Add Clip Art and Pictures to PowerPoint Slides

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Adding Clip Art and Pictures Using a Content Slide

PowerPoint Title and Content Layout slide
PowerPoint Title and Content Layout slide. © Wendy Russell

PowerPoint offers you a number of different ways to add clip art and pictures to a presentation. Perhaps the easiest way to do so is to select a Slide Layout that contains a placeholder for content such as clip art and pictures. Select Format > Slide Layout from the menu to bring up the Slide Layout task pane.

There are a number of different Content Layout slides available for you to choose from. To add a single picture or a piece of clip art, click on a simple layout such as Content or Content and Title from the task pane and the layout of your current slide will change to match your choice.

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Click on the Clip Art Icon of the Content Layout Slide

Add clip art to PowerPoint slides
Add clip art to PowerPoint slides. © Wendy Russell

If you have chosen one of the simple content layouts, your PowerPoint slide should resemble the above graphic. The content icon in the middle of the slide contains links to six different types of content that you can add to the slide. The clip art button is in the top right corner of the content icon. It looks like a cartoon.

If in doubt about which button to use, simply place your mouse over a button until the little help balloon appears. These balloons or Tool Tips will identify what the button is used for.

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Search for Specific Clip Art

Search for PowerPoint clip art
Search for PowerPoint clip art. © Wendy Russell

Clicking on the clip art icon activates PowerPoint's clip art gallery. Type your search term(s) in the Search text - box and then click on the Go button. When the samples appear, scroll through the thumbnail images. When you have made your choice either double click on the image or click once to select the image and then click the OK button.

If you did not install the Clip Art Gallery when you installed PowerPoint to your computer, you will need to be connected to the internet in order for PowerPoint to search the Microsoft website for the clip art.

You are not limited to using clip art from Microsoft. Any clip art can be used, but if it is from another source, it must first be saved to your computer as a file. Then you would insert this clip art by selecting Insert > Picture > From the menu. This is convered in Step 5 of this tutorial.

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Clip Art Comes in All Sizes

Resize clip art to fit on slide
Resize clip art to fit on slide. © Wendy Russell

Clip art comes in different sizes. Some will be larger than your slide while others will be tiny. Either way you may need to resize the image you want to include in you presentation.

When you click on a clip art image, tiny white circles appear on the edges of the image. These are called resizing handles (or selection handles). Dragging one of these handles allows you to enlarge or shrink your picture.

The best way to resize clip art or any picture, is to use the resizing handles located on corners of the picture, rather than the ones at top or sides of the picture. Using the corner handles will keep your image in proportion as you resize it. If you don't maintain your image's proportion it is likely to end up looking distorted or fuzzy in your presentation.

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Insert a Picture into a PowerPoint Slide

Use the menu to insert a picture
Use the menu to insert a picture. © Wendy Russell

Like clip art, photographs and other pictures can be added to a slide by choosing a Content Layout slide and clicking on the appropriate icon (for pictures it's the mountain icon).

An alternative to this method is to select Insert > Picture > From File... from the menu, as shown in the picture at the top of this page.

An advantage of using this approach for either pictures or clip art is that you do not need to use one of the preset slide layouts containing a content icon to insert an image into your slide. The example shown in the following pages, inserts the picture into a Title Only slide layout.

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Locate the Picture on Your Computer

Locate the picture on your computer
Locate the picture on your computer. © Wendy Russell

If you have made no changes to the settings in PowerPoint since the original install, PowerPoint will default to the My Pictures folder to look for your pictures. If this is where you have stored them, then select the correct picture and click on the Insert button.

If your pictures are located elsewhere on your computer, use the drop-down arrow at the end of the Look in box and find the folder containing your pictures.

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Resize the Picture on the Slide

Use corner resizing handles to maintain proportions
Use corner resizing handles to maintain proportions. © Wendy Russell

Just as you did for the clip art, resize the photograph on the slide, by dragging the corner resizing handles. Using the corner resizing handles will ensure that there is no distortion in your picture.

When you hover your mouse over a resizing handle, the mouse pointer changes to a two headed arrow.

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Resize Picture to Fit the Whole Slide

Resize the picture on the PowerPoint slide
Resize the picture on the PowerPoint slide. © Wendy Russell

Drag the corner resizing handle until the picture reaches the edge of the slide. You may have to repeat this process until the slide is completely covered.

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Move the Picture on the Slide if Necessary

Arrange the picture on the PowerPoint slide
Arrange the picture on the PowerPoint slide. © Wendy Russell

If the slide is not quite in the right location, place the mouse near the middle of the slide. The mouse will become a four headed arrow. This is a MOVE arrow for graphic objects, in all programs.

Drag the picture to the correct location.

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Animation of Steps to Add Pictures to PowerPoint Slides

Animated clip of steps to insert a picture
Animated clip of steps to insert a picture. © Wendy Russell

Watch the animated clip to see the steps involved to insert a picture into a PowerPoint slide.

11 Part Tutorial Series for Beginners - Beginner's Guide to PowerPoint