address overexposure, suboptimal lighting conditions and other common problems.

The “Filters” menu includes 22 special effects that you can use to stylize a picture, including a watercolor painting or a pencil sketch effect. You can use the Crop mode to cut off edges of the image in order to drive to the main point within the picture. Even more powerful for establishing the focus of your story, the Remove Background tool lets you remove specific portions of the picture by intelligently finding background regions and hiding them, revealing just the foreground person, place, or thing that you want to show. You can also draw on the picture to add regions to the removed area, or draw a line across an object to add it to the foreground.

To finalize your picture, add a frame effect or a colored border, a reflection or shadow, and position the picture in your document. In a few steps, you can use Office 2011 to bring a picture to life to tell a much more vibrant, compelling story — all 1,000 words of it!

So, what are my editing tools of choice? They range from the most common — getting brightness and contrast just right — to more artistic formatting with the Cutout filter and precise Remove Background tool. These advanced options allow me to do something that wasn’t possible before without separate photo software: remove any distraction in a photo from the story I want to tell.

By now, we hope you’re excited to start editing all of your favorite photos using Office 2011. We’ve made several enhancements to provide new ways to work with digital images in Office for Mac and you can see it in action in our recent video blog with the MacBU’s Kurt Schmucker.

September 21st, 2010
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  1. Jim Webb says:

    What happened to the DEVELOPER tools? They are nothing like those in WORD 2010.
    I use a template developed for WORD 2010 but none of the drop-down, calendar, and protected fields work.
    Where do I copy my templates and Quick Styles?
    I work for a global trade association that writes industry standards.
    Many of our members use Macs. I had hoped they could finally contribute on an equal footing.

  2. TOM SOTO says:

    REVISIONS in EXCEL CELLS: I’m working on an I-MAC-27 the Version is 10.6.4 that Apple built for me last Dec (12/2009). i had Apple build the computer with Microsoft Office 2008 installed.

    The problem is once I enter any data into a Cell and then go into another Cell to continue entering additional into the next Row or Column. I cannot go back into a cell that now contains data to do a small revision without completely entering all the data over again! Let’s say I label a Column at the top of the Page and I make a spelling error or the Column gets numbered wrong. Currently I’m not able to make a revision without retyping 100% of the data all over again. On my old PC computers over the years in Excel I was able to make revisions in cells as I needed to without completely wiping out the correct part of a cell. Please help me get through this problem. If you can please email me the answer or notify me when solutions are posted: Thank you!

  3. Stelios says:

    At last we’ve an excellent product! But I see a big drawback for Greek users (and not only): The lack of proofing tools makes it almost unusable…

    Are you planing updates of proofing tools for more languages?

    Thank you!

  4. George says:

    I tried editing a photo in Word using the Photo editing tool. Why can’t I see the photo? All I see is the picture place holders, UNLESS I select a tool, i.e., remove background? Then I can see the photo while editing, but as soon as i click out of the picture, again all I see are the picture placeholders. What am I doing wrong?

  5. Antoon J. Huntjens says:

    I like the Apple “MacBook Pro” if for no other reason than security. I am greatly disappointed, however, not to find a publisher program for this computer like Microsoft Publisher.
    Also, I would like to see some updates on the iPhoto. Apparently you have the program as mentioned for Office Mac 2011, but I have not seen it as an update to the iPhoto program. Why not and can we expect to see something in the near future. I specifically bought the MacBook because of my photography and would like to maximize my ability to work with this program.

  6. Office for Mac Team says:

    @George Sorry you’re having problems. There are a number of things that could cause this. There’s a thread on our forum about this, do you mind posting your issue with as much detail to this forum thread so we can better assist you?

  7. Bob says:

    After upgrading to OS 10.6.5 I can no longer open several of my multi-sheet Excel spreadsheets. I am using a very old version of Office, 2004.
    I can view the files in Word but all the formulas are missing and data is shifted around a bit.
    I downloaded NeoOffice and it opens my files so I am not completely out of luck.
    I’ve read several FAQ’s and BLOG’s and others are having the same problem.
    Are you working on a fix for this problem?

  8. Ibrahim says:

    Why there is no support for Arabic language in office 2011?

    I have paid 119 GBP but my main language is missing.This is unacceptable.

  9. Office for Mac Team says:

    @Ibrahim Unfortunately, OFM 2011 doesn’t support right-to-left languages due to technology limitations on the text input tools.

  10. kifayat says: