Microsoft has finally decided to kill clip art

It will surely be a really disappointing development for Clip Art fans around the globe; Microsoft is planning to stop making its collection of old-fashioned computer graphics available to users. Those graphic images used to be particularly helpful to users when preparing visual presentations and book reports; however, now due to the evolving nature of technology, they will only exist as a part of history.

So, what will a user in need of such images do now? It’s simple; they can now perform an image search on Bing to get desired images. Microsoft is recommending images shortlisted by Bing over the images found in its Clip Art library as images belonging to the first category get filtered by default. This ensures that they fall under the licensing category of Creative Commons.


Microsoft is recommending Bing search over Clip Art primarily because of two reasons. The first one is that searches on the Internet offer more appropriate images. The second factor that has forced Microsoft change its way of working is the fact that the images found on the Internet are of much higher quality that those present in the pre-2013 MS Office products.

In a blog post written for Microsoft, Doug Thomas has said that Bing Image Search always uses a Creative Commons licensing system-based copyright filter. He added that as a result, the search engine always produces results that are licensed by Creative Commons and said that with every image a link to its source is provided which the user should use for reviewing the source and applicable license in order to find out whether his/her purpose of using the image complies with its license.

For those who don’t know: Clip Art is basically a unique graphics library by Microsoft that consists of templates and pictures. These are graphics that were primarily in use during the 1990s; people used them for adding flair to PowerPoint and Word documents. There was a time when Clip Arts were extremely popular; we can recollect a time when even commercial projects like labels on gift boxes and candles involved use of Clip Art.

It’s true that with so much advancement taking place in the world of graphics, Clip Art doesn’t interest users anymore, at least as much as it used to do before. However, it surely holds a significant place in the history of graphic art.


About the author

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin has a background in Electrical Engineering and is passionate about the Internet of Things. He covers how connected devices like smart homes, wearables, and industrial IoT are changing our daily lives. Nitin is also a DIY enthusiast and loves to build IoT gadgets.