How do I use Icons in Microsoft Office?

Jan 7, 2021 | Microsoft Office Hints and Tips

Have you come across Icons?  For years we have been able to add pictures and shapes to files to add interest and focus but recently Icons have been added to that list.

This option is only available in Microsoft 365.  If you used clipart back in the day then icons have got that sort of feel but are much more business orientated and there are a huge range of images available.

What are icons?

Icons are black and white images that can be used to add visual focus on documents.  They can even be added to SmartArt graphics in the place of pictures.  The colour can be changed to match the colour scheme of the file you are working with.  They can provide interest and graphics stand out more then text alone.

Image of Icons

How do I insert icons?

Icons can be added as stand-alone images by choosing Icons from the Insert tab or can be added to SmartArt graphics that support pictures by clicking on the photo image.  The icons are divided into many different topic areas or if you are looking for something really specific you can search for what you need.

How do I change the colours?

When you are clicked on an image that has been inserted then the Graphics Format tab gives options to change the image.  This is a contextual tab so only appears when you are clicked on the icon inserted.  Options can be chosen from the preset graphics styles or further customised using the Graphics Fill, Graphics Outline and Graphics Effects options.

What else can I access from the Icons icon?

Along with the icons already discussed Images, Cutout people and Stickers can also be accessed from the same place.

  • Images – These are stock photos
  • Cutout people – Photos of a range of different people performing a variety of tasks
  • Stickers – Cartoon images

They can be used in much the same way as icons but it depends on the look and feel you want to create and what you need to represent.

What Microsoft packages can I use them in?

Like some other tools Icons is available in all the main Microsoft packages even if they will be used in a different way in each of these places.

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook

So there is no need to have dull documents.  Icons, Image, Cutout people, Stickers – what are you going to do with yours?

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about Microsoft icon features, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about other Microsoft features? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Courses I run.