4 ways to change a picture in PowerPoint without losing formatting

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The Change Picture feature in PowerPoint is very powerful because it lets you substitute another picture but keep the formatting. You might want to change the picture because:

  • You made a mistake and inserted the wrong picture
  • You’ve changed your mind and decided that another picture would work better
  • You duplicated a great slide and now just want to change the text and substitute another image
  • You duplicated an image with formatting on the same slide and now just want to substitute another image

Yet many people don’t know about this feature because it’s a bit hidden.

The Change Picture feature makes it easy to get a coherent look by ensuring that multiple images on a slide are similarly formatted and use similar styles.

The easiest way to find this feature is to select an image, right-click, and choose Change Picture. But you can also select an image, click the Picture Tools Format tab, and choose Change Picture in the Adjust section.

From the right-click menu

On the Picture Tools Format tab

The options you see and which options are available will depend on:

  • Which version of PowerPoint you have
  • Whether you have an image copied to the Office Clipboard (which is different from the Windows Clipboard)

Here are the 4 possible options…

From a File

You will always see this option. Just click it, navigate to the new picture, and insert it. Your new picture will have all the formatting retained, including animation. (It won’t necessarily be the same size, of course.)

Here you see that both have a shadow and animation. (The little numbered squares appear when you have animation and are on the Animations tab.)


From Online Sources

You’ll probably see this item, too. It lets you search on Bing and in connected online services like Flickr. Be careful not to violate copyrights! And show attribution where necessary.

From Icons

You’ll see this option if you have Office 365 or Office 2019, which include icons. Substituting an icon for a photograph isn’t a typical task. And in fact, if you inserted an icon and right-click it, you’ll see Change Graphic rather than Change Picture.

Also, if you insert an SVG file, which is a vector image format, you’ll see Change Graphic rather than Change Picture. The icons built into the newer versions of PowerPoint are SVG files.

From Clipboard

This option will be available only if you copied something to the Office Clipboard (as opposed to the Windows Clipboard). I often copy and paste a photo from Windows onto a slide but then have to copy it to the Clipboard again to use this feature. Nevertheless, I find it really useful to bring in an image this way (instead of Insert Picture, which takes longer).

What uses can you think of for the Change Picture feature? Have you used it before? Or is this new to you?

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Ellen Finkelstein – View the original post .


Published On: 19th Oct 2018

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