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Downloading Maps from the Office.com Site in PowerPoint 2010 and 2007 for Windows

Learn how to download a map from the Microsoft Office site in PowerPoint 2010 and 2007 for Windows. Such maps can be easily used in PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office programs.

One of the most frequently asked questions in the PowerPoint forums is about having access to a map of the United States of America on a slide that has each state available as a separate selectable shape.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to:

  • First, download a suitable map clip art file from Microsoft Office.com website
  • Then, insert the map within a slide in PowerPoint
  • Finally, use PowerPoint's ungroup tools to break it apart into selectable shapes that denote individual states
Update on October 4, 2011: We highly recommend you go and download the readymade US map we provide because Microsoft has changed the way clip media can be downloaded from Office.com. In addition, they no longer seem to have any ungroupable US maps available now.

If you want to know how you can do it yourself, follow these steps to get started:

  1. Launch the Microsoft Office site in your browser, as shown in Figure 1 below.

  2. Figure 1: Microsoft Office home page
  3. From the tabs on this page, choose Clip Art (refer to Figure 1)
  4. Within the Clip Art tab, enter the keyword (USA Map) in the search box, and click the downward arrow button next to the search button to choose "Clip art", as shown in Figure 2.

  5. Figure 2: Clip Art Search
  6. Tip: Searching within the Clip Art type enables you to mainly get vector files that can be ungrouped in PowerPoint.
  7. Based on the keyword and the type of file, you'll get the search result in the next page that you can see in Figure 3.

  8. Figure 3: Search Result
  9. Look for maps that have state outlines visible. From the search result select an appropriate WMF or EMF file (place your cursor over the thumbnail and you'll know if it is a WMF or EMF file. Avoid JPEG, PNG, or GIF files in this case). You can click the box under the thumbnail to select it for subsequent download. Figure 3 shows how we selected one of the files to download (mp00224_.wmf).


  10. You can select as many files as you want. When done, click the Download option (highlighted in red) as shown in Figure 4.

  11. Figure 4: Download Selected Files
  12. Note: If you are downloading for the first time from the Office.com site, you might get an Agreement page that makes you click an Accept button to proceed.
  13. This opens the Download page (see Figure 5). Here, you get the details such as download size, download time, etc. Just click the Download Now button (highlighted in red) to start the download process.

  14. Figure 5: Download Now
  15. Clicking the Download Now button in the preceding step opens your browser's Save dialog box as shown in Figure 6. Your browser may show a different dialog box. In that case, look out for an opening option, and then choose as required.

  16. Figure 6: Opening the downloaded clip art
  17. If you choose the Open option, this will typically launch the Microsoft Clip Organizer (see Figure 7) with the downloaded files.

  18. Figure 7: Microsoft Clip Organizer
  19. Just drag and drop the the downloaded files to the Desktop, and let them be there. Then proceed with inserting them in PowerPoint and then ungrouping.

Maps: Downloading Maps from the Office.com Site (Glossary Page)