Where to find images for PowerPoint presentations
Now I ask you: where do you find the images for PowerPoint presentations?
If the answer is the title of the next paragraph, do not worry, you are not alone!
Google Images (Free)
Simple, affordable for everyone and now really popular, not just for presentations
Despite its simplicity, Google Images is the tool that often leads to the errors mentioned at the beginning of the article.
The typical dynamics of image research include:
- Write a keyword that identifies the image I’m looking for;
- Browse the search results page until I find exactly the image I’m looking for;
- Copy it in PowerPoint and find that it has a nice watermark or has very low resolution;
- Get back to Google Images looking for the same image without the watermark but I can’t find it. The search time lengthen;
- Could not find the image I wanted and in the end I gave up using the watermark because I am not willing to buy it or I don’t know how to do it even.
Where did I go wrong?
Do not get carried away by a hasty choice in the combination of results that Google Images returns after the first search, we must limit the field of action.
Can you use Google images filters?
Clicking on “Tools” opens a menu of very useful tools to filter the search results.
Have you found them?
Proceed with order.
The first filter to configure refers to the size of the images, which you will have to set to “Large” to filter only the large images and, therefore, will not be hidden once they are important in the presentation.
The “Color” menu allows you to find images of a specific color, but, in my opinion, the most interesting feature is “Transparent”, which allows you to find the so-called no background images.
What are the no background images?
They are images that have a transparent background layer and, therefore, can be used in presentations without the annoying white box that always accompanies many of the presentations that are seen.
In PowerPoint there are at least 3 techniques to crop images, but I always avoid doing it because the result is really of poor quality.
At the moment, the only tool to remove the background in a professional way is still Photoshop, but in this blog I would like to share all the techniques that can radically improve the appearance of your presentations with PowerPoint.
As you know, not all images are usable and that is why you can filter by “Rights of use“.
You have several possible filters and I know very well that you will probably never use them, but at least you should know that they exist and you are careful with the use you make of the images when they are under copyright.
Another interesting menu is “Type“, which has an option that allows you to filter to find animated images: GIF.
The “Time” menu allows you to filter more recent images. If, for example, you are working on a project that refers to recent events.
Finally, the “More tools” menu allows you to display the dimensions of the images in the search results. This is very useful when you want to make sure you work with excellent images.
See the dimensions at the bottom of each image? These are all excellent images and, in fact, we have the “Large” filter active.
Imagine that you have applied the appropriate filters and identified that the image you want to bring to PowerPoint is as follows:
How do you quickly bring it to PowerPoint?
First you must be careful because this is not the image you are looking for, but only the preview of the image.
In fact, if you click on the right button of the image, you will have the possibility to open the source link to the true image.
This is the page that contains the original image.
How do we quickly take it to PowerPoint?
If you know me and have read the Lean Presentation Design guide, you know how much I like keyboard tricks.
In this case, do this:
1. Slide the image with the mouse to hold it (therefore, I will drag it but I will not release it)
2. Change the window quickly with the keyboard combination ALT + TAB and open PowerPoint while keeping the image dragged with the left button pressed.
3. Release the left mouse button and save the image in PowerPoint.
When importing images with this technique, you can reach speeds such as downloading a good amount of images in a few seconds and transfer them from the browser to PowerPoint. However, this technique requires a recent version of PowerPoint.
I suggest you try it in your PowerPoint, if it does not work keep reading that I will propose another alternative (it is probably because you have an old version of PowerPoint).
Instead of dragging, you can simply copy and paste the image from the browser to PowerPoint.
To paste it into PowerPoint, simply use the combination CTRL + V (= paste).
In summary, both methods are fine. Try to avoid the step of having to save images on the desktop and then import them into PowerPoint.
You already know how much I care about the efficiency in the process of creating a PowerPoint presentation. Therefore, avoid filling unnecessary space on your desk and taking additional steps that do not add value.
Google Images is definitely the most used tool to find images, but there are free portals where you will find images of superior quality and without copyrights.
Don’t you believe it? Continue the reading!
One of my favorite portals and certainly the first in which I look for images when I make a presentation.
Pixabay now contains 1.5 million free high-definition photos when writing this article.
As you can see, it does not only stops in the photos, but also allows you to download illustrations, vector graphics and even footage for your videos.
Pixabay is very simple to use, just type the keyword about your search and press enter.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of photos sponsored by shutterstock conveniently located in the first row, otherwise you will be automatically redirected to the shutterstock page of photo purchase.
Select the photo that best suits your presentation.
Click on the “Free download” button and select a high enough resolution, that default proposal goes well.
Did you notice that the photo I just downloaded ended up in the bottom bar of my browser and is ready to be dragged into PowerPoint?
If this does not happen to you, it’s probably because you’re not using Google Chrome as a browser.
When working with presentations, Google Chrome is undoubtedly a great tool that accelerates you enormously when you download assets that you can insert quickly in PowerPoint.
In fact, from here you can use the same technique as before: drag, change window and then drop in PowerPoint, let’s see it.
Step to PowerPoint changing the window with the combination ALT + TAB and dropping the image on the slide.
Pixabay is a portal very rich in photos, but many of the photos are traditional, conventional and that is why I want to present you my second favorite portal in the next paragraph.
I like to spend time in my designers’ cubicle while they work, it’s amazing how much you can learn by simply watching someone else work.
One day, I see one of the girls on the team, who while drawing a presentation, accessed this site called Unsplash, which I had never heard before.
Immediately I noticed the quality of the image, I let her finishing the slide and then I asked her why she decided to use Unsplash and she replied: “because unlike other sites, this collects photos taken from an unconventional point of view“.
Does not this answer leaves you a little perplexed?
So I tried to work on it and I have to admit that I understood what it meant. In fact, the photos of Unsplash have a slightly more artistic style, a little more particular than Pixabay.
They are not substitutes, but they absolutely enrich your choice.
For this reason, since then, it is part of my presentation toolbox and that is why I now share it with you.
Unsplash is more exclusive than Pixabay and, in fact, makes you see fewer photos arranged in a more particular way.
Once you have selected the image that suits your presentation, simply click on it and the download window will open.
Envato Elements (Not free)
Envato is one of the richest and most powerful graphic repositories available online.
My team and I have subscribed to Envato due to the amount of material available.
For those who work a lot with the presentations, at the proposed prices, it’s worth all the time saved to look for resources that are already available and selected for you in one place.
Are you wondering what this fantastic repository contains?
Let’s see it together immediately.
When you click on the menu next to the search bar, a window opens allowing you to appreciate everything that this market contains.
Of all this, the resources that I use frequently in my presentations are:
Vector material, as very useful icons to work with infographic style in presentations.
I really do not use them. I think it’s right that you know that this opportunity exists, but personally I prefer to develop my own designs according to the content I try to convey.
If you are a beginner, they could certainly be a useful source of inspiration.
Note that you have the ability to filter according to your presentation software: PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides.
For me there are no doubts, so filter on PowerPoint.
You already know how to use the PowerPoint fonts (if you do not know it means you have not read the chapter of Lean Presentation Design book about typography).
What I find interesting is the significant amount of available filters, with a special mention to Serif vs Sans Serif (Why should you always use a Sans Serif font in presentations?).
It is impressive the amount of high quality resources that Envato Elements makes available to you, right?
To remain in topic with the article we select the photos.
From the first look at the results, you immediately notice the exceptional quality of the available photos.
In the search for the keyword “puppy”, the portal sent me 9371 results that are far superior to all the other portals we visited. In summary, it is true that you pay for something, but there are many more options (see Envato Elements subscriptions).
Envato also offers a rich palette of filters that are characterized by precision. In fact, they work very well and are very fast.
My favorite filter, however, is “Isolated”, which only sends photos with a transparent background.
Envato is a complete market that goes far beyond photos, for example, you can find all the useful for composing infographics in PowerPoint, now in vector graphics (learn everything about PowerPoint icons for presentations).
Given the quantity and quality of the materials provided, I am convinced to sign the subscription and I must say that I am very satisfied.
After all, it’s $ 16.50 a month!
I’ll let you explore some of the assets available on Envato through the following link: click to explore PowerPoint assets on Envato.
Search and insert images from PowerPoint directly
in a visual rich presentation looking for images is a process that might require a lot of time.
Think about it for a second: you need to go over multiple websites until you find the image that exactly meets your needs, you need to download and finally insert it into PowerPoint.
What if there were a one click method to just look and insert the images in PowerPoint?
I’ve been wondering the same for quite a long time, until I’ve finally found a solution that allowed me to do so. Today I make it available to everybody in the MLC PowerPoint Addin.
Let me show you how it works:
Under the MLC Assets button you’ll find a sidebar through which you’ll get to search between 1.5 million free from copyrights images (refer to Pixabay policy for further details).
If, for example, you looked for images about animals, you’ll instantly get tens of images in high definition ready to use.
How to insert them into PowerPoint?
You just need to click on the image you want and it will be imported on your slide.
This is one of the functionalities of the MLC PowerPoint Addin, I’ll let you explore them. Now I want to tell you more about the cut options in PowerPoint.