How to Trace Around an Object in a Photo Using Microsoft Publisher

By David Weedmark

Learn how to trace any object in Microsoft Publisher using multiple strokes and then group them together.

To trace around objects in Microsoft Publisher, including objects inside a photo, use the Scribble tool, located in the Shapes options. The process is the same in Publisher 2010 and 2013. Unless you're an expert at freehand drawing, it's often easier to trace using multiple strokes, rather than trying to complete the trace with a single line.

Step 1

Go to the Publisher page containing an image. Click the Insert tab, select Shapes and then click the Scribble icon, located at the end of the Lines section.


To insert a photo in Publisher, click the Insert tab and select Pictures.

Step 2

Trace around the object.

Trace the cursor around the object. When you release the mouse button, a line appears where you traced and the Drawing Tools' Format ribbon opens.

Step 3

Change the  Color and Weight.

Click the Shape Outline icon in the Drawing Tools' Format ribbon. Select a color and click the Weight option in the drop-down menu to specify a line thickness.

Step 4

A tracing with multiple lines.

Draw additional lines as needed by selecting the Scribble shape from the Insert ribbon's Shape icon. Each time you release the mouse button, you have to again select the Scribble shape to continue your tracing.

Step 5

Select Group from the Arrange icon.

Click the image you traced if you no longer need it and press the Delete key.

Group multiple lines so you can move them or copy them to another page. Drag the cursor over the lines you traced to select them. Click the Home tab, then the Arrange icon and then select Group.


If you want to group the tracing lines together without deleting the original image, cut the image from the document by pressing Ctrl-X. After the tracing lines are grouped, paste the image back in the document by pressing Ctrl-V. You can then put the image behind the lines by clicking the Home ribbon's Arrange icon and selecting Send Backward.