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3 Fast PowerPoint Picture Crop & Fill Tricks (2022)

Add visual interest fast using these three picture Crop and Fill tricks in PowerPoint. First you will learn how to use Smart Art, then crop an image into a shape, and finally add an image across multiple shapes.


Have you ever wondered how others added images as shapes to their slides? Or maybe you want to add more visual interest to your slides? Using images is a great way to add visual interest to a slide. Here are three image formatting tricks you to need to add to your design tool kit.

One: Use Picture Smart Art

The first trick is using Smart Art. Smart Art is a quick and easy way to add visual interest to a slide.

From the Insert Tab, select Smart Art and then choose a Picture Smart Art option Add your images to the Smart Art To customize, Ungroup twice (or select Convert to Shapes and Ungroup)

Delete any text related boxes. Now you can move the objects around, resize, or adjust using the Crop Tool. If you'd like to learn how to animate Smart Art, click the card to learn more.

Two: Crop an Image to a Shape

The second trick is cropping an image as a shape. This option gives you more flexibility with how the image looks instead of doing a shape fill.

Insert your picture to the slide

Select the image and resize to approximate size you want

In the Format Picture tab, click the small drop down arrow next to the Crop button and then click Crop as Shape

In the Shape options, select what shape you want

Click the Crop button again to resize the shape and adjust the image.

Click outside of the image and crop area to set the modifications.

If you want to resize the image shape, select it. Check the proportional resize option in the Format tab. Use the sizing handles to adjust it either bigger or smaller.

Three: Adding a Picture to multiple shapes

For high level customization and adding a unique twist, you can add an image across multiple images like this example. This effect looks best with a darker solid background.

Add the shape you want and resize it. Duplicate the shape by using ctrl or cmd D. Select all of the shapes and arrange the shapes as desired. Group all of the shapes using the Group tool in the Format Shape tab

Insert your picture onto the slide and resize it to generally fit the shapes. Cut the picture either using Ctrl/Cmd X or using Cut from the Home tab. Select the shape group.

From the Format Shape tab, click the Format Pane button. Choose the fill option. Click the Picture fill option. Click the Clipboard button. Because you already resized the image, there less chance it will look distorted.

About the Author

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Jennifer Sharkey is known as the Virtual Presentation Specialist. Being passionate about seeing people shine and be heard, she leans into her 20+ years of public speaking experience and uses what she has learned from presenting, both in-person and virtually, to small groups all the way up to 5000 people. Jennifer draws from her experience as an associate professor, academic librarian, and coach to help holistic coaches master virtual presentations to grow their business. Her unique immersive program provides practical strategies and methods to build confidence, engage audiences, and generate authenticity and authority.

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