I'm wanting to create my own images or vectors that can be placed into Microsoft Word where the colour of the vector or image can be changed using the fill tool.

I've tried making vectors in illustrator and saving as a wmf and emf files and inserting them in to a Word doc but the fill tool only fills the background of the image not the image itself. It allows me to use recolour tool under the format picture tab but it only gives me a choice of 6 colours and when I try to choose my own the image just goes back to black.

I know it is possible because I have seen it done before but I just can't figure out how to do it. It's driving me crazy!

Or is there a way to make a custom shapes for Word? I'm using MS Office 365. Please help!

  • 1
    Did you try copy pasting?
    – joojaa
    May 14, 2015 at 8:49
  • With Word you cannot edit external vector files. Where you "seen it done before", those were native Word drawing objects.
    – Jongware
    May 14, 2015 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


In Word, it is not possible to use Fill to change an imported image's color like you can with Word's native shapes, BUT you can tint them to more than just a handful of colors. Note: There's a discrepancy between the "Format Picture" sidebar (where there are only a handful of recolor options, as you've mentioned), and the similarly named "Picture Format" tab (where you can pick any color you'd like). Really confusing!

  1. Create your shape in Illustrator, and export as .emf
  2. In Word, go to the Insert tab > Picture > Picture From File
  3. Go to the Picture Format tab > Color > More Variations to pick whatever color you'd like to tint the image to.

image from Illustrator Picture Format tab recolored image

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.