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Microsoft Photo Editor




All of my training manuals are written in Microsoft Word. All of the photos in my training manuals have been embedded into the Microsoft Word documents using software called Microsoft Photo Editor. This page gives some technical guidance on issues affecting Microsoft Photo Editor with effect from the introduction of Office 2003 onwards and might be relevant to anybody trying to edit or to use photos in my training manuals.    




Microsoft Photo Editor

My earlier training manuals were written in Microsoft Word 2000 and in Word 2002. Traditionally, the advantage of using Microsoft software has been that when Microsoft updated or upgraded either operating system or applications software, it was always possible to open and to use old data files created with earlier software. There has been one exception to this situation which affects the training manuals that I have written.


Earlier versions of Microsoft Office and of Microsoft Word came with a photo editing tool called Microsoft Photo Editor. This was a very useful piece of software as it enabled photos to be embedded in Word documents and to be edited within Word documents. All the pictures in my training manuals have been embedded within the Word documents using Microsoft Photo Editor.     


For people who had Microsoft Photo Editor installed on their computers all those years ago, it was easy for them to click on photos in the files that make up my manuals and to edit the photos whilst still within my Word files. For example, they could crop, adjust brightness, adjust colour tints if a particular photo was not coming out so well on their printers, etc., and save straight back into my original Word files or elsewhere. 


With effect from the introduction of the Microsoft Office 2003 suite of programmes, although Microsoft Photo Editor still came as a stand alone programme with the Windows operating system, it was replaced by Microsoft Office Picture Manager within Office 2003 which included Microsoft Word. All later versions of Microsoft Office have also had Microsoft Photo Editor replaced by Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Microsoft Office Picture Manager did not have such comprehensive functionality as Microsoft Photo Editor and in my opinion is not nearly as good a product as Microsoft Photo Editor. The reduced functionality within Microsoft Office Picture Manager has meant that when people have changed their computers and software over the years, they have lost the ability to edit photos within my training manuals. This is because Microsoft Photo Editor is not integrated with Microsoft Word with effect from Office 2003 onwards.


I had this problem when I started working with Office 2003 and Office 2007 on a Microsoft XP platform. For me as a person who writes a lot of documents in Word, the loss of Microsoft Photo Editor was a severe blow and I could not continue without it.


The Microsoft website support area gave the following guidance to solve the problem for people using Microsoft XP. I followed it and have been able to use Microsoft Photo Editor successfully ever since. 



When you install Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Office 2007, or Microsoft Office 2003, the Setup programme removes all the standard components from Microsoft Office XP that were installed on your computer. This includes the Microsoft Photo Editor programme.



Microsoft has replaced Photo Editor with Microsoft Office Picture Manager, a new photo editing and catalogue programme in Office 2010, in Office 2007, and in Office 2003. 



The solution is to reinstall Photo Editor taking the following these steps:

-     Insert the Microsoft Office XP CD-ROM into your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.

-     If the Office XP Setup program does not start automatically, follow these steps:

      -    Click Start and then click Run

      -    In the Open box, type drive:\Setup.exe where drive is the letter of your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.

-     Start to step through the Setup process, and then select Customise for the type of Setup to perform.

-     When you reach the Selecting Features step, set each node of the Setup tree to Not Available.

-     Under Features to install, expand Office Tools.

-     Click Microsoft Photo Editor, and then click Run from My Computer.

-     Click Install Now.

-     Click OK when Office XP Setup has completed successfully.




Functionality within Microsoft Photo Editor that is not available in Microsoft Office Picture Manager

Microsoft advise that the following functionality within Microsoft Photo Editor is not available in Microsoft Office Picture Manager: 


-     Effects  -  Sharpen, Soften, Negative, Despeckle, Posterize, Edge, Chalk and Charcoal, Emboss, Graphic Pen, Notepaper, Watercolor, Stained Glass, Stamp, Texturizer.

-     Tools   -  Smudge, Sharpen, Set Transparent Color.

-     Image Acquisition   -  Not possible to create a new image from a scanner or a camera. (In Microsoft Windows XP, the capability to create a new imagine from a scanner and a camera is built in Microsoft Windows Explorer.)

-     Image  -  Fewer colour correction options are available in Picture Manager 2003 than were available in Photo Editor. Specifically, there is no Gamma adjustment, and it is not possible to apply corrections to only one of the three colour components, red-green-blue (RGB).

-     Properties  -  It is not possible to specify the image resolution dots per inch (dpi) or the colour depth of images in Picture Manager 2003.




A future project for my training manuals

Given that we have lost standardisation of application of the Microsoft Photo Editor software on the computers of people who will be using my manuals, my feeling is that the best thing for me to do will be to save all photos within my manuals as individual photo files within appendices at the back of the manuals. People with electronic copies of the manuals will then be able to work on these photos and to copy and paste in to their manuals as they wish. I do not know when I will have the time to start this so at the time of posting this page it could be some time before I can start this work. In the meantime I can e-mail any photos that people need desperately.






Date of posting : 3rd September 2012