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The faster way to insert pictures into Office documents

An easy and fast way to add pictures into Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook.

We mentioned a faster way to get a scanned image into Word via the ‘scan to clipboard’ option available in some scanning software.

There are similar options available for copying existing image files into Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents as well as Outlook emails.

The official way to import images is to use Insert | Pictures and select the image you want. The Open dialog has options for viewing thumbnails or previews of pictures.

But people don’t work the way Microsoft Office assumes. We look at photos using other picture viewers that have larger viewing panes, better sorting or filtering.

It’s a pain to see the image you want in one program then have to find the same image again using Insert | Pictures. Happily, you don’t need to do that.

Copy with Ctrl + C or Cmd + C

Check out your image viewer for a Copy (or Ctrl + C shortcut) option that will copy the selected image to the clipboard. Once in the clipboard you can paste (Ctrl + V) the image into Word or other Office program.

Windows Photos app

The Windows 11/10 Photos app has a Copy command in the longer pull-down menu. Or use the standard Ctrl + C shortcut.

Windows Photo Viewer supplied with Windows 7 and 8 also has a Copy option under the File menu: image from A faster way to copy pictures into Office documents at

Choose that menu item or press Ctrl + C (the standard copy to clipboard shortcut) to get the image into the clipboard.

Mac Preview

It’s the same in the macOS Preview app. On the menu there’s Edit | Copy or just use Cmd + C to copy the photo to the clipboard then Cmd + V to Paste.

Not all photo viewers have this option but photo editors will always let you copy to clipboard. Select part or all of the image then Ctrl + C to copy. Usually a combination of Ctrl + A (Select All) then Ctrl + C (copy to clipboard) will do the job in a few keystrokes.

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