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Add Picture Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Add picture fills to shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. You can add picture fills that are inserted or linked.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher




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we already showed you how you can add or change solid fills in shapes. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to add Picture fills to shapes. If you need pictures to use as fills for this tutorial, you can get free pictures from the listing on our Free Images page, or you can buy high quality pictures from our Indezine Photos section.

Scroll down this page to see a sample presentation that contains shapes with Picture fills.

Follow these steps to change or apply a Picture fill to a shape:

  1. Select the shape(s) that you want to change the fill for. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation, PowerPoint 2010 for Windows users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank.
  2. Within the Home or Insert tab of the Ribbon, click the Shapes button to access the Shapes gallery that you can see in Figure 1. Select any shape, and then either drag and draw, or click once on the blank slide to place an instance of the shape (we used a heart shape as you can see later in Figure 2).
  3. Shapes gallery
    Figure 1: Shapes gallery
  4. Select the shape so that the Ribbon area now shows the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown in Figure 2. Activate this Ribbon tab by clicking on it.
  5. Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 2: Drawing Tools Format tab of the Ribbon
  6. Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a Contextual tab, These tabs are special tabs in 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.
  7. From the Drawing Tools Format tab, locate the Shape Styles group. Then select the Shape Fill option to view the Shape Fill drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 3.
  8. Shape Fill gallery
    Figure 3: Shape Fill gallery
  9. From the Shape Fill drop-down gallery, choose the Picture option (refer to Figure 3 above).
  10. This opens the Insert Picture dialog box as shown in Figure 4. Navigate to where you have saved pictures to be used as fills, and select a picture.
  11. Insert Picture dialog box
    Figure 4: Insert Picture dialog box
  12. Click on the downward pointing arrow next to the Insert button (highlighted in red in Figure 4 above). This brings up a menu with the three options shown in Figure 5:
    • Insert, which is the default option will place the selected picture as a fill for the shape. This option will increase the file size of the presentation, especially if you use a very high resolution picture, the picture is embedded within the presentation.
    • Link to File links the picture that's already saved on your hard disk to the fill used for the shape. This will reduce the size of your presentation. Also, if the linked picture is edited, it will get updated in the presentation automatically. Conversely, if the original picture is deleted or renamed, you will see a small red X icon indicating that the linked picture cannot be displayed.
    • If Link to File option is selected, always copy the picture used to the same folder as your presentation before you insert it within your slide.
    • Do you see a small red X icon in place of your linked picture fill? See: Troubleshooting: Linked Picture in Shape Fill Shows a Small Red X Icon.
    • Insert and Link embeds the picture within the presentation, and also updates the picture if it is edited or updated. This option will bloat the file size, especially if you are using a very high resolution picture.
    • Insert Picture options
      Figure 5: Insert Picture options
  13. Whichever of the three options you choose, the result will be that the picture will form a fill for the selected shape, as shown in Figure 6.
  14. Shape with picture fill
    Figure 6: Shape with picture fill
  15. Remember to save your presentation often.
Note: Once you add a picture as a fill for a shape as explained above, you might want to explore some advanced tricks that prevents rotation of the Picture fill when the shape container is rotated, or you may want to look at stretch and offset options, these are explained in my Advanced Picture Fills Options in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial.

Sample Presentation of Picture Fill in Shape:

Click below to view this presentation on SlideShare

Click below to view this presentation on YouTube


See Also:

Fills for Shapes: Add Picture Fills to Shapes in (Glossary Page)

Add Picture Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Add Picture Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Add Picture Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Add Picture Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Add Picture Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Add Picture Fills to Shapes in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows

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