Let's assume that you already used some picture slide layouts from PowerPoint Designer, as explained in our Working with Pictures in PowerPoint Designer in PowerPoint 365 for Windows tutorial. And now, you want to change the picture used, or even add another picture. You'll discover that changing pictures is not too easy, because PowerPoint does not respect the proportions of the picture you are replacing, and almost places a new picture without any concerns about visual aesthetics.
Figure 1, below shows one slide that has a beautiful picture slide layout applied, using the Design Ideas Task Pane.
Figure 1: Picture slide layout
Now, we want to replace one of the pictures. Typically, you will right-click the picture, and choose the Change Picture | From a File option, as shown in Figure 2, below. You can also use the Change Picture options on the Ribbon.
Figure 2: Change Picture
See the result in Figure 3, where you can see that the picture is somewhat squished (compare with Figure 1).
Figure 3: Changed picture is squished
Yes, you can apply a slide layout from the Design Ideas Task Pane again, which should automatically pop up, as shown in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Apply the slide layout again from the Design Ideas Task Pane
You'll see that while the squished picture problem is resolved, PowerPoint Designer has repositioned some pictures, as shown in Figure 5, below (compare with Figure 1, shown earlier on this page).
Figure 5: Repositioned pictures
So, how can you add another picture in the same position, and ensure that the size and the proportions of the picture also remain the same? The solution may be different depending upon whether your shape is within a perfect square or a perfect circle, a rectangle, or some other shape. We will look at all these options separately.
Perfect Square or Circle
Follow these steps in PowerPoint 365 for Windows to understand better:
- Change the picture using the right-click option, as shown in Figure 2, earlier on this page. You can also use the Change Picture options on the Ribbon. If your picture was in a perfect circle or square, you may end up with a squished picture, as shown in Figure 3, previously on this page.
- Next, select the picture to bring up the Picture Format contextual tab on the Ribbon. Now, choose the Crop button | Aspect Ratio | 1:1 menu option, as shown in Figure 6, below. Do note that you should use the 1:1 option within the Aspect Ratio flyout menu, only if your picture is a perfect square or circle.
Figure 6: Choose 1:1 for the Aspect Ratio
- Contextual Tabs are special tabs on the Ribbon that are not visible all the time. They only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options. The Picture Format tab is one such contextual tab on the Ribbon that is only visible when you select a picture on your slide.
- Your shape will turn from a squished oval into a perfect circle, as shown in Figure 7, below. But as you can see, this also reduces the size of the picture.
Figure 7: The circle is smaller
- Notice that the selected picture has two types of resizing handles. The L-type resizing handles are for the circle, whereas the small round handles are for resizing the picture filled within the circle. Let us first use the L-type handle to resize the circle. To do so, press both the Shift and the Ctrl keys on your keyboard, while dragging any one of the four L-type, corner handles outwards to resize larger, as you can see in Figure 8, below.
Figure 8: Resize the L-type handles
- If you had to resize smaller, you would similarly drag these corner handles inwards.
- Next, access the Picture Format contextual tab on the Ribbon. Choose the Crop | Fill menu option, as shown in Figure 9, below.
Figure 9: Choose the Crop | Fill option
- Doing so results in a perfect shape with a proper picture fill, as shown in Figure 10, below.
Figure 10: Proper picture fill
What's a Contextual Tab?
Any Other Shape
This technique is similar and will allow you to change the picture in any shape, be it a rectangle or even an irregular shape. Follow these steps in PowerPoint 365 for Windows to understand better:
- We selected a rectangle in Figure 11, below, and an irregular shape, as shown further below in Figure 12.
Figure 11: Selected rectangle shape
Figure 12: Selected irregular shape
- Now change the picture, and you will end up with results similar to what you can see in Figures 13 and 14, below. Note that both shapes containing pictures are no longer symmetrical.
Figure 13: Changed picture in a rectangle shape
Figure 14: Changed picture in an irregular shape
- Next, access the Picture Format tab of the Ribbon, and click the Crop button. You'll find that the L-type handles and the round handles for the shape and the picture show up, as explained in the preceding section. You can see both handles in Figure 15, below.
Figure 15: L-type and round handles
- You will only resize the L-type handles so that you fill in the space reduced by changing the picture. Do note that although we call them L-type handles, they sport the L-shape only for the corner handles, and not for the side handles. You will have to resize either horizontally or vertically using these side handles.
- To do so, you will press the Ctrl key to resize opposite sides at the same time, and then use any one of the four side-handles. The top or bottom handles will resize vertically, and the left or right handles will resize horizontally. You can see that we resized horizontally in Figure 16, below for the rectangle shape. We did the same for the irregular shape too, as shown further below in Figure 17.
Figure 16: Resize with side handles for the rectangle shape
Figure 17: Resize with side handles for the irregular shape
- Finally, just access the Picture Format contextual tab on the Ribbon. Choose the Crop | Fill menu option, as shown in Figure 9, previously on this page.
- Doing so results in a proper picture fill, as shown in Figures 18 and 19, below.
Figure 18: Proper picture fill for the rectangle shape
Figure 19: Proper picture fill for the irregular shape