Crop Pictures in PowerPoint 2013
Learn how to work with crop options for pictures in PowerPoint 2013.
Author : Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
picture in your slide, you should first consider if the picture you have used complements the message
of your presentation and slide. Even if it is relevant, you should consider making it more pertinent by
removing the areas that may be not required -- in other words, you must ponder and decide whether you want
to use PowerPoint's Crop options. Cropping an area removes extraneous areas, and lets you
add focus to the areas of the picture that are appropriate to the topic of your presentation -- for
example the picture on the left side in Figure 1 below shows a businesswoman with several
of her colleagues blurred into the background. Cropping the same picture in the sample on the right
focuses attention solely on her, and creates a more powerful visual. In some scenarios, the picture on the
left may be more suited -- but in most cases, you will want to use the picture on the right.
Figure 1: Picture cropped to focus attention on a particular element (Picture from Office.com)
The Crop tool lets you achieve these edits and more -- and cropping works with both
pictures that are inserted on slides, or with
that constitute a shape fill. Follow these steps to explore more in PowerPoint 2013:
- We are assuming you already have a
picture inserted on your
slide, or a
filled with a picture. Select the picture to display the Picture Tools Format tab
(highlighted in red within Figure 2) of the
Ribbon. Activate this contextual
tab by clicking on it -- and click the down-arrow below the Crop button (highlighted in
blue within Figure 2).
Figure 2: Crop button within the Picture Tools Format tab
- This opens the Crop drop-down gallery with five crop options, as you can see in
Figure 2, above. Let us explore all the five Crop options and their
- Crop: This basic Crop tool is used to make a simple crop. When you
select this tool (which is equal to simply clicking the Crop button within the
Size group), dark crop handles appear on the edge of the picture (or on the edge of the
shape if you are cropping any picture used as a fill), as shown in Figure 3. Typically,
you will see four corner handles and four side handles.
Now, do one of the following:
- To crop one side of the picture, drag the side handle of that side inward. For example, if you want to crop from the right side, drag the right side handle.
- To crop equally on two sides at the same time, press and hold Ctrl key while you drag the side handle on either side inward.
- To crop equally on all four sides at the same time, press and hold Ctrl key while
you drag any corner handle inward.
Figure 3: Result of applying Crop option on a picture in a placeholder
You can also move the picture within the placeholder area to show more important areas of the picture. To do that, place your cursor anywhere in the middle of the placeholder away from the edges so that your cursor changes to a four-headed arrow as shown in Figure 4, below. Then click and drag the picture contents to reposition as required.
Figure 4: Picture being repositioned within the content placeholder
Once you are happy with what you have achieved, press the Enter key or double-click the picture to perform the crop.
- Crop to Shape: Enables you to crop the picture into a specific shape.
When a picture is cropped to a specific shape, it automatically trims to fill the geometry of the shape
and picture proportion is maintained. Select the picture or pictures that you want to crop to a specific
shape. Learn more about this option in our
Crop to Shape
- Aspect Ratio: With this option you can crop the picture to a common aspect ratio
(the ratio between picture width and picture height) so that it easily fits into a
picture frame. With the picture still selected, access the Crop drop-down gallery and select the Aspect Ratio option to bring up a sub-gallery, as shown
in Figure 5. Choose any of the Square, Portrait, or
Figure 5: Aspect Ratio sub-gallery within the Crop drop-down gallery
- Fill: A very common problem occurs when you use a
fill for a shape -- it gets squished down to fit inside the shape, as shown in the example on the left
side in Figure 6. Choosing Fill will scale the picture to completely
fill the shape while retaining the proportions of the original picture as you can see on the right side
in Figure 6. You can later nudge the picture and make a particular area to be seen within
the shape - we explain this option in our
Reposition Picture Fills with Crop in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
Figure 6: Squished picture fill can be rectified with the Fill crop option (Picture from Office.com)
- Fit: This option scales the picture so that it fits entirely within the shape, and
also maintains the original picture aspect ratio. Figure 7 shows the difference.
Figure 7: Shape with picture fill and same shape with Fit crop option applied (Picture from Office.com)
- Crop: This basic Crop tool is used to make a simple crop. When you select this tool (which is equal to simply clicking the Crop button within the Size group), dark crop handles appear on the edge of the picture (or on the edge of the shape if you are cropping any picture used as a fill), as shown in Figure 3. Typically, you will see four corner handles and four side handles.
- Save your presentation often.
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