Sticking with the theme of images in PowerPoint, we move on from last weeks Image Considerations post to this weeks topic of Sizing, Positioning and Cropping images. We’ll cover as much as we can and make it useful.

Let’s get started!

Inserting visual content

By visual content, we mean photos, diagrams, infographics as still images. Whilst video is visual content, much of what is covered in this post will apply also.

To insert an image into PowerPoint, insert a slide or go to the slide you would like the image to appear. Consider the slide design and does there need to be text and an image side by side?

If yes, choose a 2 content slide.

PowerPoint - 2 slide content box
PowerPoint – 2 slide content box

If it’s just an image or text, choose a 1 content slide.

PowerPoint - 1 slide content box
PowerPoint – 1 slide content box

Remember the insert image icon within the slide:

PowerPoint - Insert Image icon
PowerPoint – Insert Image icon

When you click this, you can navigate to the folder on your device and find the image you would like to insert. It will sit inside the content holder on the slide.

Height and width – image size

To resize the image, there’s many ways to do this. The different options include:

  • click and drag the image handles
  • right-click and Size and Position
  • select image, click Picture Format tab which becomes active and access height and width options

It’s best practice to not distort images. This can be easily done if dragging image handles on the slide. This is not a great way to consistently size and maintain image proportions (i.e., aspect ratio).

Right-clicking or selecting the image and using the Picture Format tab (below) will allow precision sizing of the content which can be typed in.

PowerPoint - right-click image, then click Size and Position - this opens the Format Picture panel
PowerPoint – right-click image, then click Size and Position – this opens the Format Picture panel

NB: the Lock Aspect Ratio option. When this is ticked, it allows you to change the height or width, the opposite dimension updates automatically to ensure the image does not distort.

The information provided here was for one image per slide. However, if you have two plus images in the same slide, you can select all the images and make them the same or similar in size, depending on each images dimensions.

To select multiple images, click the first image. Then press the CTRL key and click image two, three, etc. Note: white handles appear on the selected images. Ensure the Picture Format tab is active and enter the size.

This can help save time whilst making content consistent.

Positioning images

Back to single images per slide for this example.

If all images are the same size per slide and are to appear in the same space per slide, it’s important to know how to control the positioning of the content.

If the Format Picture panel is not open on the right hand side of the screen, right-click the image and Size and Position to open the panel. The Position options are beneath the Size section:

PowerPoint - Position options
PowerPoint – Position options

In PowerPoint, right-click the image, then click Size and Position. This opens the Format Picture panel and show’s the Position options further down the panel.

Assuming images are consistently sized per slide, it’s just a matter of entering the horizontal and vertical position of each image per slide. We advise positioning should be from the ‘top left corner’ in all instances.

If there are multiple images per slide, you could consider different alignment options. This will be covered next week.

Question: what if I only need part of an image on the slide? We’re glad you asked! This takes us on to cropping images.

Cropping images

You’ve sourced and inserted the image you want to use, but you only need part of the image. Crop it.

Normally when cropping an image, it’s the equivalent of taking a pair of scissors and cutting a bit off the image. Whilst this crops the image to the area you want, it means the cut off bit cannot be recovered.

However, in PowerPoint, the crop tool does not make a permanent change. By cropping, it moves the viewable edge of the image inward and hides the unwanted outer part of the image. Why is this important?

Mainly, it gives you the option to re-show hidden parts of the image and/or re-crop to show/hide other parts without having to source the original image and start over. It’s the original image which can be reset or copied if required.

To crop an image in PowerPoint, double-click the image to bring up the Picture Format tab. Click the Crop tool and the ‘handles’ on the image change from white circles to black lines, as shown below:

PowerPoint - crop tool
PowerPoint – crop tool

By hovering the cursor over a handle, the cursor changes to the crop handle shape. Dragging the handles in moves the viewable edge of the image inward. PowerPoint will show a darkened area of the outer image which will be hidden from view.

PowerPoint - using the crop tool
PowerPoint – using the crop tool

Once you click away from the image, the cropped area is confirmed. This can be re-adjusted by double-clicking the image, bringing up the Picture Format tab and clicking the Crop tool again. This time, you’ll see the image in it’s crop selected state.

Whenever cropping has been applied, the image can then be resized and positioned to suit your needs.

Cropping to a shape

In addition, PowerPoint allows you to crop to shape. To do this, click the down arrow on the Crop tool and choose a shape you want the image to appear in. Here, we chose an arrow shape:

PowerPoint - crop to shape
PowerPoint – crop to shape

In this instance, the arrow cropped shape could be good for showing the steps in a process or timeline events:

Example cropped images using shapes
Example cropped images using shapes

Any time you select a cropped shape image to adjust this, you will see a yellow circle on the shape. This allows you to change the shape attributes by clicking and dragging the circle. The results can be seen here:

djusting cropped shapes
Adjusting cropped shapes

Co-incidentally, the circular arrow icon on the white image handle in the middle example above, this allows you to rotate the image but not the crop shape.

Next time

Next week, we’ll be looking at some basic image manipulations within PowerPoint.

Remember, the DigiKnow blog posts are released at noon on a Monday.

Please do join us then to learn more and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @MDBSelearn.


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