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Last updated on 8/4/23

Illustrate Your Points

If your point is complex or technical, you might find it useful to add pictures or diagrams. However, you must observe a few rules so that your document remains professional and readable.

Choosing Images

Diagrams can be quantitative or qualitative.

  • Quantitative diagrams are used to present figures in a clearer way than in a table.

  • Qualitative diagrams allow a better visualization of an abstract concept or enable a clear understanding of a complex point. For example, an organization chart makes it easier to explain the structure of the organization described.

A company organisation chart
An organization chart for a finance department.

Inserting an image also serves an aesthetic goal, to make reading more pleasant or attract the eye, especially if the written text is long.

Here is an example of an image inserted solely for aesthetic purposes:

An image inserted for an aesthetic purpose.
Image inserted for aesthetic purposes.

If you need to describe a procedure, inserting images can allow the reader to better visualize the individual steps or the big picture. For example, in the context of an operating procedure, it will be easier for your reader to follow your instructions if they have a visual context for each step.

Integrating and Processing Images

In a word processing program, you will use the Insert tab to insert tables or images.

If you double click on the image, you can rework it using the "Format" functions. For example, you can:

  • Crop the edges

  • Change the position of the image in the text

  • Change the shape of the image

  • Change the border of the image

  • Change the style of the image

  • Use special effects (light, shade, etc.) (however, don’t overdo it - keep it simple!)

  • Recolor the image (this will enable you to make the image background transparent to improve how it blends into your document for example)

Ensure that your result is clear and clean, with well-dimensioned images, framed if possible and integrated as well as possible into the text.

You now know how to illustrate your points. Next, we move on to the last stage: the layout.

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