3D models are attractive pictures that can make your documents stand out from the crowd. Instead of inserting plain 2D pictures and screenshots, it is possible to insert 3D models in Office apps. You can do this with in-built feature in all Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel. In this article, we will explain the step-by-step instructions and the possible customizations for inserting 3D models in Office app.
3D Models in Office Apps
Let us take an example of 3D emoji which is completely different than normal Unicode emoji that you can insert in Word. As you can see, it is very easy to rotate and remove the stars on the 3D heart emoji. You can use this type of 3D models in PowerPoint presentations to surprise the audience or send a cute 3D model picture in Outlook emails to wow your friends and colleagues.
Insert 3D Models in Office Apps from Online Library
First make sure you have valid Microsoft 365 subscription to use the latest features available in the cloud.
- Open any Office apps like Microsoft Word or Outlook.
- Go to “Insert” menu and click on the “3D Models” option under “Illustrations” group.
- Remember, you should first create a new email or reply to any existing email to view the menu items.
- This will open Online 3D Models library from Microsoft showing various categories of 3D model items.
- You can find 3D emoji, stickers, animals, math symbols, letters, shapes, icons and many other categories.
- Click on the required category or search the name using the search box. For example, type “emoji” in the search box and press enter key to filter all 3D emoji items.
- Select the 3D model you want to insert and click on “Insert” button.
- This will download the item and insert in your document, email or presentation.
Inserting Your Own 3D Models
There are many apps available for creating 3D models and Paint 3D from Microsoft is the easiest way. If you are not able to find 3D models from Microsoft Online 3D Models library, then you can create your own model and insert in Office apps. Paint 3D is a free app you can install from the Microsoft Store.
This app also has its own 3D library and 3D shapes which you can use or create your custom model. You can choose the predefined models under “Tools > 3D Library” menu which will open the online library similar to Office apps.
After finishing your model, make sure to save the file as “3D model” with the file extension as .glb. The file will be stored in the default location under C:\Users\<username>\3D Objects. Good thing is that Office apps will look for 3D model files under this same location. Therefore, it is quite easy to choose the file if you are saving in the default location. We save our 3D model with the file name as “Spacecraft”.
Now open any Office apps or create a new email in Outlook. Go to “Insert” menu and click on the small arrow icon showing next to “3D Models”. Select “This Device…” option and select the file you have created from Paint 3D or with any other app.
Now, you can see the custom 3D model is inserted which you can further customize with the options available within Office apps.
Customizing 3D Models in Office Apps
Whether you have inserted an item from online library or your custom 3D model, simply click on it. You will see rotation and dragging options. It is possible to rotate the entire model or within its own axis by using the rotate icons. You can adjust the size of the model by dragging the points showing around the model. In addition, all Office apps will show an additional “3D Model” menu when you double click on the inserted 3D model.
The 3D Model menu offers the flowing customizations:
- Preset Views – Select one of the presets from “3D Model View” to change the appearance. You can simply hover over the views to see the live preview of your inserted 3D model item.
- Alt Text – add alt text for those using screen reader to understand the inserted 3D model.
- Adjust Position – adjust the model position like horizontal/vertical alignments, text wrapping, bringing to front or back or align the model in a fixed position on your document.
- Pan and Zoom – clicking on this will show a small lens nearer to the inserted 3D model. You can hold the lens icon and drag to zoom in/out the item.
- Height & Width – use the height and width boxes to resize the model it a specific size.
If you have messed up the model, simply click on “Reset 3D Model” option. You can either reset the entire model to its original state or only reset the size. You can use the “3D Models” option available as a first option to insert additional models from your device or from online library.
Insert 3D Models in Office for Mac
Microsoft also offers similar features to insert 3D models in all the Office apps for Mac. The difference is that the online library will open within the app in sidebar instead of a pop-up. In addition, you will see a “Format Pane” in the “3D Models” menu’s ribbon.