Have you ever wanted to add a frame to a picture you inserted on a PowerPoint slide? It's actually not obvious, but you can create nice frames using PowerPoint's built-in tools. If you need more than PowerPoint's tools can provide, you also can always get some content outside PowerPoint. In this article, I show you how you can use both of these techniques to create attractive picture frames for your slides.
Using PowerPoint's Patterned Lines
You can use PowerPoint's Patterned Lines feature to create thick, geometric frames as shown in Figure 1.
Follow these steps to create picture frames with patterned lines:
- To start, you need to insert a picture on your slide. To add a picture, choose Insert | Picture | From File and select any picture you want from your hard disk.
- Now that the picture is on your slide, click to select it and choose Format | Picture to open the Format Picture dialog box, as shown in Figure 2.
- In the Line section, click the arrow next to Color to open a drop-down menu.
Choose the Patterned Lines option to open the Patterned Lines dialog box that
you can see in Figure 3.
- Choose any of the patterns along with the two colors that will make up the
pattern. These two colors are called the Foreground and Background colors
and can be selected from the drop down menus next to their names on the dialog
box in Figure 3. Try to choose contrasting colors so the patterns stand out.
Click OK when you are done to get back to the Format Picture dialog box shown
in Figure 2.
- Change the weight of your line to around 15 pt. Any size thinner than 15
pt will not really show your patterned lines (picture frame) well. However,
feel free to experiment with the line thickness settings. When you're finished,
click OK to exit the dialog box.
- Now you have a frame around your picture.
Getting Frames from Outside PowerPoint
To create other frames outside of PowerPoint, in general you need to create a frame in an image editor like Adobe Photoshop and then insert it over your picture. Essentially, you lay one picture on top of the other to create the frame.
Explaining how to create a frame in image editing software is outside of the scope of this article, but you can find many free frames and border artwork on the Web or in various clip art libraries. To make things a little simpler, I've provided some free frames from my site at:
Once you have downloaded the free frames, unzip the files. All the frame files are in PNG format. Now, you can proceed with the rest of the steps to add the frame to PowerPoint.
- First insert a picture on your slide by choosing Insert | Picture | From File and selecting a picture from your hard disk.
- Resize your picture as required.
- Next choose Insert | Picture | From File again and this time insert one of the PNG frames you downloaded. As you can see in Figure 4, the middle parts of the PNG frame is transparent. All you need to do is place the frame over your picture and resize it to the size of your picture.
And once again, you have a frame around your picture!