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Crop Picture to Shape in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn to crop pictures using the Crop to Shape option in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. This option allows you to restrain a picture to a shape.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher




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While you can conventionally crop pictures in PowerPoint to a rectangular constraint, you can also opt to use another shape to crop instead. This tutorial explains the Crop to Shape option that lets you choose non-rectangular cropping shapes for your pictures; the results tend to look like a picture contained within a shape.

Figure 1 below, shows a conventional rectangular picture towards the left. The other two variations have been created using the Crop to Shape option that you will explore in this tutorial.

Picture cropped using the Crop to Shape option
Figure 1: Picture cropped using the Crop to Shape option

Follow these steps to learn how to crop a picture using the Crop to Shape option in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:

  1. Figure 1, below shows a picture inserted on your slide.
  2. Crop to Shape option within the Crop drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Crop to Shape option within the Crop drop-down gallery
  3. Note: The Picture Tools Format tab is a Contextual tab. These contextual tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time. They make an appearance only when you are working with a particular slide object that can be edited using the options within these tabs.
  4. Select the picture to bring up the Picture Tools Format tab (highlighted in red within Figure 3) of the Ribbon. Activate this Contextual tab by clicking on it; and then click the down- arrow below the Crop button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3). This opens the Crop drop-down gallery.
  5. Crop to Shape option within the Crop drop-down gallery
    Figure 3: Crop to Shape option within the Crop drop-down gallery
  6. Within the Crop drop-down gallery, click the Crop to Shape option (highlighted in green within Figure 3, above) to open the Crop to Shape sub-gallery, as shown in Figure 4.
  7. Crop to Shape sub-gallery
    Figure 4: Crop to Shape sub-gallery
  8. Within the Crop to Shape sub-gallery, select any shape from various categories. Click on any shape variant of your choice. In Figure 5, you can see that the Double Wave shape type is being selected (highlighted in red within Figure 5).
  9. Shape chosen to crop the selected picture
    Figure 5: Shape choosen to crop the selected picture
  10. This will crop the selected picture into the shape you have chosen. Once you are done, just click away from the selected shape to deselect it. In Figure 6 you can see that the selected picture has been cropped within a Double Wave shape. Compare Figures 2 and 6 to see the difference.
  11. Picture cropped into a shape
    Figure 6: Picture cropped into a shape
  12. Note: The Crop to Shape option automatically trims the picture content to fill the geometry of the shape, while maintaining the picture proportions. You can also apply the Crop to Shape option to a picture used as a shape fill; in that case, you will end up changing the original shape into a new shape.
  13. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Pictures - Cropping: Crop Picture to Shape (Glossary Page)

Crop Picture to Shape in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Crop Picture to Shape in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Crop Picture to Shape in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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