Crop a picture or a shape with a picture fill

You can use the enhanced cropping (crop: To trim vertical or horizontal edges of an object. Pictures are often cropped to focus attention on a particular area.) tools to trim and efficiently remove unwanted portions of pictures to get just the look that you want and make your documents pop. To remove the background of a picture, see Remove a picture background. In addition to cropping pictures, now with Office 2010, you can also crop picture fills in a shape.

What do you want to do?


Overview of cropping

Cropping (crop: To trim vertical or horizontal edges of an object. Pictures are often cropped to focus attention on a particular area.) removes or masks areas of a picture that you do not want to be shown by reducing 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.

The cropping feature has been enhanced so that you can now easily crop to a specific shape, crop to fit or fill a shape, or crop to a common picture aspect ratio (aspect ratio: The ratio between picture width and picture height. This ratio can be maintained even when resizing a picture.).

Before and after example of cropping

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Crop a picture

  1. In your file, select the picture that you want to crop.
  2. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, click Crop.

Ribbon Picture Tools Format Tab crop command

Size group on Picture Tools Format tab in PowerPoint

 Note   If you do not see the Picture Tools and Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture. You might have to double-click the picture to select it and open the Format tab.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To crop one side, drag the center cropping handle on that side inward.
    • To crop equally on two sides at the same time, press and hold CTRL while you drag the center cropping handle on either side inward.
    • To crop equally on all four sides at the same time, press and hold CTRL while you drag a corner cropping handle inward.
  2. To position the crop, move either the crop area (by dragging the edges of the crop rectangle), or the picture.
  3. When you are finished, press ESC.

 Notes 

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Crop to a specific shape

A quick way to change the shape of the picture is to crop it to a specific shape. When you crop to a specific shape, the picture is automatically trimmed to fill the geometry of the shape and the proportions of the picture are maintained.

  1. Select the picture or pictures that you want to crop to a specific shape.

If you are cropping multiple pictures, you must crop to the same shape. To crop to different shapes, crop the pictures individually.

  1. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, click the arrow under Crop.

List after click the Crop button

 Note   If you do not see the Picture Tools and Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture. You might have to double-click the picture to select it and open the Format tab.

  1. Click Crop to Shape and then click the shape you want to crop to.

 Tip   If you want the same picture in different shapes, make a copy or copies of the picture, and then crop each picture individually to the shape that you want.

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Crop to a common aspect ratio

You might want to crop the picture to a common photo or aspect ratio (aspect ratio: The ratio between picture width and picture height. This ratio can be maintained even when resizing a picture.) so that it easily fits into a picture frame. This is also a good way to see the proportions of the picture when cropping it.

  1. Select the picture that you want to crop to a common aspect ratio.
  2. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, click the arrow under Crop.

List after click the Crop button

 Note   If you do not see the Picture Tools and Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture. You might have to double-click the picture to select it and open the Format tab.

  1. Point to Aspect Ratio, and then click the ratio that you want.
  2. When you are finished, press ESC.

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Crop to fit or fill a shape

To remove part of the picture, but still fill the shape with as much of the picture as possible, you should choose Fill. When you choose this option, some edges of the picture might not display but the original picture aspect ratio (aspect ratio: The ratio between picture width and picture height. This ratio can be maintained even when resizing a picture.) is maintained. If you want to make all of the picture fit within the shape you should choose Fit. The original picture aspect ratio is maintained.

  1. Select the picture that you want to crop to fit or fill a shape.
  2. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Size group, click the arrow under Crop.

List after click the Crop button

 Note   If you do not see the Picture Tools and Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture. You might have to double-click the picture to select it and open the Format tab.

  1. Click Fill or Fit.
  2. When you are finished, press ESC.

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Delete cropped areas of picture

Even after you crop (crop: To trim vertical or horizontal edges of an object. Pictures are often cropped to focus attention on a particular area.) parts of a picture, the cropped parts remain as part of the picture file. You can reduce the file size by removing the croppings from the picture file. It is also a good idea to do this to help prevent other people from viewing the parts of the picture that you have removed.

 Important   This cannot be undone. Therefore, you should only do this after you are sure that you have made all the crops and changes that you want.

  1. Click the picture or pictures that you want to discard unwanted information from.
  2. Under Picture Tools, on the Format tab, in the Adjust group, click Compress Pictures.

PowerPoint Ribbon Image

 Note   If you do not see the Picture Tools and Format tabs, make sure that you selected a picture. You might have to double-click the picture to select it and open the Format tab.

  1. Under Compression Options, select the Delete cropped areas of pictures check box.

To remove croppings for the selected picture or pictures only and not all of the pictures in the file, select the Apply only to this picture check box.

 Tip   For more information about reducing the file size of the pictures and compressing pictures, see Reduce the file size of a picture.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010