Tip o’ the Week 373 – Copying Images for emails

A picture tells a thousand words, etc etc etc. We all know the power of adding images into presentations, documents, emails and the like… even forum posts into external discussions often feature reference to pics that exist elsewhere on the internet.

If you want to use someone else’s imagery, especially if it’s something you plan to disseminate, then you really ought to ask, or else pick imagery that’s appropriate licensed. One way is to source your image content from a pre-licensed source – like public domain (fill your boots) or Creative Commons, where some rights are reserved by the creator but others are often waived, meaning you’re free to use those images within certain constraints.

Bing.com has some nice image searching tools which let you find content and then filter based on the license type – just click on the filter logo on the far right, and then choose the requisite license type from the drop-down box.

Once you’ve found the image content and you’re happy that it’s OK to use it as per the license (or you don’t really care), then you can copy & paste in a number of ways.

If the destination for your image-based plagiary is some Office app, then you can usually copy & paste, or do some sort of Insert from within the app ; Outlook gives you an easy way of finding content that’s Creative Commons by default, and plenty of warnings to boot. Here’s a screen shot of the warnings and stuff, probably in flagrant breach of the actual rules…

See earlier comment. Whatever.

Anyway. There are a few other ways of pasting in found content – in Facebook, for example, if you have a picture in the clipboard, you can paste it straight into a Post and it will be uploaded. The same thing is true of some online forums (watch nerds, look away now), whereas most will want you to find a URL for your photos before you can embed them in the post you’re making.

There are some different approaches to grabbing the URL of an online photo, should you need to – Google’s Chrome browser lets you right-click on an image, and you can copy it to the clipboard, copy its URL or even search Google for similar or different-sized versions of the same thing.

The Edge browser usually works a little differently, though – you could share the image to another app that supports that ability, but with Edge (updated in a number of ways as part of the forthcoming (on April 11) Creators Update), there’s a simplification in that if you just Copy an image, it will copy & paste the URL that points to that image, and/or the image itself. If you want a URL (for example, you go to the Insert Image option in most online fora, where they expect you to point to an external picture rather than host a copy themselves) the clipboard just contains a hard link to the image in question.

For applications that support directly inserting an image (via pasting), then the image will be pasted instead of its URL. Try it with any image you find online – Copy in Edge, and if you paste into MSPaint, you’ll get the image itself, but if you paste into Notepad, you’ll just get the URL. Some apps – like Outlook or OneNote – will let you choose which you want; when pasting an image, you could choose to leave it as such, or pick the “text” icon on the right, to paste the URL instead.

Asking Cortana will tell you a bit about the image, too, which is nice

Finally, don’t forget that if you’re grubbing about in Windows Explorer (WindowsKey+E, remember), you can right-click on any local or network-located file, while also holding shift, and you’ll see a Copy as path option – which will copy the name & place where that file is (the fully qualified filename, to be precise), to your clipboard.

So, if you’re a good girl or boy, you can share your own content from your PC, easily uploading to appropriate services by copying the path to any file on your machine and pasting that path into the dialog to attach, upload or insert a file.

In fact, that’s probably the most useful tip in this whole mail. Done.

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