Despite what others might think, PowerPoint remains to be a flexible tool. It may get a bad reputation from the “Death by PowerPoint” dilemma in board rooms, but like any other tool, correct use of PowerPoint lies on your ability to familiarize yourself with its different functions.
If you take the time to learn what you can, you’ll find space to explore your creativity.
In this regard, we thought it might be useful to discuss using PowerPoint for other purposes. Other than building slide decks, you can actually tap into the classic presentation software in plenty of ways, one of which is using PowerPoint as a photo editor.
If you don’t know your way around Photoshop yet, use PowerPoint to do basic photo editing and enhance images you want to use for your presentations.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll be using PowerPoint 2010 to demonstrate the program’s various functions.
Here’s everything you need to know to get started:
The basic commands
To start using PowerPoint as a photo editor, we have to familiarize ourselves with the Format tab under Picture Tools. Insert the image you want to edit into a blank slide. Once you select that picture, this tab appears on your ribbon:
From this tab, the most basic photo editing commands you’ll need to know are the following:
1.) Pictures Style – This entire group signified by the icons that fill most of the tab allows you to easily customize pictures with just a click. There are plenty of styles to choose from. You can choose to add different effects or borders, and even change the shape of your picture. The icon for Picture Layout allows you to convert your picture into a SmartArt graphic.
2.) Corrections – The sun icon on the left side of the tab allows you to edit a photo’s brightness and contrast. You can also choose to either sharpen or soften its focus.
3.) Color – Right beside the Corrections icon is where you can change the saturation and tone of your chosen picture. It also gives you the option to overlay different color filters to get the exact look you’re going for.
4.) Crop – On the right most part of the tab, you’ll find the Crop icon. Aside from using it to trim down your image to a particular size, you also have the choice to crop your image into a particular shape. All you have to do is click the arrow right below the Crop icon and choose Crop to Shape.
Adding captions to images
Something else that you might want to do is add text to your images. Adding captions is pretty straightforward on PowerPoint. All you have to do is use the TextBox as you usually would when building a PowerPoint slide. Click on the Insert tab and select the Text Box icon.
From there, you just have to create a TextBox anywhere you’d like on the picture and start typing your caption from there. To make the text stand out, you can add a background color by selecting Shape Fill. Adjusting the transparency of the box will often give you the best look.
For this example, we set the Shape Fill effect at about 30% transparency. You can adjust this by selecting the Shape Fill icon and choosing More Fill Colors.
From here, it’s easy enough to adjust your TextBox to get the look that works best with the picture.
Saving your pictures
Once you’re happy with the edits you’ve made, you can go ahead and save your picture as its own file. All you have to do is right-click on your edited image and choose Save Picture As.
You can also save several objects as one picture. This will be useful if you added a text box for captioning. Hold the Shift key and select all the elements you want to include in a single picture. After that, all you have to do is right-click and choose Group. After that, you can finally save your picture as usual.
Creating a Polaroid effect
Using these techniques, you can now edit your pictures easily. Practice your skills by trying your hand at creating a Polaroid effect on PowerPoint.
All you have to do is follow these steps:
1.) Select your image and crop it into a 1:1 ratio.
2.) Right above your cropped image, use the Shape tool to draw a rectangle.
3.) Select the rectangle and add a Shadow (Outer) effect through the Drawing Tools Format Tab. Once you get the drop-shadow, change the rectangle’s color to white and remove the shape outline.
4.) Select the rectangle again and right-click. Click on Send to Back and select Send Backward. From here, your cropped image will appear again.
5.) Adjust the picture to create the look of a Polaroid. Make sure you leave more space at the bottom when you’re moving the image around the rectangle.
6.) Finally, group the shape and the image together and save as instructed above.
As you can see, PowerPoint isn’t as stifling a tool as most people make it out to be. If you know how to get creative, you can use it as a photo editor and achieve unique designs. Explore and utilize its different functions to get the most out of this classic presentation software.
Featured Image: Death to the Stock Photo