How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (2023)

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (1)

You can insert a picture into a slide easily enough, but often, you’ll be working with placeholders — especially when working with a layout slide. You insert the pictures into the placeholder, and the placeholder determines the size and position of the picture. It isn’t an exact science though, and you may need to adjust the size and position of the image within the placeholder. In PowerPoint 2010, this all gets a bit easier. I’ll show you how to insert pictures into placeholders and then use the new cropping behaviors in PowerPoint 2010 and 2013 to quickly get the shot you want while retaining the position, size, and shape of the placeholder.

I’ve used PowerPoint 2010, but you’ll find 2007 and 2013 similar. There’s no comparable feature in PowerPoint 2003. You can work with any PowerPoint slide or you can download the .pptx example file. Besides the presentation file, this download also contains the four picture files used, as separate files, so you can easily insert and adjust the images yourself.

Without placeholders

You can insert a picture directly into a slide, but you’ll have to tweak its size and position. Inserted pictures and graphics don’t adjust automatically to the slide. It’s not rocket science, but it’s just tedious work. You can experiment by inserting a picture into a blank slide as follows:

  1. Click the Insert tab and then click Picture in the Illustrations group.
  2. Using the Insert Picture dialog, find the picture you want to insert and click Insert (Figure A).
    Figure A How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (2)

The picture’s size determines its position and size within the slide. Most likely, you’d want to resize and reposition any picture inserted this way.

Create a custom layout

If you insert a picture into a placeholder, the file adjusts to the size and position of the placeholder. A placeholder is a container that remains empty until you fill it. If you plan to reuse the layout often, use placeholders for ease of use and consistency. Even if the slide’s a one-time task, placeholders can make positioning and sizing easier.

You add placeholders via Slide Master View to create a layout slide. Then, you add the layout slide to the presentation. We’ll create the custom layout shown in Figure B. It has one full-slide picture placeholder and three smaller picture placeholders to the right.

(Video) How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (

Figure B

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (3)

This custom layout slide accommodates four pictures.

Now, let’s create that layout slide as follows:

  1. Click the View tab, and then click Slide Master in the Master Views group.
  2. To position the new layout after the title slide, click the background between the title slide and the slide that follows. When you do, PowerPoint will display a dividing line between the two slides (Figure C).
    Figure C How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (4)
  3. Once you see the dividing line, click Insert Layout in the Edit Master group. You can also right-click the background and choose Insert Layout, but the dividing line might be obscured a bit.
  4. The new layout slide will have a header and footer; turn them off by unchecking the Title and Footers options in the Master Layout group.
  5. Click the Insert Placeholder drop-down (in the Master Layout group) and choose Picture (Figure D).
    Figure DHow to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (5)
  6. Using the mouse, drag across the entire slide to create a placeholder the same size as the slide (Figure E).
    Figure E How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (6)
  7. Repeat this process to add three more picture placeholders to the right of the slide.
  8. Use gridlines (View tab) to left-align the smaller placeholders.
  9. Use the Distribute Vertically option to evenly position them. You can find the Align option on the contextual Format tab in the Arrange group.
  10. Right-click the new slide and choose Rename Layout. Enter a meaningful name (Figure F) and click Rename.
    Figure F How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (7)
  11. Click Close Master Slide in the Close group to return to your presentation.

Use custom layout to insert pictures

Now, you’re ready to make a slide using the custom layout you just created. To add the layout slide to your presentation, click the New Slide drop-down (in the Slides group) and choose PictureRight, as shown in Figure G. At any time, you can click Zoom Out or Zoom In (in the bottom right corner) to improve visibility.

Figure G

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (8)

(Video) How To Create Image Placeholder In PowerPoint

Choose the custom layout.

With the new layout in Normal view, you’re ready to add the first picture. We’ll fill the full-slide placeholder first. Here’s how:

  1. Click the icon in the middle of the slide.
  2. Use the Insert Picture dialog to locate and select the picture, and then click Insert. PowerPoint, by default, will make the picture fit the placeholder (Figure H) without distorting it. This feat is worth the placeholder alone. To make it fit, PowerPoint automatically crops some of the picture.
    Figure H How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (9)

Crop to adjust

As is, the placement is Okay, but it could be better by moving the goose a little to the left and then resizing it to make it larger. You can use PowerPoint’s Crop tool to do both (only available in PowerPoint 2010 and 2013) while maintaining the picture’s aspect ratio. To get started, click Crop in the Size group on the contextual Format tab. PowerPoint will display cropping tools, as shown in Figure I, around the picture. The gray represents the picture that PowerPoint cropped when you inserted the file in order to fit the placeholder.

Figure I

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (10)

PowerPoint makes the picture fit the placeholder.

To resize this picture, grab the circle at any corner of the image and drag it in or out appropriately. You can watch the image grow and shrink accordingly. Figure J shows the result of dragging the upper left corner out a bit to enlarge the goose. Use the corner handles to maintain aspect ratio. At this point, the tail is almost flush with the slide’s left border, but it’s still too high.

Figure J

(Video) Custom Shape Image Placeholder In Powerpoint

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (11)

After resizing the image, the goose is larger.

To move the enlarged image, click the gray area just above the slide’s top border and drag it down, as shown in Figure K. The gray continues to represent the picture’s cropped portion. Click Crop to complete the change.

Figure K

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (12)

Drag the image to reposition the picture’s focal point.

Figure L shows the results; we enlarged the goose and then moved it down.

Figure L

(Video) How to Crop to Fill: Using Image Placeholders in PowerPoint

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (13)

The goose is larger and to the left of the smaller placeholders, while still filling the entire placeholder.
  1. Continue by adding pictures to the smaller placeholders on the right. If you’re using PowerPoint 2010 or 2013, remember you can resize and reposition the image while cropping:
  2. With the picture selected, click Crop.
  3. Drag the circles at the image’s corners to reduce and enlarge the focal point of your image.
  4. Drag the image itself to reposition the focal point of your image.
  5. Click Crop when you’re done.

Figure M shows the finished slide. I moved the image in the top placeholder up a bit. I enlarged and moved the goose in both the middle and bottom pictures.

Figure M

How to use picture placeholders for easy placement and cropping in PowerPoint (14)

Resize and reposition pictures using the Crop tool.

To reposition the focal point, you’ll almost always have to enlarge the image first. If you don’t, you lose part of the background. When enlarging the image, use the corners to maintain aspect ratio. For the best results, you’ll usually enlarge the picture by extending it in the opposite direction that you plan to move it.

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(Video) Cropping and Replacing Images within placeholders in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016


How do I format a picture placeholder in PowerPoint? ›

On the Slide Master tab, click Insert Placeholder, and then click the type of placeholder that you want to add. Click a location on the slide layout, and then drag to draw the placeholder. You can add as many placeholders as you like.

Can you lock a picture in place in PowerPoint? ›

1) Select an image, then head to the Picture Format tab. 2) Choose the Selection Pane. 3) A new window will appear on your right, displaying all of your objects on a slide. Select the image and click the lock button on the right to lock its position and size.

What is picture placeholder? ›

An image placeholder is a dummy image designed to draw attention to the need for an actual image. Wikipedia image placeholders were meant to be used on articles, especially those of living people, for the purpose of trying to obtain a freely-licensed image for them.

How do you Format a placeholder? ›

If your sample code and command placeholders occur in a sentence, use the following formatting:
  1. In HTML, wrap placeholders in <code><var> elements, like this: ...
  2. In Markdown, wrap inline placeholders in backticks (`), and use an asterisk (*) before the first backtick and after the second one ( *`PLACEHOLDER_NAME`* ).

What is a picture placeholder in PowerPoint? ›

A picture placeholder lets you graphically designate the location for an image and has the added benefit of letting you pre-determine the size of the image (height and width). To use a picture placeholder: On the desired slide, choose Insert → Picture.

What is the purpose of a placeholder? ›

The placeholder attribute specifies a short hint that describes the expected value of an input field (e.g. a sample value or a short description of the expected format). The short hint is displayed in the input field before the user enters a value.

When would you use a placeholder? ›

If you choose to use a placeholder, it should be used for short hints only.

What is a placeholder and what is it used for? ›

What is a placeholder? The placeholder is the alternative text used in draft emails. It is edited based on the message context. It is mainly used for email notifications and automatic messages.

How do I lock a picture in place? ›

Locking an image in place

To lock an image, select it, access its general options icon, and choose Lock, or hit the L key on your keyboard while the frame is selected. If a new layout is applied to the area, the locked frame will remain in place. Unlocked images will move over the locked image.

How do I lock a placeholder in PowerPoint? ›

You can lock any object that you can add to the slide. To lock a shape in PowerPoint (or lock an image, object, placeholder or table), first save your file locally, then select the object to lock and click the Shape locker feature on the PPT Productivity ribbon.

How can I lock my photo in place? ›

Open the Google Photos app and tap Library > Utilities > Set Up Locked Folder. Follow the on-screen directions and add photos to this album. If you want to add more photos later, you can either come back to this screen or open a photo, tap the three-dot icon, and then tap Move to Locked Folder.

Which is a common problem for inserting pictures into placeholders? ›

Pictures inserted into placeholders in PowerPoint 2007 and later are automatically "downsampled" to lower resolution. This can make them blurry and in some cases can destroy the animation in animated GIF pictures.

What is placeholder technique? ›

Placeholders represent gaps in phrases that can be filled in either automatically or manually when editing rules. Placeholders are identified by curly brackets {} . There are three types of placeholder: Subject placeholders, which are completed automatically.

What is the difference between content placeholder and picture placeholder? ›

Depending on your picture, you may or may not see a whole lot of difference. But remember – the Picture placeholder fills the placeholder space with your picture, cropping it if necessary, and the Content placeholder inserts the entire picture.

What are the types of placeholder in Powerpoint? ›

Types of Placeholders
  • Text.
  • Picture.
  • Chart.
  • Table.
  • SmartArt.
  • Media.
  • Clip Art / Online Image.
Mar 12, 2020

What are the steps to insert a placeholder? ›

In the "References" tab, find the "Citations & Bibliography" section and click on the "Insert Citation" option. When the drop-down menu appears, click on "Add New Placeholder." When the "Placeholder Name" dialog box opens, type the name you want to give to your placeholder into the text box.

How do you select placeholder style? ›

The ::placeholder selector selects form elements with placeholder text, and let you style the placeholder text. The placeholder text is set with the placeholder attribute, which specifies a hint that describes the expected value of an input field.

Can we put image in placeholder? ›

Step 8: To insert the image in placeholder, click on the center of the image icon. Browse the image that you want to insert and click on the Insert button at the bottom of the screen. The screenshot below shows that the selected image is inserted in the placeholder.

What is the purpose of placeholders and slide layouts in creating a presentation? ›

Slide layouts contain formatting, positioning, and placeholder boxes for all of the content that appears on a slide. Placeholders are the dotted-line containers on slide layouts that hold such content as titles, body text, tables, charts, SmartArt graphics, pictures, clip art, videos, and sounds.

What is placeholder easy? ›

place·​hold·​er ˈplās-ˌhōl-dər. plural placeholders. : a person or thing that occupies the position or place of another person or thing. The bill would empower the governor to appoint a placeholder to a vacant U.S. Senate seat, to serve through the next general election cycle.

What does placeholder mean in design? ›

Placeholders are typically familiar components intended for replacement when given further consideration. Placeholders are often derived from one's experience and memory of prior projects and the component is considered suitable as a temporary application for the particular design intent.

Where will you put your placeholder setting? ›

To add a placeholder setting for a site:
  • Navigate to the Presentation folder of your site, right-click Placeholder Settings, click Insert, and then click Placeholder.
  • Enter a name and click Ok.
  • In the Data section, in the Allowed Controls field, click Edit.
Jan 16, 2023

Which statement is generally used as a placeholder? ›

The pass statements are used as a placeholder for future code.

What does it mean to lock an image? ›

You can lock a PDF or image so that it can't be edited or deleted. If you own a locked document, you can edit the document after unlocking it. Others can change the document's contents only by creating a duplicate of the document and editing the duplicate. Open Preview for me.

How do you lock an object in place? ›

Lock an object in place
  1. Select the Hand Tool from the toolbar.
  2. Select an object (or objects) on the canvas that you would like to lock.
  3. From the Context Menu select the Lock tab.
  4. Choose Lock.

How do you align a placeholder in PowerPoint? ›

Align objects

Press Shift to select multiple objects. Select Picture format > Align and select how you want to align them: Align Left, Align Center, or Align Right.

What are the two placeholders that will automatically appear when you open PowerPoint? ›

The Title Slide layout is the default layout when you open a blank presentation in PowerPoint. It comprises two text placeholders: the first for the presentation title and the second for a subtitle.

How do I change the placeholder shape in PowerPoint? ›

To change the shape of a picture placeholder on a PowerPoint layout, first select the picture placeholder. Then from the Shape Format Tab, or the PPT Productivity Tab, select Edit Shapes then Change Shape. From the dropdown shape gallery, select the shape of the new Picture Placeholder.

How do I store photos in one place? ›

Use an archival-quality box or album

Whether you prefer to stack photos in a box or arrange them in an album, it's best to look for a storage option that's free of acid and lignin (an acidic compound that gives trees their rigidity). It's also good to avoid dyes and recycled materials. That rules out shoeboxes.

How do I keep my photos secretly? ›

Here's how.
  1. Open Google Photos on your phone.
  2. Select the Library tab at the bottom.
  3. Tap on Utilities menu. 2 Images. Close.
  4. Find the Set up Locked Folder suggestion on the following menu.
  5. Tap Get started, and you can use your phone's authentication method (PIN, password, or fingerprint) to access the Locked Folder. Close.
Jun 4, 2022

Which of the following are types of placeholders? ›

There are three main types of placeholders:
  • Dimension Placeholders.
  • Parameter Placeholders.
  • Other Placeholders.

How many types of placeholders are there? ›

There are 18 types of placeholder. These placeholders typically appear on a conventional “word chart” containing text only, often organized as a title and a series of bullet points. All of these placeholders can accept text only.

Can you add an image to a slide using a placeholder? ›

From the Slide Master tab, choose Insert Placeholder | Picture.

What is an example of placeholder content? ›

A common example involves the use of placeholder content: stock images and lorem ipsum copy."

What is a custom placeholder? ›

Custom Placeholders are designed for cases when the source texts contain some less common placeholders that are not highlighted in the source strings (in the Editor) by default.

How do I insert a content placeholder into a picture? ›

Click on the Insert Placeholder button and a new popup will appear. Now, you can insert a picture placeholder but also some other content types, for example a table, a smartart graphic, a media content, clipart or even text or content.

Which layout is a placeholder on screen? ›

FrameLayout : is a placeholder on screen that is used to display a single view.

How do you Format a picture in a text box in PowerPoint? ›

What most would do is right-click the text box on the slide, click Format Shape, and then, under Text Options, click Picture or Texture Fill. From there, a picture can be selected and automatically placed into the text without issues.

How do I crop a custom shape in PowerPoint? ›

PowerPoint: Crop a picture to a shape
  1. Select a picture on a slide to crop to a shape.
  2. On the Picture tab, on the right end, select the arrow next to Crop. ...
  3. Select Crop to Shape, then choose a shape to apply to the border of the picture.
  4. If you want to trim the margins of the picture, select Crop again, then drag a handle.

How can I change placeholder position? ›

In most of the browsers, placeholder texts are usually aligned in left. The selector uses text-align property to set the text alignment in the placeholder. This selector can change browser to browser.

How do I change the size of a placeholder? ›

To resize a placeholder:
  1. Click inside the placeholder. The border changes to sizing handles.
  2. Move the pointer over the sizing handles and a + appears.
  3. Click and drag the placeholder to the size you want.

What are the types of placeholder in PowerPoint? ›

A content placeholder is a placeholder that can contain text along with one of the eight different pre-formatted features, namely “Insert Table”, “Insert Chart”, “Insert a SmartArt Graphic”, “3D Models”, “Pictures”, “Stock Images”, “Insert Video” and “Insert and Icon”.

Which of the following controls the position of placeholders on a slide? ›

Option - 4 Slide layout contains placeholders, formatting and so on. Hence it is the Correct option.

How do I resize an image in PowerPoint without distorting it? ›

On the shortcut menu, click Format<object type>. In the dialog box, click the Size tab. Under Scale, enter the percentage of the original height or width you want the object resized to. Note: To change the proportions but keep the original aspect ratio, select the Lock aspect ratio check box.

What is the use of image formatting in PowerPoint? ›

Image adjustments

PowerPoint offers several options for changing the way images appear in your slide show. For example, you can add a frame, make image corrections, change the image's color or brightness, and even add some stylish artistic effects.

How do you cut around an image in PowerPoint? ›

How to Crop a Picture in PowerPoint
  1. Select the picture.
  2. Click the Format tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click the Crop button. Crop handles appear around the border of the picture.
  4. Click and drag the crop handles inward. ...
  5. Click the Crop button again to complete the crop.

What is the Format picture task pane? ›

The Format Task pane is often tabbed. This means that you can jump quickly between different elements of your slide object! In many ways thus, the Format Task pane is the single source where different style formatting options are consolidated in one place.

How do I crop an irregular shape in PowerPoint? ›

How to crop a picture in irregular shapes
  1. Click the picture for operation.
  2. Click Picture Tool from the toolbar → Crop dropdown button.
  3. Choose a shape from the Crop by Shape menu.
  4. Adjust the range to crop on the picture.
Nov 3, 2021


1. Use Custom Layouts to Create Picture Placeholders in PowerPoint | Power Point Tips and Tricks
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2. PowerPoint Slide Master tutorial - Placeholders and Basics ✔
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3. PowerPoint Tutorial 🔥Awesome Picture Placeholder 🔥
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4. Image Placeholders in Microsoft Word 2016 (for Windows)
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5. Put Picture inside Shape in PowerPoint the right way
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6. Drag and drop image placeholder powerpoint tutorial | powerpoint slide template
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