Microsoft Office Picture Manager on your new PC

Working on Windows 8.1 I was reminded that for some odd reason Microsoft decided to remove Picture Manager since Office 2013. Not everyone uses it, but I love it and it has been a reason for me to keep using Office 2010 for quite a while. But there is a way to get Microsoft Office Picture Manager running on your newest PC and laptop - here's how.

Running this blog gives me some "priviliges" - like getting to show-off a brand new Surface Pro 3 amidst the Apple loving Press crowd at the Mobile World Congress. I'm sure my almost ten years old laptop wouldn't survive being taken there and Microsoft was willing to borrow me one for my trip to Barcelona less than two weeks from now.

Not only will it shine, it's also incomparably much lighter than my old working horse and a hell of a lot faster, too (not to mention the brilliant 4:3 touchscreen etc). I received it recently and in order to be sure I can work with it the way I'm used to, I simply had to get an alternative for Microsoft Office Picture Manager, or find a way to install it anyway.

Why? Because Picture Manager enables me to resize and crop shots in a very simple and effective way. You can even change the sizes of multiple shots to the exact size you want or to a percentage of the original ones. And I understand it takes care of the "red eye" problem very well, but I use Picasa for that to be honest (I hardly ever capture people for this club as you may have noticed). So yes, I truly love to work with Microsoft's Office Picture Manager and I never understood why Microsoft left it out since Office 2013. But: I got it!
Here's the workaround you might be interested in too - if only to see what the program is capable of in case you have no idea what I'm writing about. You'll need to download  Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 (this links to the English version, you'll have to look for a version in your own language). This package still has the Office Picture Manager! You simply download it and unpack the install file (choose "install all" or "custom" to choose exactly what you need). After that it depends what you are working on.

On Windows 7, you will need to look in a sub-folder of Microsoft Office in program files - you should see a folder with Microsoft Office 2010 Help programs. There you'll see Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
On Windows 8.1, you'll need to go to the homescreen showing all your installed applications. Under "Apps" you will suddenly see Microsoft Office Picture Manager. You can of course attach it to your Start screen, or you can simply choose to open every image with it if you so desire.

I'm absolutely relieved to have found this workaround for Microsoft Office Picture Manager and I'm more than happy to share it here - I really hope you'll find it useful. If you know of any other interesting - and free - programs to (mass) resize, crop or in any other way effectively work on your shots, please let yourself be heard of below. I do hope however that Microsoft will decide to bring back this fantastic "lean and mean" program as part of Office in the first place. Why fix it if it ain't broken anyway?

PS For this post I also learned how to make a screenshot on the Surface Pro 3. When you use the keyboard like I can, combine the Windows + Fn buttons and push the space bar. You'll see that the screen dims for a second - that's when capturing the screenshot, which you will find in a new folder (screenshots) in your Pictures.