How to Cite Pictures in PowerPoint

Make sure creators get their due credit

The best PowerPoint presentations often use pictures and graphic images taken or created by someone else, so it’s important to properly cite their source within your PPT deck. Follow the instructions below to learn how to cite pictures in your PowerPoint documents with the commonly-used APA style.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, PowerPoint for Mac, PowerPoint 365, and PowerPoint Online.

How to Cite Images in PowerPoint for macOS

To get started, navigate to the slide containing the image or images that need to be credited.

Failing to properly cite photos or other original images is not only unprofessional, but can also be a violation of copyright and trademark laws in some instances.

  1. Select Insert, located towards the top of the PowerPoint interface.

    The Insert menu in PowerPoint
  2. Select Text Box.

    The Text Box command
  3. Your mouse cursor should now be modified to contain the letter A inside of a black box. Click and drag directly under the image in question to draw a text box, which will contain your citation text. 

    Don’t be too concerned with the specific dimensions of your text box at this point, as it can be easily resized after you’ve entered your citation details.

    A text box in PowerPoint
  4. Double-click your new text box so a blinking cursor is displayed inside of it, signaling that you can begin typing.

  5. To start, enter Figure 1.

    Text box in PowerPoint for macOS.

    If this example, we’ve typed Figure 1. since it’s our first citation in the document. For citing subsequent images, simply increase the number by one each time.

  6. Highlight the text you just typed, then select Home, located in the upper left-hand corner of the PowerPoint window. 

    The Home heading in the PowerPoint ribbon
  7. Select Italic, located in the Font section of the PowerPoint ribbon, so your text is now formatted in italics.

    The Italic button in PowerPoint
  8. Next, type a valid description of your image. 

    To meet APA standards, your description should be typed in the form of a sentence.

    Entering in a description for the image.
  9. Enter the following text after your description: Adapted from “<image title>,”. In most cases you should be able to obtain the image’s title from its source. If not, it can be replaced with the image’s subject and type of work.

    For more details on AP Style, refer to the APA Style’s official website

    Entering in a title of the image.
  10. Following the title, type "by <author name>, year the image was created, retrieved from <URL>."

    APA style image citation in PowerPoint for macOS.

    If your image was not obtained from the internet or you can't link to a direct web address, replace the URL value with an accurate source (i.e., Getty Images). 

  11. If you’ve been granted permission to use the image in question, you may also want to include licensing or copyright information at the end of your citation. 

How to Cite Images in PowerPoint for Windows

You can also add citations to your slides in the web-based version of PowerPoint, which runs in any major web browser. The instructions are identical to the Windows version.

  1. Go to the slide containing the pictures or images that need to be credited.

    A PowerPoint presentation in Windows.
  2. Select Insert, located towards the top of the PowerPoint interface.

    The Insert heading in PowerPoint
  3. Select Text Box, located in the PowerPoint toolbar ribbon.

    The Text Box command in PhotoShop
  4. The appearance of your mouse cursor should now be modified. Select and drag directly under the image in question to draw a text box, which will contain your citation text. 

    Your text box can be resized after you’ve entered your citation details.

    Text box in PowerPoint for Windows.
  5. Double-click your new text box so a blinking cursor is displayed inside of it, signaling you can begin typing.

  6. To start, enter Figure 1.

    Entering Figure 1 in text box in PowerPoint.

    For citing subsequent images, simply increase the number by one each time.

  7. Highlight the text you just entered.

    Text is highlighted in PowerPoint.
  8. In Format, in the Font section, select Italic.

    The Italic button in PowerPoint
  9. Next, type a valid description of your image. 

    To meet APA standards, your description should be typed in the form of a sentence.

    Entering a description for the photo.
  10. Enter the following text after your description: Adapted from “<image title>,”. In most cases you should be able to obtain the image’s title from its source. If not, it can be replaced with the image’s subject and type of work.

    Entering in the title of the image.
  11. Following the title, type "by <author name>, year the image was created, retrieved from <URL>."

    APA style citation in PowerPoint for Windows.

    If your image was not obtained from the internet or you cannot link to a direct web address, replace the URL value with an accurate source (i.e., Getty Images). 

  12. If you’ve been granted permission to use the image in question, you may also want to include licensing or copyright information at the end of your citation.