How to Create a Photo Collage With PowerPoint

By David Weedmark

Learn how to create a photo collage using the picture tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013, including layering, cropping and other effects.

A collage is a great way to present a lot of images at once without bogging down a presentation. Using the picture tools available in PowerPoint 2013, you can create a professional-looking collage quickly and easily.

Loading Your Images

Insert a new blank slide in your presentation by right-clicking beneath a thumbnail and selecting New Slide. If you don't want any text in the collage, right-click each Text Box and press Delete.

Click the Insert tab and select Pictures to add photos from your computer. If you want to add photos you've stored on the Internet, select Online Pictures. If you're adding a lot of images to the collage, it's faster to drag them from a File Explorer window directly onto the slide.

Insert pictures into the slide.

Resize each image by dragging the corner Anchor Points that appear when the image is selected. Drag the middle of each image to move its position on the canvas. If an image overlaps the slide's border, it will be cropped when you play the slideshow, even if it doesn't appear cropped while you're editing.

Dragging a corner maintains an image's aspect ratio.

Cropping and Arranging the Images

Cropping Out Background Colors

Remove a solid color from a photo's background by making that color transparent. This is particularly useful for large expanses of sky in a photo. Unfortunately, this technique doesn't work very well on cloudy skies, since PowerPoint's color range is limited.

  1. Click the Picture Tools' Format tab, select Color and then scroll down to Select Background Color.

  2. Click the image to transform the cursor into the Color Selection Cursor.

  3. Click the color that you want to make transparent.

Make a color transparent from the Color options.

If you selected the wrong color, press Ctrl-Z to undo the selection and try again. Once the color is removed, drag the photo above another photo.

To rearrangewhich photo is on top, right-click either photo and select Bring to Front or Send to Back. You can move image layers one position at a time, or move them all the way to the front or back of the slide.

Move photos above or below other photos.

Cropping to Shape

Eliminate sharp corners from some of your photos while making more room for details by cropping them with an Oval Shape. This allows you to layer on a lot more photos that wouldn't normally fit. Click the Picture Tools' Format tab and click the Crop icon. From the drop-down menu, select Crop to Shape and then select the Oval from the Basic Shapes section. Of course, you can use any shape that suits the photo.

Crop an image to an oval shape to remove the corners.

Cropping to a New Size

Narrow or wide objects can always be cropped using the traditional method of changing its height or width. To do this, click the Picture Tools' Format tab, select the Crop icon and click Crop in the drop-down menu. Drag the crop marks to the desired size. Drag the image to reposition it inside the crop marks.

Cropping a narrow image makes it easy to fit in the collage.

As you add more images to the collage, the corners of each image will become more prominent. Here are a few ways to crop images so that you can arrange them in a more visually appealing style.

Final Touches

After you've been working on a collage for 20 or 30 minutes, it's important to step away and come back to the slide for a fresh look. Look for any blank spots that could be filled by resizing or repositioning the photos, or by adding another image,

While you can add artistic effects and colorful borders to your images, keep in mind that PowerPoint isn't a really a graphic design app. You can usually achieve more complex collages using applications like Photoshop or GIMP.

A quickly-created but relatively complete collage.