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Change Picture in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to change one picture into another in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. All effects and formatting applied to the original picture are retained in the changed picture.

Imagine you inserted a picture in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows, and then applied various picture editing options to enhance its appearance. For example, you may have added a border, applied some Picture Effects, etc. to end up with a picture that looks like what you can see in Figure 1. Probably, you then added both Fade and Zoom animations, synced them to happen together, and also timed the animations to occur at a particular speed. You may find yourself often doing these same tasks: adding all sorts of picture edits and animating them.


Figure 1: Picture applied with various enhancing options

And then you realize that you have a better picture, or your boss asked you to change the existing picture to another one, but with all the same effects and animations! You would probably delete the original picture and start all over again, and yes, that is a long process! Or you can change any existing picture into another with just a couple of clicks, retaining all effects and animations.

Explore more by following these steps in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:

  1. Select the picture that you want to change without losing the added effects and/or animations. This brings up the Picture Tools Format tab on the Ribbon (highlighted in blue within Figure 2). Make sure that this contextual tab is activated. Within the Picture Tools Format tab, click the Change Picture button (highlighted in red within Figure 2). Within the resultant drop-down menu, choose From a File option (highlighted in green within Figure 2).

  2. Figure 2: Change Picture 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. Alternatively, right-click the picture to bring up the contextual menu, as shown in Figure 3. Within the contextual menu, select the Change Picture option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3. Within the resultant sub-menu, choose From a File option (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

  5. Figure 3: Change Picture option
  6. Tip: You can also choose From Online Sources option. We explain this option in our Insert Online Pictures in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.
  7. Either of these options summons the Insert Picture dialog box that you can see in Figure 4. Navigate to the folder which contains your replacement picture. Select the picture as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4, and click the Insert button (highlighted in red within Figure 4).

  8. Figure 4: Insert Picture dialog box
  9. This replaces the old picture with the new selected picture as shown in Figure 5. Compare Figures 5 and 1, shown earlier on this page. You'll see that the pictures in both figures have the same reflection effect and also the same white colored border. In fact, even the animations for both the pictures are the same. Nothing has been changed other than the picture itself.

  10. Figure 5: Picture replaced with a new picture
  11. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Pictures Basics and Adjustments: Change Picture (Glossary Page)

Change Picture in PowerPoint Online
Change Picture in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Change Picture in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Change Picture in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows