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Picture Borders in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to add and edit picture borders in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. A border can be a thin outline or even a thicker frame for the picture.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher



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The Picture Border option in PowerPoint adds a simple outline or even a beautiful frame to your pictures. Once you insert a picture on your slide, you may want to apply various adjust picture options. Additionally, you can also apply the preset Picture Styles available.

In this tutorial we'll explore how to add Borders to the inserted pictures in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows:

  1. Open your presentation and select the picture that you want to apply the border to. This brings up the Picture Tools Format tab on the Ribbon (highlighted in red within Figure 1). Make sure that this contextual tab is activated.
  2. Picture Border button within the Picture Tools Format tab
    Figure 1: Picture Border button within the Picture Tools Format tab
  3. Note: The Picture 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.
  4. At this point, you can add the border to your selected picture using any of the following approaches:
  5. Apply a Picture Style that includes a border, and edit it later, as required.
  6. Click the Picture Border button, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 1, above. This adds a thin border using the first Accent color of the active Theme (or the most recently selected picture border color or shape outline color).
  7. Click the Picture Border button, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 1, above. This opens the Picture Border drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 2. Select any of the options within this drop-down gallery that we have explained next.
  8. Picture Border drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Picture Border drop-down gallery
  9. Let us explore all options within the Picture Border drop-down gallery, as marked in Figure 2:
  10. A. Theme Colors

  11. Here you can select any of the colors which are from the active Theme of the presentation. You can also select any of the 5 tints or shades for any Theme color. Learn more about Themes here.
  12. B. Standard Colors

  13. Here you can choose from any of the ten standard colors. These ten standard colors are just choices of colors that PowerPoint believes to be widely used. You don't have to limit yourself to either the Theme colors or Standard colors, as we'll show you in the next options. It's a good design idea to use Theme colors as far as possible.
  14. C. Recent Colors

  15. Here you can find the colors most recently used. If you have just launched PowerPoint and created a new presentation, the Recent Colors option may be entirely absent since you haven't selected any color recently!
  16. D. No Outline

  17. Choose this option to remove the picture border altogether from your selected picture.
  18. E. More Outline Colors

  19. This option summons the Colors dialog box as shown in Figure 3. This dialog box has two tabs: Standard and Custom. First select the Standard tab (again, refer to Figure 3).
  20. Standard tab within the Colors dialog box
    Figure 3: Standard tab within the Colors dialog box
  21. This tab offers 127 colors in a honeycomb style palette, including 14 gray shades, black, and white. You can even change the transparency value of the selected color in the Transparency slider below. If you want more color choices, then select the Custom tab of the same dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.
  22. Custom tab within the Colors dialog box
    Figure 4: Custom tab within the Colors dialog box
  23. In this tab, you can choose any color from the spectrum and later adjust the selected color's luminosity with the slider on the right. You can even enter specific values of RGB and HSL to create a specific color. All these combinations provide over 16 million color choices!
  24. Again, you can even change the transparency value of the selected color in the Transparency slider below.
  25. Choose any color and click the OK button to apply the changes.
  26. F. Eyedropper

  27. This new option in PowerPoint 2013 enables you to pick an exact color from anywhere, sometimes even from somewhere outside PowerPoint. Explore our Eyedropper Option in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial to learn more.
  28. G. Weight

  29. This new option in PowerPoint 2013 enables you to pick an exact color Change the thickness of the border from hairline to a chunky, thick line. Learn more about line thickness in our Formatting Line Weight and Thickness for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows tutorial. Although the linked tutorial is about shape borders, the procedure explained in the tutorial applies to picture borders as well.
  30. H. Dashes

  31. This new option in PowerPoint 2013 enables you to pick an exact color These are different dash types for the picture border. Learn more about these options in our Formatting Line Dashes for Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows tutorial.
  32. Once you have added/edited the picture border, remember to save your presentation. In Figure 5, you can see a border added to the selected picture. Compare Figures 1 and 5.
  33. Picture border added and enhanced
    Figure 5: Picture border added and enhanced

See Also:

Pictures Appearance: Picture Borders (Glossary Page)

Picture Borders in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Picture Borders in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Picture Borders in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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