#411 Custom Cropping in PowerPoint

Resizing & Cropping Images

There are two ways that you can change the size of an image — resizing and cropping.

Resizing changes the dimensions of the picture by stretching or shrinking it.

Cropping reduces the size of the picture by removing the vertical or horizontal edges. Cropping is often used to hide or trim a part of a picture, either for emphasis or to remove unwanted portions.

If you’re sure you won’t need to undo your changes after you crop the picture, use the Compress Pictures feature to delete the cropped parts of the picture from the file completely. This helps shrink the file size of your documents.

Cropping Images

PowerPoint is probably where you’re most likely to crop images, but you can also do this in Word and Excel if you need to.

1. Select the image you want to crop.

2. On the Picture Tools » Format tab, click the Crop button .


3. Position the cropping tool over a cropping handle and then do one of the following:

  • To crop one side, drag the center handle on that side inward.
  • To crop equally on two sides at once, hold down CTRL as you drag the center handle on either side inward.
  • To crop equally on all four sides at once, hold down CTRL as you drag a corner handle inward.

Custom Cropping to Shapes

Regular cropping is easy and work greats, but your stuck with boring squares and rectangles. If you’d like a more “pro” look you should try the  Crop to Shape option.

1. Select the image.

2. Instead of the crop button above, click on the small arrow below the ‘Crop’ button and select Crop to Shape.

3. Then pick whatever shape you want.


4. By default, PowerPoint stretches your chosen shape to cover the entire image. To change the size, shape or position of the cropped area, click on ‘Crop’ again.

5. Resize and reshape the cropped section using the black cropping handles, resize the image itself by using the white circle handles, and move the image within the cropped area by dragging the image itself.


When you’re done you’ll have a nice, professional looking (and non-square) image that will stand out from the crowd. Give it a try next time you’re working in PowerPoint. Happy Cropping!


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