Fotolia Plugs Into Office 2007 Apps – Buy Stock Photos Straight From MS Word

Fotolia is today releasing a new add-in ribbon for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint 2007 that gives users instant access to the company’s vast library of images and vectors from within the popular applications, eliminating the need to leave them.

Once the ribbon is downloaded from the Fotolia website and installed, users can search stock photos for the projects that they’re working on straight from the top menu of their applications, so they don’t need to go away from their documents to obtain appropriate stock imagery.

Before purchasing an item from the company’s library, which it says presently counts over 7-million royalty-free high-resolution files, users can hover over search results within the doc to see a preview of images. Double-click, and the item gets placed in the doc for you to see if it matches what you were trying to visualize. Users can then opt to buy images in any of the available sizes and licenses straight from Fotolia. Once the image is downloaded into the user’s document, users are free to use the Fotolia file with no limit on time, copies or geographical placements.

Fotolia has been supplying imagery to Microsoft Office Online customers for a few years now, but this really ties the knot.

It’s a great idea, and I concur with Microsoft’s Group Manager Rob Ashby, who commented that the addition of Fotolia can be a significant productivity win for customers. I guess it also makes sense for the company to endorse this and similar add-ons because they’re bound to keep users inside its software applications as much as possible, but the benefits for users are clear too. It’s also yet another sign that the line between desktop and web software is blurring.

Again, this product is quite brilliant, and I’m sure other stock photography players will be following suit soon.