Video: Crop a picture to fit a shape

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Use the crop tools in PowerPoint to trim and remove unwanted portions of pictures, or to crop a picture to fit a shape.

Crop a picture to fit a shape

If you want to change the outline of a picture and make it a shape (like a circle or a star), use the cropping tools on the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab.

  1. Select the picture (or pictures) that you want to crop.

    If you are cropping lots of pictures at once, you have to use the same shape for all of them. To crop to different shapes, crop each picture one at time

  2. On the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab, click Crop > Crop to Shape, and then pick the shape you want.

Crop to fit or fill a shape

You can have a picture as the fill for a shape. Just click the shape to which you want to add a picture, then under DRAWING TOOLS, on the FORMAT tab, click Shape Styles > Shape Fill > Picture, and select the picture that you want.

  1. Click the picture that you want within the shape.

  2. Click PICTURE TOOLS > FORMAT > Size and click the arrow under Crop. If you don’t see the Picture Tools and Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture.

  3. Click Fill or Fit.

    • Fill sets the picture size to match the shape’s height or width, whichever is greatest. This fills the shape with the picture.

    • Fit sets the picture size so that the picture’s height and width both match the shape’s boundaries. This fits as much of the picture into the shape as possible. Some areas of the shape might remain empty.

      Tips: 

      • You can drag the picture to change what area of it shows within the shape.

  4. When you are finished, press ESC.

Want more?

Crop a picture

Save and restore the original version of a cropped picture

You can enhance a picture by giving it a different shape. A quick way to do this is with Crop to Shape.

First, select the picture on the slide.

Then, look for the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab, which appears when you select the picture. Click FORMAT.

On the FORMAT tab, in the Size group, click the arrow under Crop, and point to Crop to Shape.

This opens the Shapes gallery, where you can choose a shape for the picture.

Look for a shape that works well with the picture image and orientation. For this picture, let's try a rounded rectangle.

That shape works nicely, cutting out little of the image, and giving it rounded corners.

Note that Crop to Shape maintains the picture's aspect ratio, meaning its height-to-width proportions.

To experiment with another shape, just click the arrow under Crop and point to Crop to Shape.

Let's look for a shape that is quite different. How about the star?

Interesting, but I think it cuts out too much of the picture, especially of the central figure.

I'll click Undo to return to the rounded rectangle shape, which accommodates this picture better.

Now, with the picture still selected and the FORMAT tab displayed, I'll do a little bit of picture formatting.

For example, I'll click Picture Borderand choose a border color.

Then I'll click Picture Border again, point to Weight and increase the width of the border to 4 ½ points, so it is more visible.

That is a nice, simple accent.

If you want more elaborate picture formatting, here is a speedy way to apply it, and use Crop to Shape.

Let's go back to the original picture.

This time, before using Crop to Shape, I'll select the picture, click FORMAT, and click More to open the Picture Styles gallery.

The gallery styles combine different things - the type of picture shape, border colors, and styles, and effects such as reflections and shadows.

I'll find a picture style that I like, such as this one, with a white border and perspective shadow, and click to apply it.

Then, leaving the picture selected, I'll click the Crop arrow, point to Crop to Shape, and choose the rounded rectangle.

Following this process, I quickly got a more elaborate Picture Style, then I chose the shape I wanted using Crop to Shape.

For more information, see the course summary and do more experimenting with PowerPoint.

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