Posted On October 22, 2015

They say “a picture speaks a thousand words” so why not add a few images to your next PowerPoint presentation to make it more engaging? I will show you how to do the following with images in PowerPoint 2010:

  • Remove background
  • Crop
  • Resize
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Arrange (send to back, bring to front)
  • Draw a selection pane to select multiple objects
  • Group
  • Rotate
  • Change colour
  • Adjust brightness
  • Apply picture effects (shadowing, reflection).

Let’s Get Started

Step 1

Choose an image. Once you have inserted this image onto your slide, notice the contextual Picture Tools Format ribbon tab at the top of your screen? This ribbon only appears when you are clicked on the image so if you can’t see it, click on the image. Let’s see what that extra ribbon has to offer:

Step 2

If you want to remove the image background, it is important to choose an image with good contrast between foreground and background.

  1. In the Format ribbon, Adjust group, click Remove Background
  2. Drag resize handles to include all petals
  3. Click away from the image to see the result.


Step 3

It is a good idea to crop any excess space around the image before making copies of it as this will make it easier to draw a selection pane (around several flowers) later in this piece.

  1. In the Format ribbon, Size group, click on the top half of Crop command
  2. Click and drag the black cropping handles to reduce the excess white space around the flower.

Note: Clicking on the bottom half of Command offers more cropping options. If you have the time, check out the vast range of Crop to Shape options (but we won’t be using them today).

Step 4

We’ll need to make the flower smaller if we’re going to create a bouquet of flowers. To resize the image, click and drag the corner resize handles.

Tip: Hold the SHIFT key down while you click and drag to lock the aspect (height/width) ratio.

Step 5

My flower arrangement has six flowers so I copied the existing image (CTRL + C) and pasted (CTRL + V) five times. Click and drag each flower to form the arrangement:

Step 6

Arranging images so that they overlap can often frustrate people as it makes it difficult to select items at the back. Today’s flower arrangement would look a lot more appealing if the centre flower was in front of all the others, but I just can’t get to it! What we need to do is send some of the surrounding flowers to the back:

  1. Select two of the surrounding flowers (Use the CTRL key to select multiple objects)
  2. In the Format ribbon, Arrange group, click on the drop down button for Send Backward then click Send To Back.

Step 7

You should now be able to select the centre flower. Once you’ve done so, bring it to the front of all the other flowers:

  1. In the Format ribbon, Arrange group, click on the drop down button for Bring Forward then click Bring To Front.

Step 8

Ok, so we have a flower arrangement but would like to adjust the colour of the flowers. I’ve decided on 50 shades of green (ok maybe just 6 shades) in honour of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. To adjust the colour of each flower:

  1. Click one flower to select it
  2. In the Format ribbon, Adjust group, Click on the Color command. You could choose from one of the built-in colour options under the Recolor heading but I still want my different shades of green so after clicking on the Color command, go to More Variations then More Colors. Choose your colour.
  3. Repeat for all other flowers.

Step 9

At this point, the shades of green still look quite similar so we will adjust the brightness of each flower by doing the following:

  1. Click one flower to select it
  2. In the Format ribbon, Adjust group, click on the Corrections command. Adjust the brightness level to your liking
  3. Repeat for all other flowers.

Note: You can also adjust the contrast levels here too.

Step 10

We now have six flowers to be selected. Rather than selecting one at a time, draw a Selection Pane to quickly select multiple objects. Click and drag a rectangular outline (this is your Selection Pane) around all desired objects. Make sure the Selection Pane extends beyond the outer borders of all objects.

Warning: If your selection pane does not extend past the outer borders of all objects, some items will get left behind. Cropping the original image (as we did earlier) reduces the chance of missing any borders.

Note: This technique is a huge time saver when constructing flow diagrams with multiple objects – small, large, overlapping (such as small lines/arrows).

Step 11

Grouping objects allows us to move/resize/rotate/etc as one item. After drawing a selection pane to select all flowers, use the keyboard shortcut (CTRL + G) to group them. Rotate the object by clicking and dragging the green circle above the object.

Note: You now have two contextual ribbon tabs – Drawing Tools Format and Picture Tools Format. For the remainder of this activity, stay in the Picture Tools Format ribbon.

Step 12

To add a shadow effect – In the Picture Tools Format ribbon, Picture Styles group, click on the Picture Effects command and choose Shadow. Choose a Shadow style (I chose Outer Offset Bottom):

Step 13

To add a reflection effect – In the Picture Tools Format ribbon, Picture Styles group, click on the Picture Effects command and choose Reflection. Choose a Reflection style (I chose Half Reflection Touching):


And that’s it! Easier than you expected?

I hope you gained some new skills or at the very least enjoyed creating a St Patrick’s Day bouquet of flowers! I look forward to creating some more Microsoft quick-tips for you in the coming weeks.


Do you need to create presentations as part of your job? Take a peek at our list of PowerPoint courses to learn these and many other useful features, tips and tricks.