How to Add a Background Picture in PowerPoint 2013

Adding a background picture to your PowerPoint slides can make your presentations look more visually appealing and professional. With PowerPoint 2013, you have several options for customizing slide backgrounds with images. This guide will walk you through the steps.

Select an Appropriate Image

The first step is choosing an appropriate image to use. Consider the following when selecting a background picture:

  • Relevance – Pick an image that is related to your presentation topic or content whenever possible. Using random stock photos as backgrounds can look unprofessional.
  • Quality – Make sure your image is high resolution, at least 1920×1080 pixels. Pixelated or blurry images will degrade the quality of your slides.
  • Simplicity – Avoid busy images with too much detail. Simple backgrounds work best so your text and other slide content remains the focus.
  • File Size – Large image files will make your PowerPoint file size larger unnecessarily. Use image compression tools to reduce file size if needed.
  • Licensing – Only use images you have rights or permission to use. Stock photos often have licensing restrictions.

Add the Image to a Slide

Once you’ve chosen an appropriate background image, adding it in PowerPoint is simple:

  1. Open your presentation and select the slide you want to add the image to. To add it to all slides, select any single slide.
  2. Go to the Design tab and click Format Background.
  3. In the Format Background pane, click Picture or texture fill.
  4. Click File to select a picture from your computer.
  5. Navigate to and select your image file.
  6. Adjust transparency if needed. More transparency allows more of the slide’s original background to show through.
  7. Click Apply to All to add the picture to all presentation slides or click Close to only add it to the selected slide.

Additional Customization Options

If needed, you can further customize the appearance of your new slide background image:

Image Placement

Adjust the position of the image within the slide using the offset values in the Format Background pane. Positive offsets move the image down and to the right.


Enable tiling to repeat your image across the entire slide background instead of only displaying it once.


On the Design tab, use the Recolor option to alter the image colors to match your presentation theme.

Picture Effects

Apply visual effects like shadows, reflections, and more using the Picture Effects option on the Format tab.

By following these tips, you can easily apply custom background images to enhance the look of your PowerPoint 2013 presentations. Experiment with different photos, placement, and effects to find the ideal backgrounds.