PowerPoint 2016: Inserting Pictures

Microsoft PowerPoint allows users to enhance presentations by inserting pictures from various sources. Pictures can communicate ideas more clearly and make presentations more visually compelling. This article provides step-by-step instructions on the multiple ways to insert pictures in PowerPoint 2016.

Finding Pictures on Your Computer

The easiest way to add pictures in PowerPoint is to use images stored on your own computer. Here is how:

  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide where you want to add a picture
  2. Click the Insert tab on the ribbon
  3. Click the Pictures button in the Illustrations group
    • A file explorer window will open to browse your computer’s folders
  4. Navigate to the folder containing your desired picture
  5. Select the picture file and click Insert
    • The picture will now appear on the PowerPoint slide

You can now adjust the size and positioning of the inserted picture as needed.

Finding Pictures Online

PowerPoint also enables searching online sources to find pictures to insert, without having to first download them to your computer. Here is how:

  1. Open the presentation and navigate to the desired slide
  2. Click the Insert tab
  3. Click the Online Pictures button in the Illustrations group
    • The Insert Pictures window will open with a Bing Image Search box
  4. Type a relevant keyword or phrase and press Enter
    • Thumbnail images of search results will populate below
  5. Hover over a thumbnail to preview the full-sized image
  6. Click the picture you want and PowerPoint will insert it directly onto the slide

The online pictures feature provides a quick way to find relevant, high-quality images to enhance your presentations.

Adjusting and Formatting Pictures

Once inserted, pictures can be adjusted and formatted in various ways. Here are some key options:

  • Resize – Drag the picture’s sizing handles to make it larger, smaller, taller, or wider
  • Crop – Click the Picture Format tab > Crop button and drag the cropping handles to remove outer edges of the picture
  • Color adjustments – Click the Picture Format tab and use options like Color and Artistic Effects to alter the picture’s appearance
  • Borders and effects – Click the Picture Format tab to add borders, shadows, glows, reflection effects, and more
  • Alt text – Right-click the picture and select Edit Alt Text to add descriptive text for accessibility

Properly formatting inserted pictures makes them clearer and adds polish to a presentation.

Working with Picture Placeholders

PowerPoint slide layouts often contain pre-added picture placeholders, which are boxes with a dashed border indicating suggested spots to insert images. Here are tips for working with these:

  • Click inside a picture placeholder to automatically launch the Insert Pictures workflow to select a file
  • Drag a picture’s sizing handles to fill the placeholder or resize the placeholder to fit the image
  • The Size and Position dialog box enables entering exact dimensions to perfectly fit a picture into a placeholder space
  • Choose a new slide layout if existing placeholders do not meet needs

Using placeholders helps align images neatly and keeps formatting consistent from slide to slide.

Additional Tips

  • Set a default picture style on the Design tab to automatically format all inserted images
  • Compress pictures before inserting to reduce file size using the Compress Pictures dialog box
  • Insert a screenshot or part of your PowerPoint slide itself as an image using the Screenshot option
  • Right-click a picture and select Save as Picture to export it for use in other documents
  • Launch a picture editing program like Paint or Photoshop from within PowerPoint to touch up images before insertion