Image shape in PowerPoint

When you use images in your slideshows, you want them to be attractive. One way is to combine a shape with your image. You can easily insert and crop an image to fit or fill a shape in PowerPoint.

Insert an Image into a Shape in PowerPoint

After creating the shape that you want to insert an image into, you’ll actually fill the shape with the image.

Select the shape and go to the Shape Format tab that displays. Click “Shape Fill” in the Shape Styles section of the ribbon and choose “Picture.”

Go to Shape Fill and select Picture

Pick From a File, Stock Images, Online Pictures, or From Icons, depending on the picture that you’d like to use. Select the image and click “Insert.”

Choose the location for the image

The image that you picked will then fill the shape. Now, you can adjust how the image is formatted within the shape using two actions: Fill or Fit.

Shape filled with an image in PowerPoint

Fill or Fit the Image in the Shape

When you “Fill” a shape with an image, this adjusts the picture size to match the shape’s height or width, whichever is greatest. When you “Fit” a shape with an image, this adjusts the picture size so that both the height and width match the shape.


Click the image within the shape and go to the Picture Format tab that appears. Then, click the arrow below “Crop” in the Size section of the ribbon and choose either “Fill” or “Fit.”

Click Crop and pick Fill or Fit

You’ll notice that Fill and Fit each provide quite a different appearance. Since this is an optional step after inserting the image into the shape, choose the best option for you.

Picture shape Fill and Fit comparison

Crop an Image as a Shape in PowerPoint

If you have an image that you want to crop into a shape in your slideshow, you can do this as well.

Select the image and go to the Picture Format tab. Click the arrow below “Crop” in the Size section of the ribbon and choose “Crop to Shape.” Choose the shape that you want to use in the pop-out menu.

Click Crop as Shape and pick a shape

The image will immediately update into that shape.

Image cropped as a shape in PowerPoint

You can then select the image and use the tools on the Picture Format tab, or you can right-click to open the Format Picture sidebar to add some pizzazz.

Picture formatting tab and sidebar in PowerPoint


By combining shapes with functional or decorative images in your PowerPoint slideshow, you can create an appealing and unique presentation.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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