How to Make a Collage on Microsoft Word

By Diana V. Faustmann

There are a lot of photo collage applications available on the Web and in app stores, but with Microsoft Word, you can make a collage with what you already have. MS Word enables you to combine and arrange multiple pictures in any desired layout, in addition to editing, filtering and even shaping individual collage images. What’s more, MS Word provides time-saving SmartArt picture collage templates that you can caption with ease to combine pictures with text.

Create a Freestyle Collage

Step 1

Click your Ribbon’s “Developer” tab. If you don’t see the tab, right-click the Ribbon and select “Customize the Ribbon.” Activate the “Developer” check box on the right-hand side. Click “OK.”

Step 2

Click the “Picture Content Control” button in the Controls panel. A rectangular graphic with a picture icon appears. Click outside the graphic and choose the button again to create another picture placeholder. Create a placeholder for each of your intended collage pictures.

Step 3

Click the “Picture” icon on each photo placeholder in turn. Choose “Insert” to upload a desired picture from your computer, the Web or your OneDrive, Facebook or Flickr account. By default, the picture fits -- rather than fills -- the placeholder, retaining its original proportions or aspect ratio.

Step 4

Right-click each picture in turn to undo its fixed page position. Choose “Wrap Text” followed by “More Layout Options,” then select “In front of text” text wrapping.

Step 5

Arrange the pictures as desired. Stretch or shrink a selected photo using its corner circles to prevent distortion. Use the buttons in the Picture Tools tab to crop or format images with borders, shadows or preset styles.

Use Preset SmartArt Layouts

Step 1

Choose the “SmartArt” button on the Insert tab, followed by “Picture.” Several photo collage templates appear. Pick an appealing photo-only or photo-and-text layout; it displays on your page within a SmartArt frame.

Step 2

Click the picture icon within each photo placeholder in turn. Choose “Insert” to upload desired pictures proportionally. To replace a picture, choose it and press “DEL” before uploading another image. Type text in Text boxes, if applicable.

Step 3

Scale and move a photo within a picture holder by selecting it and choosing the “Picture Tools” tab. Click the “Crop” button and use the image’s corner circles to stretch or shrink it. Click and drag the image to reposition it within the picture holder.

Step 4

Click the double-arrow on the SmartArt frame’s left side to reveal a photo index you can use to caption your pictures. Right-click on an index picture and choose “Move Up” or “Move Down” to reposition it on your collage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a new, blank document to create a collage. You can group freestyle collage images and then, copy, paste, resize and text-wrap them as a group in an existing document afterward. SmartArt collages are already pre-grouped.
  • Click the “View” tab and activate the “Gridlines” check box to help you size and space freestyle collage pictures with precision.
  • Information in this article applies to Microsoft Word 2013 on a PC running Windows 8.1. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.