Using digital images in teaching and learning Using images in PowerPoint 2003

Nicky Ransom Section name Visual Resource Centre School of Humanities Using digital images in teaching and learning Using images in PowerPoint 200...
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Nicky Ransom

Section name

Visual Resource Centre School of Humanities

Using digital images in teaching and learning

Using images in PowerPoint 2003 Note: These instructions assume some basic knowledge of using PowerPoint. If you are a beginner, ITS have produced a beginners’ guide to PowerPoint, available from

Preparing images Before inserting images into a PowerPoint presentation, you need to make sure that they are the right size and in the right image format. Image size Ensure images are of a suitable size: for full screen display the image should be approximately 1024 x 768 pixels, with proportionally smaller pixel dimensions if the image is only to fill half or quarter of the screen. If your images are much bigger than this, you will be needlessly making your PowerPoint file size too big, as the screen will only display 1024 x 768 pixels. Although images can be scaled down in PowerPoint, the original full size image is still saved within the presentation so you don't save disk space by resizing in PowerPoint. If your images are smaller than this, you will have to accept that they will not fill up a whole screen as making images larger will result in them becoming pixelated and losing quality. See 'Understanding Images' to find out more about image sizes. Image format Ensure that you are using JPEG images in your presentations: TIFF files are generally too large and will make the resulting overall file size of your presentation unmanageable. See 'Image Formats' for further information.

Inserting images 1. Select a slide layout, either: o

Default layout - shown when you first open PowerPoint (there is no need to delete the placeholder boxes as they will not show up when you run your slide show)


Blank layout – select the Blank layout from the Slide Layout section of the Task Pane (open the

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Format menu from the toolbar and select Slide Layout to open this layout template window). o

Content layout – also in the Slide Layout section are templates that are designed to display one or more images (or other multimedia content), with or without text. The advantage of a content layout is that it will automatically resize a picture to fit within it if the image is too large, saving you the bother of manually resizing large images.

2. Insert an image – there are several ways of doing this: o

Open the Insert menu, point at Picture, click From File…, and then navigate to the required image. The image will appear in the centre of your slide.


If using a preset template, click on the Insert Picture icon in the centre of the placeholder box and navigate to the required image file.


Copy an image from another slide in the current presentation, or from another presentation. Simply use Copy and Paste from the Edit menu. However, be careful about reusing small images that you intend to enlarge as they may not have enough pixels to give a good quality image.


It is also possible to cut and paste or drag an image from the Internet directly into your presentation. However, if you are working on a Mac, don’t drag images straight from the Internet. You should save images to your hard drive, and then use Insert, Picture from the menu bar, or you may find that your pictures won’t display when you run a slide show.

Tip: If you find that your inserted image appears much smaller than you were expecting, it is because PowerPoint has used embedded image resolution information to determine its display size. When such an image is inserted into PowerPoint, it will be displayed according to this setting, and may therefore appear smaller than anticipated. If you know the pixel size of the image, it is easy to work out roughly how large it can be displayed without losing image quality, but as a general rule, if an image looks satisfactory at 100% size on your computer screen, it will look fine when projected.

Inserting multiple images If you have a number of images that you want to insert into PowerPoint (one image per slide), you can do this easily using Microsoft Office Picture Manager, a program that comes free with Microsoft Office 2003 and later. (Find it by clicking on the Start menu, pointing your cursor at All Programs, then at Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Tools, and finally, select Microsoft Office Picture Manager.) 1. Open Picture Manager and select the images that you want to insert into PowerPoint, using the Shift or Control key to select multiple images. 2. On the File menu, point to Send To and select Microsoft Office from the menu (or use the Send pictures to Microsoft Office shortcut towards the bottom of the Getting Started Task Pane). 3. In the Send Pictures dialogue box, choose whether you want to insert the images into a presentation that is already open or a new one, and then click Send. By default, your images will be resized to fit within a screen of 1024 x 768 pixels, but you can choose other sizes by clicking on Options before confirming your choice. 4. Your populated presentation will open. If your images are not in ©University of Reading 2008

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the right order, you can use the Slide Sorter view in PowerPoint to move individual slides around. 5. Text can then be added to slides in the usual way. Later versions of PowerPoint have a Photo Album option on the Insert Picture menu for the creation of presentations. However, this method is more suited to making a quick slide show from a set of holiday photos than for using to create a lecture presentation because it has some disadvantages, such as: o

images can’t be cropped once they have been inserted


any text added to the slides will be lost if you later import further images using this method.

Positioning images To move an image, click on it to select it (white dots, or “resizing handles” will appear around its edges), and place your cursor over the picture. The cursor will turn into a four headed arrow and you can drag the image to where you want it. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move an image around the slide. Tip: If your inserted image is too large for the layout screen and you can’t see the resizing handles without having to scroll up and down, you can zoom out (by using the button on the Standard toolbar (see picture), or select Zoom from the View menu) so that you can see the whole image and can resize it more easily.

Resizing images To reduce the size of your image, click on one of the resizing handles at the corner of the image and drag it towards the centre: using the corner handles will reduce the image’s size whilst still maintaining its aspect ratio, but don’t use the handles at the sides of an image or you will distort it by squashing it.

Use corner handles to resize a picture while maintaining its aspect ratio. The effects of using the side handles

To make an image larger, drag one of the resizing handles at the corner of the image outwards. Again, don’t use the side handles or you will distort the image by stretching it. However, make sure that you don’t make it larger than the number of pixels it contains – if the image starts to lose visual quality, you have made it too big. Knowing the pixel dimensions of your image can help you to work out how large you can make it, but as a general rule, as long as the image looks good on your computer screen when displayed at 100% (select Zoom from the View menu), it should look fine when projected.

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Cropping images If you want to show a detail of one of your images, you can do this using the cropping tool from the Picture toolbar.

Tip: The Picture toolbar is usually visible if a picture is selected: if not, you can make it visible by selecting it from the Toolbar section of the View menu. 1. Click on the image you wish to crop. 2. Click on the Crop icon on the Picture toolbar. Thick black bars will appear around the corners and at the side of the image. 3. Point your cursor at one of these bars – it will change to a black line and you can then click and drag the bar to the right place. 4. Continue doing this until you have your final image – as long as you don’t click outside the image, you will remain in cropping mode. However, if you click outside the image, simply click on image again and select Crop from the toolbar to get back into cropping mode.

Image adjustments You can also make some other basic editing adjustments to an image by using the Picture toolbar.

Insert picture Colour Contrast Brightness Rotate Border style

Reset picture Compress picture

From here you can make adjustments to the colour, contrast and brightness of an image, crop it to make it smaller, rotate it, and add a border. You can also reset the picture back to its original size by clicking the icon at the right hand end of the toolbar – useful if you change your mind about cropping an image. If you need to make a lot of adjustments to an image, it may be better to use an image editing package instead. Details about suitable software are given in ‘Editing Images’.

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Reducing PowerPoint file sizes Putting images into a PowerPoint presentation can often make it very large, but there are several ways to ensure that it isn’t any bigger than it needs to be while still maintaining good quality images.  Ensure that your images are in JPEG or GIF format (see section on ‘Image Formats’).  Make sure that your images do not have more pixels that you need (see section on ‘Understanding Digital Images’).  If you have done a lot of image resizing within PowerPoint, you can use the Compress Pictures facility to reduce their resolution (unfortunately, this option is not available to Mac users). If you choose the right options, you can do this without affecting the picture quality: 1. Click on an image to select it 2. Choose Compress Pictures from the Picture toolbar 3. Enter the following options in the dialogue box: Apply to: ‘All pictures in document’ Change resolution: ‘Web/Screen’ Options: un-tick ‘Compress pictures’ and ‘Delete cropped areas of pictures’. Tip: any areas of a picture that you crop in PowerPoint are hidden rather than deleted, in case you want to un-crop them again. This makes your file size larger than is necessary, but you can delete this unwanted data permanently by ticking 'Delete cropped areas of pictures'. However, this will mean that you can't restore the image to its full size later.  Images can also be compressed using the ‘Compress pictures’ option in this dialogue box, but this will reduce their quality and may not give acceptable results.  Images used more than once in PowerPoint do not add to the file size, so there is nothing to be gained by deleting duplicate pictures.  Occasionally, when putting together a presentation, an image or other object gets moved off the visible area of your screen and although it won’t appear in your slide show, it will be taking up memory. Set the Zoom option on the View menu to the smallest figure (25 or 33%) and look through your presentation to ensure that are no hidden images.  Further tips on reducing file size are given on the Microsoft Office web site:

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