How to Add Images to Shapes in PowerPoint

Sometimes adding a normal picture to your slide isn’t enough to create the aesthetic look you’re going for. Have you ever wondered how designers shape their images in any form they want?  

Well, let’s show you how to add images to shapes in PowerPoint and achieve this cool effect in your presentations. You’ll also see a few basic formatting options so you can fit your image into the shape and display it exactly how you want. 

Step #1. Pick the shape you want 

Insert the shape you like into the slide and place it wherever you want. You can always adjust its size, form, or position later. 

Note that if your organisation has a brand design guide, you should keep it in mind and avoid using shapes that don’t align with your brand styles. For instance, if your brand mainly relies on square forms, images, and elements, you should probably avoid using rounded shapes. 

Insert a shape in PowerPoint

Now you can right-click on the shape and select the Fill option at the top of the dropdown. 

The Fill option will then display its own dropdown where you need to click the Picture menu. 

Insert a picture in the shape

Step #2. Select the image you want to add 

There are 4 different ways to add an image to your shapes in PowerPoint:

1. Upload from your device
2. Browse the stock image library
3. Find images online
4. Add icons from the internal collection 

Step #3. Format Picture 

Once you add your image, it may look squished, but you can easily fix that right away. Open the Format Picture tools > Crop > Fill to fit the image into the shape. You’ll immediately see the difference, especially if there are people in the picture. From there you can customise and adjust your image just the way you want.

Use Crop and Fill to unsquish the image

Step #4. Align the image 

From Shape Options, access the Fill & Line settings and enable the checkbox called Tile picture as texture. This will unlock the alignment setting of the image so you can select whether you want it centered, or aligned to the top, bottom, left, right, etc. 

Select Tile picture as texture

Step #5. Enable or disable the outline 

If you want to remove the outline of your shape, simply go to the Line settings and select the No line option. However, in case you want to use the outline, you have a lot of flexibility to customise its colours, width, style, transparency, position, gradients, and much more. 

Step #6. Adjust picture details

You can adjust basic image details such as sharpness, brightness, and contrast if you need some fine-tuning to make it fit into your slide better. 

Sometimes you might need to make the image darker or brighter in case you want to add some text on top of it, so it pops out enough. You can try the predefined presets that PowerPoint offers, but we wouldn’t really recommend them. 

Explore the Picture correction options

Step #7. …or make it see-through 

Go to the Picture options and you’ll see you have an option to adjust the image transparency in case you want to change it for the purpose of your slide. 

Increase the transparency of your image

Step #8. Make it pop with a drop shadow

Drop shadows are a popular way to make your shapes and images pop out and be more noticeable. Adding a drop shadow to a shape in PowerPoint happens from the Effects tab in your formatting setting.


Step #9. Add a text overlay 

When you want to add some text to clarify your image or give some additional info and context, there’s an easy way to do it in PowerPoint. Simply double-click on the image and the text box will appear. 

Enter your text and use the formatting options in the Text Box settings to align it, resize it, or even give it a different kind of direction. You can also use the Columns option to add text in multiple columns on top of your image shape. 

Do the final touches and add text overlay

So that’s how to add images to shapes in PowerPoint. The use cases here are literally unlimited, so you can explore this as much as you like. We here at 356labs presentation agency will be happy to give you a hand with your presentation design if you need any help, but other than that – enjoy making your images more fun.