Sunday, October 23, 2011

Free Printable Halloween Coloring Book

One of the awesome perks of my contract job at was getting to work with their extensive clip-art library... and getting to create content for any gaps that might have been occurring in their free download template library... and of course it was a real thrill to create some fun holiday fare for Halloween, Christmas, etc...

One really fun project was to create five download sheets that children could color. Well, to their pleasant surprise, well within the time frame given, I went a little overboard, and actually created five coloring books each with a theme and about five-eight pages in each download. There are three with animals: (forest, farm, aquatic) (P.S. looks like the older Word 2007 versions were dropped for upgraded versions in Word 2013) and then, of course, a Halloween (in an updated Word 2007, or newer Word 2013) and a Christmas coloring book (also in an updated Word 2007, or newer Word 2013).   (Links updated 9-16-2013: I am guessing these new versions offer improvements though sadly for me they don't reflect the large number of downloads these received the past few years...)

Since it's that time of year here are thumbnail versions of the Halloween coloring book for your perusal - and be sure to visit the website for the full large size Halloween coloring book (in an updated Word 2007, or newer Word 2013) download:

As a side note - part of the beauty of templates and of Word 2007 is the ability to customize to suit your own tastes. If you didn't catch my original blog entry (on the Microsoft Office blog) that explained the above procedure (creating Word art from the Clip Art library) -- I have recreated the content here:

Customize your Clip Art with Word 2007

Background and ideas:

A previous blog entry discusses Word 2007’s ability to turn downloaded clip art into editable content. Building on this idea exponentially extends Office Online Clip Art library content. Grouped and stylized to your own devices, clip art customizes to fit business document color-schemes, or arranges and overlaps within animation storyboards, and on and on.

Again, some good styles (with uncomplicated line and shape) are #1450, #1434, or #1255. Much of Style #1450 appears in the following templates (see above): Aquatic animals, Farm animals, Forest animals, Christmas, and Halloween. And has founds its way into Word stationery themes for the Summer Santa and the Halloween correspondence set.

For this example, here is one page from the Farm animals coloring book:

The scene:       
FlowersA treeAnd various shapes drawn in  Word

The cast:           
One frog Two frog! A boisterous fowl And 1 awed snail

The video below reviews Word 2007 methods for separating vector clip art. It then shows regrouping, copying, and arranging shapes one in front of another:

Review of these steps:
  1. Import clip art into a new Word 2007 document.
  2. Right click on your selected clip. Choose to Edit Picture, and this will show the image highlighted inside a dotted-line bounding box.
  3. Click and drag the mouse inside this box from one corner to the other to capture the most pieces of the art initially possible.
  4. On the Ribbon Format tab, change the Shape fill to White, and the Line color to Black.
  5. This will reveal shapes in the art you might have missed. Keeping all your original shapes selected, Control-click to gather any of the remaining shapes.
  6. Repeat step 4-5 until you’ve gathered all the visible shapes.
  7. With all shapes still selected, right click Grouping - Group.
  8. Copy or Cut your grouped image outside of the bounding box. Delete the bounding box and unwanted images inside of it. (Note: a stray bounding box can cause headaches by pushing around other objects).
  9. Optional: Right click to Ungroup your art, and re-group it into smaller sets. (Note: Overlapping objects may take practice. Lost objects may have gone behind a larger one. Be prepared to backtrack).
  10. You can now arrange your art within the overall document Use the Format tab in the Ribbon to Arrange shapes/groups with Bring to Front, Send Backward, etc.
Final suggestions:

Have fun! Play with Word 2007 styles to create text, color variation, stage placement, or texture and photographic elements.

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