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Formatting Picture Placeholders in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to format picture placeholder in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. This can be very helpful if you use one or more pictures on your slides.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






Keeping the look of your picture slides (actually, all slides) consistent adds value to your presentation. When you use different pictures in successive slides of your presentation, you'll want their position, formatting, and size to be the same in all slides. While you can achieve this by working on each slide individually, you will have to spend an inordinate amount of time making sure that the pictures look consistent. And even then, you may not be too happy with the results. You can get over this problem by using a new slide layout with a Picture placeholder. As we already know, a placeholder is a boilerplate container that you can use to fill in with all sorts of content types such as text, pictures, charts, 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. Access the Slide Master view and add a new Slide Layout. With your new Slide Layout selected, click the down-arrow of the Insert Placeholder button, highlighted in red within Figure 1, below. Then select 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 placeholder as shown in Figure 2. 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 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 SmartArt tab of the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5.
  10. Shape button within the SmarArt tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 5: Shape button within the SmarArt tab of the Ribbon
  11. Within the SmartArt tab, click the Shape button (highlighted in blue within Figure 5, above) to bring up the Shape gallery, as shown in Figure 6, below. Choose the required shape category to bring up a sub-gallery. In this sub-gallery, select the required shape. In Figure 6 you can see that we have selected the Rounded Rectangle shape within the Rectangles shape category.
  12. Rounded Rectangle shape selected
    Figure 6: Rounded Rectangle shape selected
  13. In Figure 7 below you can see that our Picture placeholder has been changed from a Rectangle to a Rounded Rectangle (compare Figures 4 and 7).
  14. Picture placeholder changed from Rectangle to Rounded Rectangle
    Figure 7:Picture placeholder changed from Rectangle to Rounded Rectangle
  15. 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.
  16. When done, access the Slide Master tab of the Ribbon, and click the Close button as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8. This will get you back to Normal view.

  17. Close button within Slide Master tab
    Figure 8: Close button within Slide Master tab
  18. 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. Notice that your new Custom Layout (highlighted in red within Figure 9) shows up here, ready to be used to create a new slide.
  19. New Slide Layout with the Picture placeholder newly added and edited
    Figure 9: New Slide Layout with the Picture placeholder newly added and edited.
  20. 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.

    Also, you can change the name of your new layouts from Custom Layout to something more descriptive. This is explained in our Duplicate, Rename, and Edit Slide Layouts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.

  21. 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 2010 for Windows

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