How to Use an Image as a Background In PowerPoint

PowerPoint offers a large collection of background images and patterns. You can select from them and insert one in your presentation.

However, if for some reason, you would like to use a different image as a background, you can easily do so. You may use any image you have downloaded in your PC or an image from the Internet.

You must be careful when selecting the image to insert. PowerPoint stretches the image to fill the slide.

Therefore, use an image with a proper aspect ratio to avoid distortions. Also, use an image with a high enough definition, as the details will stand out better.

Let us start.

Step #1: Open a presentation without a background

Click the Design tab on the top menu bar to change the ribbon.

In the section Customize, click on Format Background.

A dialog box for Format Background opens on the right side of the slide.

Step #2: Insert an image

In the Format Background dialog box, click on Picture or texture refill.

The dialog box changes to include more choices for the picture.

Under Picture Source, click on Insert.

PowerPoint offers three choices to select the image.

You may select your image from:

  • From a File — A file on the PC
  • Bing Image Search — Image search on the Internet
  • OneDrive – Personal — A networked drive

Select according to your requirements. If you choose a file on the PC, the file manager will open to allow you to select an image from your collection.

Click on the image you want to insert. PowerPoint inserts the image in your slide as a background.

Step #3: Adjust the quality of the picture

The Format Background dialog box offers many adjustments for your inserted image.

You can:

Adjust the transparency by sliding the bar to the left or right

Offset the picture in the X or Y axis in points.

Scale the picture in the X or Y axis in percentage.

Step #4: Apply to single slide or all slides

At present, the picture appears as a background for only one slide. You may want the image to appear as a background in all the slides in your presentation. Click on Apply to All at the bottom of the Format Background dialog box.

Once the result is satisfactory, close the Format Background dialog box. Click on the X at the top right-hand corner.


Follow our step-by-step instructions to use an image as a background in Powerpoint slides.

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