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Ask HN: What do I use in place of Microsoft Clip Art now that it is dead?
84 points by hysan on Feb 2, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments
Microsoft Clip Art Gallery was completely closed back in December (http://gizmodo.com/microsoft-is-killing-clip-art-because-nobody-uses-it-an-1665634402) and replaced by Bing Images. As a teacher, this is turning out to be a huge problem when trying to make worksheets. The old clip art gallery was immensely useful because:

  1. Filtering by image type worked perfectly.
  2. I knew there would be no license issues.
  3. Although content may not have been perfect, the quality was uniform and good enough for handouts.
  4. I wouldn't run into NSFW images (I have seen NSFW images even with strict search on before).
  5. No watermarks.
  6. Predictable uniform dimensions.
I understand that for the majority of people the Clip Art Gallery was useless. But for us educators, it was invaluable. Can anyone suggest an alternative with similar quality & functionality to the old Clip Art Search?

Granted that it's legal, I'm even willing to replicate the old Clip Art Search site & host it if an archive of all the clip art images is available for download.

In case anyone is curious, here are the main problems with generic image search engines (Bing, Google):

  - Strict search is not full proof. With Google, turning it on breaks half of YouTube as well (blocks an insane amount of content so good luck looking for music/videos to use in the classroom without resorting to downloading it).
  - It's annoying to find clip art because most of the clip art on the web is watermarked.
  - Licensing (Bing is support to have an option for this but I don't see it when I use Bing Images!)
  - It's also annoying to have to deal with images of varying dimensions and quality (takes longer to adjust sizes in docs). Picking Square on Bing Images doesn't actually give you 1:1 ratio images.

You should look at Art4Apps: http://www.art4apps.org/

It's a library of images in the same dimensions and a uniform style, licensed under Creative Commons.

They created it for developers of educational apps, but it could work just as well for worksheets!

Thanks! This is looking to be the best resource of those suggested so far.

The only site I know of that would vaguely fit the bill is https://openclipart.org/. However, it doesn't appear to support searching by image type or by dimension and as far as I can tell, it cannot be 100% guaranteed that you will have all SFW images.

Thanks! This also looks great. Hopefully I won't run into any NSFW images at work.

This is a good option, all images are svgs so you won't run into scaling issues, the quality generally very high, and all images are CC licensed (or public domain) with options to pay to waive attribution. The only tricky bit would be getting them into word in an efficient manner.

They appear to offer PNGs of everything in addition to SVG so importing should be easy. Although you may lose some of the benefits of SVG.

When I was building websites in the mid-90's myself and everyone I knew had something like "250,000 Clip Art Images" on 30 CDs or something like that. It came with a giant phone book-like directory of them all by name.

I'd be astonished if some publisher hadn't put that online even for some nominal fee. Anyone else remember this stuff?

IMSI MasterClips ("1,500,000" now.) [1]

Of course, the bulk of that number comes via 1-year membership to http://www.iclipart.com/

[1]: http://www.amazon.com/IMSI-00M15W10CC-MasterClips-500-000/dp...

yup, my little 'graphics house' created ~ 80,000 of the 'artworks' featured :)

You can search Flickr for Creative Commons images. These images have very flexible (and free) licensing. It's a bit of a jump to move from clip art images to photographs, but with fast internet and large image files, the use of clip art is dying out.

I was looking for easy ways to search CC images, and this website (which also has an openclipart search) also came up.


Not necessarily free, but low-cost / fair price: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Type-of-Resource/...

I made canweimage.com to solve some of the pain points with generic image search engines in mind. All search results come from Wikimedia, so licensing is usually pretty liberal. You can also limit results to public domain only. No images on Wikimedia are watermarked, that I have seen.

Strict search is the only option on canweimage. It's not full proof either, but I check every file name in the results against a very long list of NSFW words and phrases. Any matches are filtered out.

While you'll still be dealing with dimension issues yourself, each result displays its dimensions. That can help pick more appropriate sizes.

Clipart.com claims to be the "web’s largest collection of royalty-free clipart, … available by subscription. Subscribers pay one flat fee, and download whatever they need from over 10 million digital assets."

Much of it even looks like the old Microsoft clip art.

They also have a Clipart.com Schools Edition specifically for teachers:


As a blogger and someone who uses PowerPoint a lot, I find a lot of good images over at Canva.com (not associated with them, I just really like and use their service).

There are a few times when I need some additional images or images that aren't included in their "free" list of images, though, and those are typically $1 each.

You can try with https://beta.illustrio.com, it's still in beta but I’ve been granted access lately. My experience with it is pretty close to what you’ve been describing. You can easily search for images, and filters by style (flat, outline, etc) and category. Then you can change the look (customization include color and position of elements), and finally download in the filetype and format you like.

From what I understood, the whole library is created with SVGs allowing for manipulation.

Hey, thanks for the tip! Just signed up for a beta invite...looks pretty awesome :)

Try http://www.photosforclass.com/ It's designed to be a school safe search with easy attribution.

Depending on the age & topic you were teaching you could try http://sparklebox.co.uk or Teachers Pet - http://tpet.co.uk - these cover a variety of lessons & themes and are suitable for up to age 10.

The creative commons site provides links to popular search engines with with Create Commons licenses. Though these are not Clip art, there is a lot of material which you can use. Just needs a bit of searching.


Depending on what type of "clipart" you're looking for these two sites may be useful: http://www.iconarchive.com/ and https://www.iconfinder.com/

So out of curiosity, what are some studies indicating educational benefits of clipart on worksheets?

By which of course I am referring to studies that indicate significant educational benefits of clipart on worksheets independently of the underlying educational benefits of worksheets in general.

First, it's important to note that I teach ESL in a foreign country (Japan). I'm an assistant teacher, but I do lead the classes sometimes. I primarily make handouts and games/activities for helping teach vocabulary and grammar points. That said, it should be easy to see where clip art can help.

  - helping students associate new words with images
  - illustrating grammar differences via comparison
  - breaking up a handout so the flow is easier to follow (think a comic)
  - preventing excessive text which could make a handout look daunting
  - creating flash cards for students or other such materials
I also took quite a bit of time to learn about typography and combined that with what I learned about UI/UX design in university to make my handouts look easy to read. I also choose fonts carefully because there is no way for me to know if any of my students are dyslexic (this is one great use of Comic Sans type fonts) due to Japan's privacy laws.

I know that my position has little power when it comes to the method of education. So I do my best to provide the highest quality work for the little things I do have control over. Also, the work I do now will no doubt help me when I pursue an education career back in my home country.

I'm too busy to find the sources I've read over the years since I never archived any of them. But if you read up on ESL, special needs teaching, education in general, raising children, psychology, and combine it with a general understanding of design, you'll see that clip art can be extremely useful. Mainly because the best clip art == cartoons boiled down to a single essential point. No extraneous fluff unlike realistic drawing or photos.

The Google LIFE Photo archive is one of my personal favorites: http://images.google.com/hosted/life

That 404s for me? EDIT: Oh... they screwed up their http/https config. Only accessible via HTTP.

While it's not exactly in the same league, http://shareasimage.com is my go-to

Perhaps you should talk to/partner with patio11, sounds like a great product and relevant to the same market as Bingo Card Creator!

What about The Noun Project http://thenounproject.com/?

You can click the search options button in Google image search and choose the dimensions, license, and picture type you want.

http://www.vecteezy.com has loads of free art to download.

You may find some options here: https://openclipart.org

this is less clipart and more icons, but I loved http://findicons.com for making personal apps as most icons on there are free for commercial uses.

find an old office disc, and get the clipart images from it?

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