Get creative with 3D models

Word, Excel and PowerPoint on Windows now support inserting 3D models directly into your documents, workbooks or presentations to illustrate a point. You can rotate models 360 degrees or tilt up and down to show a specific feature of an object.

The improvements in this update are available to Office 365 subscribers. If you'd like to be among the first to access these improvements, join the Office Insider program.

Adding 3D objects to your documents, workbooks or presentations from a local file

You insert 3D models into your files much the same way as other images. On the Insert tab of the ribbon select 3D Models and then From a File.

Use Insert > 3D Models to add 3D objects to your presentation

Once it's inserted you can use the controls to manipulate the image:

Resize or rotate your 3D model

1 Use the 3D control to rotate or tilt your 3D model in any direction. Just click, hold and drag with your mouse.

2 Drag the image handles in or out to make your image larger or smaller.

You can still use the rotation handle 3 to rotate your image clockwise or counter-clockwise, but you'll get a much better experience using the 3D rotation control we talked about above.

Adding 3D Models from Remix 3D

Remix 3D is not only an online catalog with a large collection of free 3D models to choose from, it's also a community where you can upload, collect, and share if you like, your own 3D images. To select a 3D Model from Remix 3D choose 3D Models > From Online Sources. In the dialog box that appears you can browse, or search for, 3D images from the catalog at Remix 3D.

Select one, or more, images and click Insert.

Notes: 

  • You will need to be signed in with your Microsoft Account to search Remix 3D or to access personal content. If you don't have a Microsoft Account you'll have the opportunity to create one for free.

  • Remix 3D is not available in all countries. For a list of countries where Remix 3D is supported please see: Remix 3D: Frequently asked questions.

Changing how your 3D models look in Office

When you insert a 3D model into your Office file you'll get a contextual tab on the ribbon under 3D Model Tools called Format. On the format tab there are some handy controls to help you customize how your 3D images are going to look.

The 3D Model Views gallery gives you a collection of preset views that you can use on your image. For example you can quickly select the head on view or the top down view.

The 3D Model VIews gallery gives you some handy presets to arrange the view of your 3D image

If you've got multiple 3D models and you're having trouble selecting the one you want to work with click the Selection Pane to turn on the list of objects. Then you can easily select the image or images that you want to select.

The Align tool helps you place your image on the page or slide - at the top or side, for example.

Pan & Zoom is a new tool that gives you control of how your 3D image fits within the frame. Click the Pan & Zoom button then click and drag the object within the frame to move it. Use the Zoom arrow on the right-side of the frame to make the object appear larger or smaller within the frame.

Use the Zoom arrow to make your 3D image appear larger or smaller within the frame

Once you have your 3D images inserted you can do all kinds of exciting things with them, such as using PowerPoint's Morph Transition to make the object appear to rotate or spin.

Send 3D Models in email

In Outlook 2016, you can now insert 3D models into an email message. To use this feature you have to be using the full-sized message editor. If you create a new email you'll already be using it, but if you are replying to a message in the reading pane you'll need to click Pop Out to expand the message editor to full-size. Then you can go to the Insert tab and click 3D Models.

One important thing to remember is that the other person won't be able to edit the model you insert in the message. 3D models in emails are converted into pictures on send, so the other person can't edit it.

Let Doug show you how it's done with this short video

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A new kind of clip art

Office 365 doesn't have traditional clip art, but 3D models are a new kind of clip art: The online library of ready-to-use three-dimensional images, Remix 3D, has many images to choose from that you can use as-is or adapt.

We're listening

This article was last updated by Ben on November 13th, 2017. If you found it useful, and especially if you didn't, please use the feedback controls below and let us know how we can make it better.

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