How to get the most out of Bing Image Search in Microsoft Office

how to get the most out of bing image search in microsoft office shutterstock 231219571
Gil C / Shutterstock.com
Bing Image Search is a feature in Microsoft Office documents that allows you to quickly search for online images and insert them directly into a document, without bouncing between browser and download windows. It’s a big time saver that many Office users aren’t even aware of – so let’s talk about how to use it!

Related Offer: See here for the latest Microsoft Office 365

How to use Bing Image Search for Office

Bing Image Search Office

So you’ve opened up your document, you know where you want to insert an image on the page, and you’re ready to tap into Bing Image Search capabilities. Here’s where to go:Office Online Pictures

  • Head over to the Insert tab. This is the one located to the right of the Home tab for most Microsoft Office software.
  • Find the dropdown option that says Online Pictures. This is to the right of the Pictures tool and has a little globe on it to represent the Internet. Be sure to choose Online Pictures, because Pictures just browses local images held by your computer and will not go online.
  • Online pictures will bring up a Bing search window powered by your browser. Type your search keywords or phrases into the search bar and view the results that appear. You can scroll through them just like a normal Bing image search.
  • When you find the right image, choose Insert. This will plug the image into your Office document.

A quick note on browsers and software. Microsoft has done a good job of updating the Bing Image Search to work with pretty much everything, but there are limits. If you (for some reason) are still using a version of Internet Explorer, the image search feature may not work properly.

Likewise – and also unlikely – If you are using any of the Office suite software from before 2007, the image search feature won’t be present. However, Bing Image Search does work with all versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Kindle Fire, Edge, etc., so there are ways to access the feature across any desktop or mobile device.

Filtering your results

Bing zoom in

The unfiltered version of Bing Image Search typically brings up all available results from the Bing search engine. For a variety of reasons, you may want to filter these images and speed up your search. Keep in mind useful filtering options like these:

  • Creative Commons (CC): This offers up only images that you can modify, share, and use commercially. This is a great filter to have when your work is going to be published and you need to use legal images. Check in the bottom left of the Bing window: If the CC filter is not on, it will say “Showing all results. Click here to show only images tagged with Creative Commons licenses.” Click, and you get only commercially viable images. If you do not see this option, which may happen with older versions of the software, then look for the License dropdown tab: Click it and then choose the “Free to modify, share and use commercially” filter.
  • Clipart: If you want to focus on lighter, brighter clipart cartoons, simple add the words “clip art” onto your Bing Image Search, as in “dancing couple clip art.” Bing is smart enough to limit your results to clipart after this. You can manually make the switch by changing the image Type to Clipart – you can also limit results to line drawings or GIFs depending on what you want.
  • Bing Office Search ResultsPhotos: Much like clipart, if you just want real photos in your search (perhaps when talking about a historical event or when searching for a particular location) then add the word “photo” to your search. Presto! Only photo results.
  • Appearance: Notice the other tabs on the Bing Image Search window? Most are related to the appearance of the images, which you can limit to look for the perfect match. Control the size of the image results, the overall color, the type of layout, and more!

Using Smart Lookup

Microsoft-Word-iPad

There’s an additional Bing search feature available in the newest versions of Office, and we think you’ll like it, too – it’s called Smart Lookup, and it functions a lot like Image Search, but for facts. Highlight any word or phrase in your Office document, right-click, and choose Smart Lookup to activate this feature.Office Smart Lookuup

Of course, Office auto-dictionaries have been around forever, but Smart Lookup goes several steps further. You can ask direct questions in Lookup, tap into wiki articles to check facts, and see the top links that Bing has for that question or phrase (a Cortana-based search option is also available). It’s a very nice companion tool to Image Search if you are building a report or essay. Smart Lookup is available for all 2016 versions of the Office suite, including Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Updates

As you probably noticed, the Office image search feature has evolved significantly from when it was first released, and Microsoft is continuing to study how people use this feature and how to make it better – which is why we now have better filters and additions like Smart Lookup. To make sure that Bing Image Search continues to work for you and to take advantage of all the latest tools, remember to turn on automatic updates. If you don’t want to use automatic updates, at least make sure that your default browser and version of Office are updated to the newest versions for best results.

Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Photography

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Computing

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Computing

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.
Computing

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs. 
Computing

Limited-time sale knocks $500 off the price of the Razer Blade Pro 17

Looking for an ultra-powerful laptop for yourself or someone else? You're in for some luck. Razer is running a sale on some of its best gaming laptops, cutting down pricing on the Razer Blade 15 and the Razer Blade Pro 17. 
Emerging Tech

Engineer turns his old Apple lle into an wheeled robot, and even gives it a sword

How do you give new life to a 30-year-old computer? Software engineer Mike Kohn found a way by transforming his old Apple IIe into a wheeled robot. Check it out in all its 1980s glory.
Gaming

Want to play as Iron Man or Waluigi in GTA V? Our favorite mods make it possible

Grand Theft Auto V is best on the PC for many reasons, and modifications may be the most important. You can cause riots, spawn unique cars, and play as a cop with just a few extra files.
Computing

Does the GTX 1660 Ti's leaner design make it a better GPU than the RTX 2060?

Nvidia's GTX 1660 Ti is a new Turing GPU without ray tracing or DLSS, but how does it compare to its RTX brethren? We pit the 1660 Ti versus the RTX 2060 to find out in this comparison.