On Christmas day last year, we sent a staggering 4.5 million picture messages to family and friends. Whether it's during holidays or high days, we are definitely now a nation of snappers. Even the weather can determine how often we send picture messages to each other. As digital camera technology improves, we have fully embraced jpegs and megapixels into our everyday lives.

It's now much easier to have control over which images you use in your documents. It's no longer a case of getting hold of a hard copy image and scanning it in to the desktop before saving in a compatible format then placing in a page via a design program. We can now capture the subject of our choice on our own camera, and with a few simple clicks have the image we want ready for use.

With greater storage capacity on hard drives and memory cards, handling large files is easier. Online storage also means that you can have access to an infinite number of images, too. With greater control over how we can capture and store images, we have also learned how to manipulate and edit images - without the need of a professional photographer or designer for many of our projects.

Once you have selected which images you are going to use to make an impact in your document, Word 2010 makes it easier to work with the image on screen. For example, it's now easier to make corrections to pictures. New features also simplify how to fine-tune the colour intensity (saturation), and colour tone (temperature) of a picture. You can also adjust brightness, contrast, sharpness and blurriness, or you can recolor the picture to better match your document content.

Another advanced picture editing option in Word 2010 is that you can automatically remove unwanted portions of a picture, such as the background. This helps when you need to highlight a subject in the picture or to remove distracting details. And there's also more picture-editing tools available, allowing you to crop and trim images within your Word document.

Advanced features in Word 2010 also mean that you no longer need to compromise image quality or compression when deciding whether you are printing or emailing images.

If you need to use screenshots to illustrate your document - it might be, for example, that you need to use a still shot from part of a corporate film, or the home page of your website - you can now quickly add screenshots directly into your document. After you add the screenshot, you can use the tools on the Picture Tools tab to edit and enhance the screenshot. When you reuse your screenshots across documents, there's a Paste Preview feature that enables you to see what your additions will look like before placing them.

There are more graphic capabilities in Word 2010, enabling you to combine images with words to create a really professional document. For example, SmartArt graphic picture layouts make it easier to insert pictures into the SmartArt shapes of a picture layout diagram. And you have the option of adding a caption to each shape. Even if you have already placed the picture into your document, you can quickly convert it to a SmartArt graphic, just like you can with text.

New artistic effects available in Word 2010 include picture treatments which convert your image to a sketch, drawing, or painting. This is a great way to enhance your images without using additional photo-editing programs. Choose from 20 new artistic effects including Pencil Sketch, Line Drawing, Watercolor Sponge, Mosaic Bubbles, Glass, Pastels Smooth, Plastic Wrap, Photocopy, and Paint Strokes.

And Word 2010 offers more scope for using Clip Art images. You can use, submit and find thousands of new pieces of community clip art, in addition to the images, videos and other media which can be incorporated into your document. There's also the option to see who submitted the clip art file and to report them if the images are inappropriate or unsafe.

If you are interested in working with text and images in Word 2010, then it's a good idea to find out about a professional training course where you can learn to create winning pictures in all of your Word documents.