Solutions to the Removal of Microsoft Clip Gallery

Microsoft Clip Art Gallery

Teachers loved the Clip Gallery at It transformed Microsoft’s Office suite from a productivity tool for business people into a creativity tool for students. For years the Clip Gallery has made it easy to integrate technology into learning. For example, producing digital stories with animated scenes in PowerPoint, storybook pages with illustrations in Word, and informative posters in Publisher were some of the fun activities students enjoyed.

The removal of a bank of quality images, animated gifs, and audio clips has been a shock. The good news is that you can still use Microsoft Office in the classroom to engage your students in meaningful projects. Here are some solutions to common problems.

Finding Clip Art

Microsoft has set the default picture type to Photographs when inserting clip art or online pictures. Add clip art to any search term to find high-quality illustrations.

Set Transparent Color

Many of the clip art images that are provided through Bing Image Search are on a white background. This can be a problem when placing them on a colorful PowerPoint slide or when trying to stack images to produce a scene in Word. To solve this problem, use the Set Transparent Color tool. This option tends to work the best if there is very little white in the clip art.

set transparency
Use Set Transparent Color tool.
  1. Select the clip art with the unwanted background.
  2. On the Picture Tools Format tab, click COLOR (or RECOLOR) from the Adjust group.
  3. Click the SET TRANSPARENT COLOR tool. Click the white background on the clip art.
  4. The white unwanted background will be removed.

Remove Background Tool

If you cannot use the Set Transparent Color tool because there is too much white in the image, you will need to use the Remove Background Tool.

remove background
Use Remove Background Tool.
    1. Select the clip art with the unwanted background.
    2. On the Picture Tools Format tab, click REMOVE BACKGROUND from the Adjust group.
    3. Drag a box around the image.
    4. Click KEEP CHANGES
    5. The white unwanted background will be removed.

Gather Animated GIFs

animated gif menu

Bad news! Motion clips are difficult to insert using Bing Image Search built into the Office programs. Animated GIFS were often used by students to produce animated scenes in PowerPoint. To solve this problem, have your students use their web browser to located animated GIFS.

      1. Open a web browser and visit
      2. Click IMAGES.
      3. Type in a search word and press SEARCH.
      4. From the TYPE menu, select ANIMATED GIF.
      5. Rest the mouse over an image to see it animate.
      6. Copy and paste an animated gif into PowerPoint. Or save the file, then insert the animation as a picture file.

Save an Audio File from the Internet

The audio clips that were part of the Clip Gallery made it easy to add a sound track or sound effect to a digital story in PowerPoint. You can use the Internet to locate audio files by including the search phrase sound effect mp3.

      1. Type keyword sound effect mp3 into a web browser search box.
      2. Click on a search result.
      3. To save a sound file, right click on it. Select SAVE TARGET AS. Type in a filename. Click Save.
      4. Or look for an MP3 or WAV button. Click on it to download the sound.


One place you can go to find free sound clips, sound bites, and sound effects is

  1. Visit
  2. In the search bar type a keyword then press SEARCH
  3. Click on LISTEN button to preview a sound.
  4. When you find a sound you like, click on the link.
  5. Click either the WAV or MP3 icon to download the file.

Record Audio

If your students do not have download privileges and they cannot save sound files from the Internet, a creative solution is to have them make their own!

Record audio.
Record audio.
  1. Plug in a microphone.
  2. In PowerPoint, from the Insert menu, click AUDIO. From the menu, select RECORD AUDIO.
  3. Type in a name
  4. Click the RECORD button and make the sound.
  5. When finished click the STOP button.
  6. Click PLAY to preview the sound.
  7. Click OK to insert the sound onto a slide.

TechnoKids is Updating our Projects

The good news is that TechnoKids is updating our technology projects due to the removal of the Clip Gallery. Office 2013 projects will be complete by next week. We should be done all changes to Office 2010 and Office 2007 projects in a few weeks.

Christa Love

Christa Love, Curriculum Developer & Teacher ~ I am passionate about blending technology into curriculum. Whether it is programming, video production, graphic design, or digital citizenship, I am interested in how apps and tools can be used to enhance learning. Throughout the years I have designed many TechnoKids technology projects. My favorite part of curriculum development is field-testing the ideas to determine the activities that work best in real classrooms. I write about what I have learned that can save teachers time in their own curriculum planning.

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