Tutorial – PowerPoint 2010 Basics Lesson 4: Fun with Pictures

This is Lesson 4 in a series of tutorials on Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. If you would like to start from the beginning of the series go to Lesson 1 (Table of Contents at the bottom of this article). In Lesson 3, we deleted all of the sample slides from the template and added our own “Album Cover” slide. We also typed text into placeholders and added our own picture. Today, I would like to take the picture concept a little further and see what kind of fun we can have with them.

Let’s take a moment to add a new slide to our photo album. In the image below, you will see where I have clicked the “New Slide” menu and selected the “2-Up Portrait with Captions” layout.

Slide Galler

This particular layout will give us a place for two pictures on our slide side by side with captions underneath.  See the picture below for an example.

Slide Layout

Let’s add a couple of pictures to our slide. Notice that square in the middle of the picture placeholder that looks like it has a mountain scene with a little sun over it. Click this square to open a dialog where you can choose a picture to add to the slide. I am going to pick one that is particularly wide so that I can show what can happen on these narrow picture placeholders. See the image below to see my problem.


Notice my poor little dove is aligned way over to the left of the picture and partially cut off. The problem here is the ratio of my picture doesn’t match the ratio of my picture place holder. What can I do? Well there is a lot that can be done but for now, I just want to show you a way to get it more centered. If you click the picture the “Picture Tools” tab shows with several options. On the far right side of the ribbon you will see the “Crop” button. Go ahead and hit the crop button. Notice in my image below, how the image changes. In this mode you can put your mouse in the middle of the picture and  click and drag the picture to position it exactly where you want it in the frame. Once you have the picture where you want it click the “Crop” button again and it will apply your change.

Crop Frame

Now that we have our picture positioned where we want it, let’s play around with some other features. Remember earlier when we clicked on the picture, the “Picture Tools” tab showed up with lots of options for us. We could literally spend days here. There are a lot of nifty features we can apply to this picture. Let’s take a look at the “Picture Tools” and discuss some of their functions.

Adjust Group

The first group in the “Picture Tools” is the “Adjust” group. Here you dramatically change the look of the picture. “Remove Background” will let you click areas of the picture you want to keep and remove. So if you have an ugly airplane flying in the sky behind your prize rose, you can use this tool to remove that part of the picture. “Corrections” will basically allow you to blur or sharpen as well as, change picture contrast. The “Color” button will let you tint the picture with color. “Artistic Effects” can be a lot of fun but try not to go to overboard here. “Compress Pictures” will help you lower the file size which is handy for emailing. “Change Picture” basically opens up a dialog so you can pick a different picture. “Reset Picture” will come in real handy if you royally screw up your picture with too many edits. It puts things back to its original state.

Picture Styles

The “Picture Styles” group will let you add frames, borders, reflections, highlights, shadows, and much more.

Arrange Group

The “Arrange” group will let you work with picture alignment and rotation. the “Bring Forward” and “Send Backward” buttons are for when you have more than one picture. If you overlap these pictures, these two buttons will let you determine which is in front of the other.

Size Group

The “Size Group” we’ve used already when we cropped. This basically lets you determine how big or small you want the picture to be.

Now that we’ve looked through this toolbar, take a moment to apply some of the different styles or color effects. I think I am going to add a frame to mine and sharpen it under corrections. Take a moment to play around a little and be sure to save your project for the next lesson.

Table of Contents – PowerPoint Basics

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Darrin Jenkins

Darrin is an IT manager for a large electrical contractor in Louisville KY. He is married and has 3 kids. He loves helping people with their technology needs. He runs a blog called Say Geek!