I was working on a client’s presentation and she used content placeholders for all of her pictures. She would click the Picture icon in the content placeholder to insert the image. Then she would resize and move the placeholder to get the result she wanted because the placeholder was never the right size.
But whenever I reset the layout, PowerPoint would do weird things with the image, resizing it or moving it. I talk about resetting a slide’s layout in this post, “Resetting a slide: A quick fix for awful slides.”
Part of the reason for the constant resizing has to do with how PowerPoint handles images in content placeholders. Fellow PowerPoint MVP, Echo Swinford, explains this masterfully in her post, “Picture placeholders vs. content placeholders.”
So when I need to create a slide that is unique and ensure that the image won’t be cropped and will be the size I want, I just don’t use a placeholder at all. For most slides with a large image, I use the Title Only layout. I type the title and choose Insert tab, Pictures to insert the picture I need. For example, this slide uses the Title Only layout. Here I’ve resized the title placeholder so that the title doesn’t overlap the image.
After I insert the image, I’ll crop it, resize it, and move it. I don’t have to worry about placeholder rules.
… unless you need consistency of size and placement
However, if you need images to be in the same place on each slide and you want them a consistent size, you might consider using placeholders, especially in a custom layout. For instructions, see my post, “Create a custom layout.”
An example would be a company product catalog that sales reps use. You would want the images on each slide to be treated similarly, and a placeholder would help. Read Echo’s post carefully to help you choose the right type of placeholder for your needs.
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