How to Add and Modify Images in PowerPoint: Resizing, Cropping and Style

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  • 0:01 Images
  • 0:34 How to Add Images
  • 1:05 How to Re-Size Images
  • 2:35 How to Crop Images
  • 4:17 Effects & Styles
  • 5:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Have you ever added an image to a PowerPoint slide and it was too large? This lesson will review the steps to re-sizing and cropping images, as well as to applying effects to your images, which will give your slide a more impressive look.


Images are pictures or graphics. Images are inserted on to your PowerPoint slide to enhance the presentation and help the audience to visualize your message. You could say that images add a bit of life to your slide. There are many features in PowerPoint that let you modify images. But, this lesson will focus on how to work with images after you have placed them on your slide. Specifically, how to re-size and crop images and how to apply effects and styles to your images.

How to Add Images

Let's begin with a quick review on how to add an image. Start by going to the Insert menu on the ribbon. Then, go to the Images grouping of commands and click on the Pictures icon. Search for and select the image, then click on Insert - and there you have it. In the lesson video, you can see that my image is rather large for the slide. So, let's learn now how to re-size the picture so it fits better.

How To Re-Size Images

Most images you apply to your slide will be too large to fit the slide or so small that the audience can't see them. So, this requires changing the size of the image. But, before we learn how to re-size an image, I want to explain what it means to keep your image in proportion; this means to keep the image to scale, with respect to height and width.

For example, if you were to apply an image of a person to a slide and needed to make it smaller, you would want to keep the person proportionate. In other words, you don't want to shorten the image (which would just make the person appear short), you would want to keep the image constant in both height and width as you shrink the image.

Then, to re-size an image, select the image and eight small boxes will appear around the image place-holder. To keep the image proportionate, click and hold on one of the corner boxes and drag the image to a smaller size. You can do the same to make the image larger.

Remember our image at the beginning of the lesson? It was too large for our slide. Following these steps, we can re-size the image to make it smaller and fit the slide better. The middle top, bottom and side boxes allow you to re-size the image as well. However, this option will not keep your image to scale or proportionate.

How to Crop Images

Cropping an image is like taking a pair of scissors and cutting the image to the size or shape you want it. Cropping the image means you are removing a portion of the image or cutting it off. The nice thing about this feature in PowerPoint is that you can crop to a particular shape, and there are several shapes for you to select.

To crop an image, select the image, go to Picture Tools in the ribbon and click on the Format menu. Under the Size grouping of commands, click on the More icon just under the Crop command. The first two options in the menu, Crop and Crop to Shape, are the most common tools.

Either command will give you corner handles. These are cropping tools (or handles) much like your scissors. Move the handles until you have the portion of the image that you want. The dark area around the image is the portion that will be removed. When you have the image just how you want it, click outside the place-holder of the image to complete the process.

If you select Crop to Shape, you can modify the shape of the image. For example, you can make your image a circle, triangle, half-moon, arrow or any of over 100 shapes. But, don't confuse cropping with re-sizing. When you re-size an image, the entire image stays intact. When you crop the image is smaller because a part of the image was removed.

How to Apply Effects and Styles

Adding effects and styles to your images is just another way to improve your images and make them stand out. If you go to Picture Tools in the ribbon and select the Format menu, you will see the Picture Styles grouping of commands.

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