Due to the “internet of things,” Microsoft Office decided to kill off their Clipart library in December 2014. The Clipart library has been available within the PowerPoint and MS Word programs since the mid-1990s. From what we can tell, the main reasons for this move by Microsoft is three-fold.

  1. Their existing library within the MS Office programs fails to capitalize on a huge piece of their business: Bing/Images/Image Search.
  2. It would be impossible to produce an offering natively within the MS Office programs that possess the depth of the entire Bing Images index. Additionally, there is no way of knowing that the Clipart library will be the same as the images offered by Bing.
  3. Their clipart library usage has been in decline, as users gain more familiarity with search engines.

The Microsoft Clipart library was chock-full of tired graphics that in some instances have been around for over 20 years, and adhere pitifully to graphic design motifs that have long outlived their usefulness. Their efforts to cross-promote services like Bing are completely understandable for a myriad of reasons. However, the Bing solution might not be the best long-term fix for MS users of stock graphics, and other images. There are a few reasons why Bing images, which is the option being presented by Microsoft, may not be the most viable option for tracking down the digital assets you’ll need for creating in PowerPoint, Word, or any other program.

  • Because search engine indices can be a seemingly endless revolving door of mixed results, maintaining a consistent repository of assets available for everyday use makes it difficult to rely on Bing as a go-to source for images.
  • Inconvenience and inconsistent access aside, the main thing that can complicate this approach to sourcing images is the fact that royalty free and Creative Commons may not always be what they seem. Using images under a “Creative Commons” license does not guarantee that those images are free from copyright or that are they free for use in whatever capacity you choose. Additionally, Creative Commons images may be limited by their application related to commercial use or for eLearning.

There are many widely varying needs for assets including stock video, graphics, icons, templates, cutout people images and other related files. Due to the lack of specialization with other online sources, they cannot provide enough of the premium assets required by eLearning developers. eLearning Brothers has effectively filled the void in this industry by creating several libraries that give professionals high-end assets to create eLearning awesomeness. With over 500,000 assets available to members, many of which are fully editable, is isn’t hard to see why subscribers to these libraries continue to express their satisfaction.

If you are feeling the void of Microsoft’s Clipart Library, overcome these challenges by subscribing to the eLearning Template Library.


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