Step-by-Step Guide: How To Add Pictures in PowerPoint

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful and versatile presentation program that helps you to visualize concepts and ideas. To enhance your presentation, you may desire to insert pictures and graphics to display certain items or better visualize theories. Knowing how to add pictures into your PowerPoint can help you create an appealing presentation that makes an impact on your audience.

In this article, we explain why you may insert pictures into PowerPoint, review the different types of images you can use in the program, give step-by-step guides for different methods for how to insert photos in PowerPoint and discover best practices for using images in this program.

Related: How To Create an Outstanding PowerPoint Presentation

Why insert pictures into PowerPoint?

There are many reasons and benefits to inserting pictures into your PowerPoint presentation. Typically, adding pictures helps contribute to the overall visual appeal of the presentation. You may insert pictures into PowerPoint for the following reasons:

  • Adding additional visual components

  • Highlighting information

  • Visualizing theories or concepts

  • Adding color to the presentation

  • Emphasizing important elements of the presentation

Related: How To Make a Timeline on PowerPoint in 6 Steps (With Tips)

Types of pictures you can use in PowerPoint

There are different types of pictures that you can add to your PowerPoint presentation. Depending on the type of picture you'd like to insert into your slides, you may need to convert it into one of the above file types. For instance, if you're hoping to insert a graphic that has a file type of a .pptx, which is a PowerPoint file type, you convert it into a JPG so you can upload it to your new presentation. Here are the types of pictures and image files you can use in PowerPoint:

  • JPG

  • TIF

  • JPEG

  • PNG

  • GIF

  • TIFF

  • BMP

Related: How To Outline Text in PowerPoint in 5 Steps

How to insert pictures in PowerPoint

There are several different methods you can employ to insert photos into your PowerPoint presentation. Here are step-by-step guides for how to insert pictures in PowerPoint:

How to insert a picture from your computer on your slide

You can follow these eight steps to add a photo directly from your computer's files into your presentation:

  1. Open up the specific slide in which you'd like to insert a photo

  2. Click on the area of the slide to which you'd like to add the photo

  3. Navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the program group and select the "Images" option

  4. Click on the "Pictures" option

  5. Select the "This Device" location option

  6. Navigate to the photo you'd like to insert by searching the dialog box that appears

  7. Click on the photo

  8. Click on the "Insert" button at the bottom of the dialog box

Related: How To Merge Slides in PowerPoint and Why It's Useful

How to insert a stock picture on your slide

You can follow these eight steps to add a Microsoft stock picture to your slide:

  1. Open up the specific slide in which you'd like to insert a photo

  2. Click on the area of the slide to which you'd like to add a photo

  3. Navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the program group and select the "Images" option

  4. Click on the "Pictures" option

  5. Click the "Stock Images" menu option

  6. Type in a description of the image you'd like to add in the dialog box that appears

  7. Select the image or images you like

  8. Click on the Insert button at the bottom of the dialog box

How to insert a picture into the slide master

You can follow these steps to add a picture into the slide master of your presentation to ensure it appears on every slide:

  1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation

  2. Navigate to the "View" tab at the top of the program

  3. Select the "Slide Master" option

  4. Click on the area of the Slide Master slide in which you'd like the photo to appear

  5. Navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the program group and select the "Images" option

  6. Click on the "Pictures" option

  7. Locate the photo you'd like to appear on all of the slides

  8. Click on the "Insert" button at the bottom of the dialog box

Related: How To Insert a GIF into PowerPoint To Make a Great Presentation

How to insert a picture from the web on your slide

You can follow these eight steps to add a picture you find on the web into your presentation:

  1. Open up the specific slide in which you'd like to insert a photo

  2. Click on the area of the slide to which you'd like to add an image

  3. Navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the program group and select the "Images" option

  4. Click on the "Pictures" option

  5. Click on the "Online Pictures" option

  6. Type in a description of the image you'd like to add in the dialog box that appears and click on "Enter"

  7. Select the photo or photos you'd like to add

  8. Click on the "Insert" button at the bottom of the dialog box

How to insert a picture into the background of your slide

You can follow these seven steps to add a picture and make it a background on your slide:

  1. Open up the specific slide in which you'd like to insert a photo

  2. Right-click the margin of that slide

  3. Select the "Format Background" option

  4. Choose the "Picture" option in the "Format Background" pane

  5. Navigate to the "Insert Picture From" menu and choose the location from which you want to retrieve the photo

  6. Click on the photo in the dialog box

  7. Click on the "Insert" button at the bottom of the dialog box

Related: How To Make a PowerPoint Presentation Into a Video in 6 Steps

How to insert a photo into your slide by copying and pasting

You can follow these steps to copy and paste a photo into your slide:

  1. Open up the specific slide in which you'd like to insert a photo

  2. Navigate to the photo on the web that you'd like to insert into your slide

  3. Highlight the photo on the web

  4. Copy the photo using Ctrl + C on the keyboard

  5. Navigate to the area of the slide you'd like to paste the photo

  6. Use Ctrl + V on your keyboard to paste the photo into your slide

How to insert a picture into your slide by dragging it

You can follow these five steps to insert a picture into your PowerPoint by dragging it over to your document:

  1. Open up the specific slide in which you'd like to insert a photo

  2. Minimize the entire PowerPoint window so it fills half of your computer screen

  3. Minimize the entire browser window so it fills half of your computer screen

  4. Use your mouse to select the photo you'd like to insert from the web

  5. Click and drag the photo over to the PowerPoint window

Related: How To Rotate a PowerPoint Slide in 4 Easy Steps

Best practices for using images in PowerPoint

There are certain best practices to follow to easily and legally use images in your PowerPoint presentation. Here are some best practices to follow for using images in PowerPoint:

Use higher resolution

To make your images as visually appealing as possible, it's helpful to only use photos that have a high resolution level. If a photo has a high resolution level, it's less likely to appear grainy or distorted when you insert it into your document. Try to use images that are 1024 x 768 pixels or near that number for the most high-quality appearance.

Related: 9 PowerPoint Tips and Tricks for 2022

Check use restrictions

Some photos have copyright restrictions in addition to general use restrictions and credit requirements. As such, it's important to review any use restrictions before you insert any photos into your PowerPoint. Adding a credit into the caption, even if doing so isn't required, is a professional courtesy that you may decide to use anyway.

Add a border

Adding a border to your images can help enhance them and make them stand out in the presentation. To do this, you can select the image, navigate to the "Picture" tab at the top of the program and click the "More Styles" button. You can then view a gallery of different border options and choose your favorite. For consistency, choose only one or two border colors and styles to use for all the photos in the presentation.

Related: 13 Tips for PowerPoint Presentations

Upload a photo album

If you need to upload many photos to your PowerPoint quickly, you may consider uploading an entire photo album. You can do this by navigating to the "Insert" tab at the top of the program, selecting the "Photo Album" button and clicking on the "New Photo Album" button. In the dialog box that appears, you can select the "Insert Picture From" option and choose the "File/Disk" option. In the "Insert New Pictures" dialog box, you click select the folder that contains the images you want to include in your PowerPoint and click on the "Insert" button.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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