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Insert Pictures in PowerPoint Online

Learn how to insert pictures in PowerPoint Online.


Product/Version: PowerPoint Online

OS: Windows and Mac OS X

It is true that both pictures and words are important, and they both play complementary roles. If you had to choose just one of them; then seeing is a much more important part of presenting. Presentations, by their very nature, are meant to be seen since they evoke actions such as project, display, or broadcast; and all of these actions represent visual media. Text and speaking are important too, but you can be more effectively heard and remembered if your content includes both text and pictures.

Adding pictures to your PowerPoint Online slide is a great way to add some visual detail. Essentially, depending upon the layout of your slide, there are two ways to insert a picture on your slide in PowerPoint:

  1. You use a layout that includes a Content or Picture placeholder.
  2. You insert a picture within a slide irrespective of its layout.
Tip: A Content placeholder is a flexible placeholder on your slide that lets you add text, pictures, or any other content types. A Picture placeholder, on the other hand, lets you add just a picture. We use the Content placeholder in this tutorial.

Choose the option that works best for you. We cover both options in the following steps:

  1. Launch PowerPoint Online. You will see the Presentation Gallery. Here, select the New blank presentation to open a blank presentation with a new slide. Change the layout of this slide to Title and Content by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Title and Content option. This results in the slide layout you see in Figure 1.
  2. Notice that this layout has a Content placeholder that lets you add bulleted text or any of the different content types in the slide. These different content types are indicated by the buttons located right in the center of the Content placeholder (see Figure 1). Click on the Pictures button in the Content placeholder, shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.
  3. Pictures button within Content placeholder
    Figure 1: Pictures button within Content placeholder
  4. Alternatively, if you want to add a picture on an existing slide that has no Content placeholder, you can select the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the Picture button (highlighted in red within Figure 2).
  5. Picture button within the Insert tab
    Figure 2: Picture button within the Insert tab
  6. Either way, you will summon the Open dialog box. Navigate to the folder where your pictures are located. You will see the icons or thumbnails of the pictures as shown in Figure 3. Alternatively you may just see a textual listing. Select the picture you need, and click on the Open button highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  7. Insert Picture dialog box
    Figure 3: Insert Picture dialog box
  8. Browser and OS Differences

    PowerPoint Online is a web application that is continuously updated, and is also dependent on browser interface options as well as the OS used. Due to these factors, what you see may differ a wee bit from what you see in the screenshots on this page.

    Can't see picture thumbnails, as shown in Figure 3? Do you see a list instead, or smaller thumbnails, or even a detailed list? It's simple to change between these views. Click the down-arrow next to the Change your view button (highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above). This brings up the View Options drop-down list, as shown in Figure 4, below.

    View menu options within Insert Picture dialog box
    Figure 4: View menu options within Insert Picture dialog box

    To see thumbnail previews of the pictures, choose any of the options that end with the word "icons", such as Small, Medium, Large, or Extra Large Icons. These options show up in Windows 10, and options may differ if you are using another OS.

  9. As soon as you click the Open button, you will see the selected picture placed on your PowerPoint slide, and also some automatically inserted Alt text, as shown in Figure 5.
  10. Picture inserted on the slide
    Figure 5: Picture inserted on the slide
  11. Now, the picture you inserted can be edited by resizing, moving, rotating, etc. You can also add effects and more pizzazz to your pictures, as we show you in our picture tutorials.
  12. For now, don't forget to save your presentation.

See Also:

Insert Pictures in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Insert Picture in PowerPoint 2016 forMac
Insert Picture in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Insert Picture in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Insert Picture in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Insert a Picture in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 for Windows

Pictures in Presentations

Is a picture is worth a thousand words? You probably have heard this adage so often that we decided not to repeat this phrase throughout this book! Now here’s some more info: the human brain uses a larger part of its area to store visual information rather than textual content. And that’s possibly because a picture describes so much more than text.

Go and get a copy of our Pictures in Presentations ebook.

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