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 your images to the shape you want to use for 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.

Pick the shape you want

Pick and align your shape wherever you want to display it on your slide. You can always adjust its size, form, or position later.

It’s important to mention that if your organization 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.

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.

Select the image you want to add

You have 4 different ways to add an image to your shapes in PowerPoint:

  • Upload from your device
  • Browse the stock image library
  • Find images online
  • Add icons from the internal collection

Format Picture

Once you add your image, sometimes it might look squished but you can easily fix that right away. Let’s introduce you to the formatting settings so you can customize and adjust your image exactly how you want.

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.

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 customize its colors, width, style, transparency, position, gradients, and much more.

Are you into photo editing?

You can adjust basic image details such as sharpness, brightness, and contrast in case 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.

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.

Make it pop with a drop shadow

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

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.

Your turn now

So that’s how to insert images and pictures into shapes you create in PowerPoint. The use cases here are literally unlimited so you can explore this as much as you’d like. We’ll be happy to give you a hand with your presentation design if you need any help, but other than that – have fun making your images more flexible.


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