Create a Simple PowerPoint Macro to Resize Photos

Save time by resizing many images quickly

powerpoint presentation in meeting room

10'000 Hours/Getty Images 

With high-resolution cameras and the advanced cameras on smartphones, capturing high-quality images is no problem. However, those photos may be much too large for the slides in your next PowerPoint presentation. If you have a large number of images to include in PowerPoint, you can speed up the process of resizing them without repeating the tedious task for each picture. The answer is to make a macro to do the job for you.

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Loading the Images

An image in Powerpoint that is too big

Wendy Russell/Lifewire

  1. Open a PowerPoint file and click on the first slide that will hold an image.
  2. Choose the Insert tab on the PowerPoint ribbon. 
  3. Choose Pictures > Picture From File from the drop-down menu.
  4. Locate the image on your computer, select it and click the Insert button.
  5. Repeat this process for each of your photos after clicking on the slides where they will appear. Do not be concerned that the photos are too large for the slides at this point.
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Practice Resizing an Image

Access the Format Pictures dialog box in PowerPoint screenshot
Access the Format Pictures dialog box.

Wendy Russell/Lifewire

In this example, you are going to reduce all the images at the same percentage or height. Before you create the macro to automate the task, practice the steps on a single image to make sure you know exactly what you want to do.

Steps to Resize and Position a Picture

  1. Right-click on the picture and choose Format Picture from the context menu. 
  2. In the Format Picture panel that appears to the right of the slide, click on the Size & Properties icon and make the necessary changes from the options there.
  3. In the Size section, enter a fixed height or width or enter a percentage scale of height or width. If you want all the pictures to be exactly 6 inches tall, enter that information in the field next to Height. The width adjusts proportionately. If you prefer to reduce all the images to a height of 70 percent instead, select the percentage in the field next to Scale Height
  4. Expand the Position section and select the desired position for the image on the slide. For example, if you want it to be exactly centered on the slide, select Center for both the Horizontal position and the Vertical position.

After you are sure you know which steps to take, write them down and then undo the changes you made to the first slide.

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Record the PowerPoint Macro

recording a macro in PowerPoint screenshot
Recording a macro.

Wendy Russell/Lifewire

When you are ready to set up the macro:

  1. Choose Tools on the PowerPoint menu bar.
  2. Select Macro > Macros from the menu to open the Macro dialog box.
  3. To use the macro with the PowerPoint presentation you have open, leave the menu next to Macros in set at Presentation 1.
  4. Enter the Macro name in the field provided. The name can contain letters and numbers, but must begin with a letter and cannot contain any spaces. Use the underscore to indicate a space in the macro name.
  5. Enter an optional description.
  6. Click the Run button only when you are ready to proceed because the recording starts immediately.
  7. Click Close at the bottom of the dialog box.
  8. Select all the slides that contain an image you want to resize in the panel to the left of the slide.
  9. Go to Tools > Macros > Macros.
  10. Click on the name of the macro you just made and click Run.
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Steps to Record the PowerPoint Macro

Click the stop button to stop the recording of the macro screenshot
Click the stop button to stop the recording of the macro.

Wendy Russell/Lifewire

Once you click Run in the Macro dialog box, PowerPoint begins recording every mouse click and keystroke. Proceed with the steps you practiced to create your macro to automate the task as you practiced. When you have finished, click the Stop button on the Macro toolbar.

Make sure you have placed a check mark beside Relative to Slide in the Align or Distribute menu.

The steps to align pictures to the slide include:

  1. Click Draw > Align or Distribute > Align Center to align the picture horizontally on the slide.
  2. Click Draw > Align or Distribute > Align Middle to align the picture vertically on the slide

The steps to resize the picture:

  • Right click on the picture and choose Format Picture from the shortcut menu or click on the picture and then click the Format Picture button on the Picture toolbar.
  • In the Format Picture dialog box, click on the Size tab and make the necessary changes from the options there.
  • Click OK to complete the changes.

Click the Stop button when you have finished recording.

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Run the PowerPoint Macro

run the PowerPoint macro screenshot
Run the PowerPoint macro.

Wendy Russell/Lifewire

Now that you have completed the recording of the macro you can use it to perform this automated task. First, return the picture to its original state before you recorded the macro, or else move on to the second slide.

Steps to Run the Macro

  1. Click on the slide that requires the macro to be run.
  2. Choose Tools > Macro > Macros to open the Macro dialog box.
  3. Select the macro you want to run from the list shown.
  4. Click on the Run button.

Repeat this process for each slide until you have resized them all.

It is a far better practice to resize your photos before inserting them into a PowerPoint slide. This reduces the file size and the presentation will run more smoothly.