We can take photos already in our presentation and crop them, that is cutting out the parts that we don't want. PowerPoint has always given us this basic feature, but it's been enhanced in 2010 in two ways. We now have an easier time selecting the area we want to crop, and we can now crop an image into a specific shape, such as a circle or an arrow. In our presentation, we want to enhance the Slide Master to add a graphic along the bottom, just a strip that enhances the look of the slides. I am going to switch over to Master View. As a shortcut I'll hold down Shift while clicking on the icon. Rather than taking me to Normal View, holding down Shift brings me to the Master Slide View instead.
Go to our very first slide, and here I am going to insert one of our graphics. We'll choose Background 1. Click Insert. There it is. Now obviously this graphic is way too large for us to use, so we'll do a little bit of cropping. With the picture selected, under Picture Tools > Format tab on the far right, I have Crop. This part works as the same as it has in previous versions. I click the Crop tool, and then I can use the handles to resize the image. You can see its effect on the left, on the thumbnails, as well as right here. Notice that, however, that PowerPoint 2010 shows you what the original picture used to look like grayed out.
However, in PowerPoint 2010, we can now take our cropped region and move the picture around, being able to capture a different section using that same width of space. This is extremely helpful when you don't know exactly what part you want to capture yet, for example someone's face or a different product, but you know the shape or the size of the region that you need. We simply grab the photo, drag it around and when we let go, that becomes the new area. When I'm done with this, I simply click away, and now I can grab the object and move it, dragging it, dropping it exactly where I want it to be.
But PowerPoint 2010 also allows us to crop this image into a shape. Again, with the image selected, under Picture Tools > Format I'll pull down the Crop menu. Under Crop, you'll see Crop to Shape, with a variety of shapes that we are probably already familiar with. Since the top of my template already has a wave going on, I am going to go ahead down to the bottom and choose this shape, called Wave. Now you'll see that our picture has been cropped to the shape of a wave, and since I want this to be a little bit larger to fill the entire bottom of the screen, I am going to go ahead and drag down, make this a little bit larger and then right-click, Send it to Back.
To add one more finishing touch, I'll add a little bit of shadow to this, and I am finished. If you look at this now as a fullscreen presentation, you can see the end result. Remember that photographs can add a lot of impact to your presentation. Professionally-taken images like this one are great for fullscreen backgrounds and side panels, to give a little color and flair to your slides. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and positions until you find something that you really love.
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