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Formatting Picture Placeholders in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to format picture placeholder in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. This can be very helpful if you use one or more pictures on your slides.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher






There are times when you want a different picture on each slide. Although the pictures need to be different, their position, formatting, and size may be required to be the same in successive slides. While you can achieve this manually, you will spend an inordinate amount of time making sure that the pictures look consistent slide after slide. And even then, you may not be too happy with the results or the time it takes to make changes. You can get over this problem by using a new slide layout with a picture placeholder. As we learnt in previous tutorials, a placeholder is a boilerplate container that you can use to fill in with all sorts of content types such as text, pictures, charts, SmartArt graphics, etc. In this tutorial we'll explore how to work with a picture placeholder you add to a new slide layout. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. First, add a new Slide Layout within the Slide Master. With your new Slide Layout active within the Slide Master view, access the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, and click the Insert Placeholder button, highlighted in red within Figure 1, below. Then click the Picture option in the resultant drop-down gallery, as shown (highlighted in blue within Figure 1), below.
  2. Add a picture placeholder
    Figure 1: Add a picture placeholder
  3. Go ahead and insert a placeholder that can contain pictures, as shown in Figure 2, below. Note that your new picture placeholder already has a bulleted list with a single line that reads Picture.
  4. Picture placeholder within the Slide Layout
    Figure 2: Picture placeholder within the Slide Layout
  5. Now, you can get rid of the bullet, and also change the boilerplate text. Click anywhere on the word Picture within the placeholder. Notice that as soon as you click, all text disappears but the bullet is retained, as shown (highlighted in red within Figure 3).
  6. Bullet within Picture placeholder
    Figure 3: Bullet within Picture placeholder
  7. To get rid of the bullet, press the Backspace key on your keyboard and then start typing the boilerplate text you want. We typed in Click to insert a picture, as shown in Figure 4.
  8. Boilerplate text changed for the picture placeholder
    Figure 4: Boilerplate text changed for the picture placeholder
  9. Note that the default shape of your picture placeholder is a Rectangle. You can optionally change this shape to something else, such as a circle, a rounded rectangle, or even a heart. To do that, first select the placeholder and click the Drawing Tools Format tab, as shown (highlighted in red within Figure 5).
  10. Drawing Tools Format tab
    Figure 5: Drawing Tools Format tab
  11. Note: The Drawing Tools Format tab is a contextual tab. Contextual 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.
  12. Within the Drawing Tools Format tab, click the Edit Shape button to bring up a sub-menu, as shown in Figure 6, below. Choose the Change Shape option (highlighted in red within Figure 6) to bring up the Shapes gallery.
  13. Change Shape option selected
    Figure 6: Change Shape option selected
  14. Within the Shape gallery, choose any shape type you need. Figure 7 below shows that the picture placeholder has now changed from a Rectangle to a Rounded Rectangle (compare with Figure 4, shown earlier on this page).
  15. Change Rectangle to a Rounded Rectangle
    Figure 7: Change Rectangle to a Rounded Rectangle
  16. You can also resize the placeholder. Explore our Resizing Shapes tutorial to learn more. Although the link provided is for resizing shapes, you can follow the same steps to resize placeholders. Additionally, you can use PowerPoint's Combine Shapes feature to create amazingly shaped picture placeholders. Explore our Create Custom Shaped Picture Placeholders tutorial to learn more.
  17. When done, access the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, and click the Close Master View button as shown (highlighted in red within Figure 8). This will get you back to Normal View.
  18. Close Master View button
    Figure 8: Close Master View button
  19. Access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the Layout button to bring up the Layout drop-down gallery you see in Figure 9, below. Notice that your new Custom Layout (highlighted in red within Figure 9) shows up here, ready to be used to create a new slide.
  20. New Slide Layout with the picture placeholder added
    Figure 9: New Slide Layout with the picture placeholder added
  21. Note: The new layouts you create are saved as part of the presentation, and are not available in any other presentations you create. Other than adding placeholders to your new slide layouts, you can also change their slide backgrounds.
  22. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Formatting Picture Placeholders in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Formatting Picture Placeholders in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
Formatting Picture Placeholders in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Formatting Picture Placeholders in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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