Image Correction in Office 2010

Some new image changing options in Office 2010.

Generally speaking it’s better to make changes to an image before importing it into an Office document (document, spreadsheet or presentation). There even the Microsoft Picture Manager provided with Office to let you do that, as well as many other photo editing tools.

However there are some tools inside Office itself that let you make changes to an image ‘in place’ in the document.

In the last issue of Office for Mere Mortals we looked at some of the picture editing tools that have been around for many versions of Office. Features like cropping, rotate and wrap text have been available for some time as well as brightness and contrast options. In Office 2007, Live Preview was introduced so you can see proposed changes as you choose options.

In this issue we’ll look at some of the new features in Office 2010. Office 2007 had some ‘recolor’ options but they weren’t a lot of use outside of Microsoft product demos.

Office 2007 - Image recolor options.jpg image from Image Correction in Office 2010 at Office-Watch.com

Unless you wanted to change an image to some strange hue or tint, you had to look outside Office for image fixing.

In Office 2010 applications that’s changed a lot. With just a click of button you can fine tune pictures with a useable set of choices to sharpen, soften, brighten and change contrast of images.

First insert a picture in Word 2010 by clicking on Insert | Picture and select the required image.

Scene.jpg image from Image Correction in Office 2010 at Office-Watch.com

Now select the image to reveal the Picture format tools. Click on Picture Tools | Format | Adjust | Corrections.

Correction menu.jpg image from Image Correction in Office 2010 at Office-Watch.com

In the Corrections menu you can adjust the brightness of a picture, the difference between the darkest and lightest areas of a picture i.e. the contrast of the picture. To enhance or sharpen picture details you can highlight the under-exposed areas of the photo or to remove unwanted marks on the picture you can soften it too.

For sharpening or softening and for changing brightness or contrast of images there are a set of preset options available to choose from. You can select the required option by looking at the thumbnail images. As you can see from the above screenshot the original image is also part of the thumbnail images. It is indicated by the yellow marker surrounding the image

Brightness and Contrast image options have been around in Office for many versions. Office 2007’s Live Preview made it easier to see how changes would work out. The range of choices in the gallery view of Office 2010 is another improvement along the same lines.


Sharpen and Soften Pictures

To sharpen or soften picture details you can select one of the available thumbnail options under “Sharpen and Soften”. The thumbnail images on left side of the original thumbnail image are softened or slightly blur images whereas images on the right side are sharpened versions of the original image. Hence select any of them based on the requirement. When you hover over any of the thumbnail images you can see the preview of the option along with the percentage of sharpness or softness mentioned.

Soften image.jpg image from Image Correction in Office 2010 at Office-Watch.com

Sharpen image.jpg image from Image Correction in Office 2010 at Office-Watch.com

If you are not interested in choosing any of the thumbnail option or you want to fine tune the fuzziness further then click on “Picture Corrections Options” link located at end of thumbnails.

Format picture.jpg image from Image Correction in Office 2010 at Office-Watch.com

In the “Format Picture” window that pops open under “Sharpen and Soften” you can select a preset thumbnail image and modify the percentage of sharpness or softness. Also without selecting any presets you can move the slider or enter a number in the box next to the slider to fine tune the image. By default the slider will be set at zero. By moving the slider towards right the sharpness of the image will increase and by moving the slider towards left the image will be softened. You can also see the preview of changes being made. After making the changes click on close button to retain or click on Reset button to revert back.

Likewise you can modify the bright and contrast of images by either choosing any preset options or fine tune manually by moving the Brightness and Contrast sliders.