Image masking is a graphic-design process that hides (and reveals) some portions of an image. It is a non-destructive process of image editing, allowing you to adjust and tweak what elements are hidden or displayed, and what kind of shape or mask is used to create this effect. There are a few methods for masking images in PowerPoint, so let’s explore the steps you need to take for each.

Image Masking with Shapes

The essence of this method is drawing a shape (container) for our photo. To do this, click the Insert tab and select which Shape you’d like to use.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint If you’d prefer to use a non-standard shape, you can easily insert an approximate shape that you prefer (e.g., rectangle) and then click Shape Format > Edit Points. This will allow you to click and drag any corner of the shape to alter its shape.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint If you right click along the contour of your shape, you’ll get additional control point capabilities, such as adding new points, deleting segments, opening and closing paths, and straightening or curving segments. Using these features will allow you to create any custom shape to suit your image masking needs. You can even use several objects, merge and group them to build a unique shape for your mask.

Once your photo mask is ready, insert an image into by clicking your shape followed by the Shape Format tab > Shape Fill > Picture.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint Now your future photo mask is ready; and you can insert a photo into it. To do this, select the shape and use command Shape Fill > Texture > More textures…

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint On the right side, click Format Picture > Picture or texture fill and add the photo into the shape. Below, you can independently explore the various photo display settings for your mask.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint However, this quick and simple method makes it difficult to adjust your photo to ensure its display properly. Even if you achieve the optimal view, some portions or parts of the image may be lost. Let’s test another method.

Mask and Crop to Shape

First add the image you would like to crop and select it. Click the Format tab and, at the very right, you’ll find the Crop tool. Select the arrow below, to open the dropdown menu and select Crop to Shape.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint Select the shape you wish to crop your image into (in this instance we’ve used an oval). You can also adjust its size and dimensions before applying the masking effect.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint If you want to change the aspect ratio or the zoom of your picture, select it once more and go to the Format tab again and select the Crop function directly.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint Now you can adjust the image as you please. Additional effects can be added, like frames, reflections, shadows, or glow effects. You can also choose between Picture Border or Picture Effects to further customise your image.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint

Other forms are also possible – Simply select a suitable one in Crop to shape! If you’ve created a unique shape for your PowerPoint presentation and you want your picture to have this shape, you must first insert a picture.

Next, insert any shape. You can either use PowerPoint’s pictograms (these can be found in the Insert tab in the Illustrations group) or you can use any SVG. Place this over your picture and now you have to mark the picture as well as the shape and click on convert to shape.

Next, go to the Shape Format tab. Click on Merge Shapes and choose Intersect. Your image is now cropped to your custom shape.

masking, Masking Images in PowerPoint

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