Use image fills

You can fill any selected path or shape with an image.

To fill a path or a shape with an image

  • On the Properties panel, in the Appearance category, from the Fill/Stroke type Cc295020.de7c589d-cd00-4e46-af22-5e95fbabfcf2(en-us,Expression.10).png display, click the Image Fill swatch.

You can change the image that you use.

To change the image for a fill

  • To change the image, do one of the following:

    • Next to the fill image sample, click Import. You can use any one of the bitmapped image file types that Microsoft Expression Design can read (such as .jpg, .tif, and .bmp).

    • From the Swatches gallery, select an existing swatch. To import new swatches, click the Swatch Options Cc295020.580a6978-9a74-422a-b48e-61739a9087b7(en-us,Expression.10).png icon, and then click Import Swatch Library.

To change the image, click the Import button to the right of the fill image sample. Alternatively, if you have saved a fill image as a custom swatch, you can select it from the Swatches gallery.


If the image is smaller than the shape, Expression Design tiles the image (repeats it vertically and horizontally) so that it fills the path.

Four sample image fills


When you import an image fill from disk, Expression Design links to that file (it does not embed the image fill into your document). If you move that image file or move the Expression Design document to another computer that does not have the same image on disk, the fill will not function.

Another way to fill a shape with an image is to combine the shape and a bitmap image object as a clipping mask. For more information, see Create clipping masks

Whether or not an image fill is transformed (rotated, scaled, skewed, and so on), when you transform the shape or path, depends on your Options settings.

To let an image fill be transformed

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Options, and then click General.

  2. Under the General section, select the Transform image fill check box.

When this option is cleared, the only way to transform the pattern fill is with the Fill Transform tool. For more information about how to rotate, scale, move, or skew an image fill inside an object, see Transform image fills.

Community Additions