How to Cite a Picture in PowerPoint

Pictures and graphics can make a presentation much more effective. Fortunately, the internet is full of excellent images that you can use for this purpose, but not all of them are free to use. However, when you decide to include a licensed image in your presentation, you must cite its source and creator.

In this article, you’ll discover why citing images in your presentations is important and how to do it properly.

Why quote an image?

Just because an image is available online doesn’t mean it’s free to use. In fact, the author or copyright holder of a photo can demand that their work be removed if it is used without permission. Under copyright laws, downloading and using images is illegal unless they are approved for use. And just providing a link to the source page doesn’t solve the problem. That is why correct citation is important.

APA vs MLA vs Chicago Style

There are different styles of quoting images. They all contain references and textual quotes, but they differ in format. Here are citation and reference formats for the most common styles:

APA style:

The in-text citation must include the author’s last name and the year the image was published in parentheses, ie (Author, year).

Reference must contain:

  • Last name and initial of the author, separated by a comma;
  • The year of release in parentheses;
  • The title of the image and, in square brackets, its size;
  • The name of the website from which the image was taken;
  • URL.

All points must be divided by a point.

MLA style:

The in-text citation only includes the author’s last name in parentheses.

Reference should look like this:

  • The author’s last name, a comma and then the first name;
  • Image title in quotes;
  • Site name, written in italicsfollowed by the date of citation (in DD-Month-YYYY format), and the URL, all separated by commas.

Chicago style:

Chicago style may not require reference input – an in-text citation may suffice. However, if you need to insert a full quote, the entry will contain:

  • Last and first name of the author, interrupted by a comma;
  • The title of the image in italics;
  • Date in month DD, YYYY format;
  • Image format;
  • Site name and URL, with a comma between them.

You must separate each point with a period.

Now that you understand the different citation styles and what they should look like, here’s how to cite a photo across different devices.

How to cite a photo in PowerPoint on a Windows PC

On a Windows PC, you can use the desktop or online PowerPoint version. The method for inserting quotes is the same:

  1. Go to the slide with the photo you need to quote.
  2. click on Insert in the menu bar.
  3. Click in the toolbar below the menu on Text box.
  4. Click and drag below the photo to create a frame. You put the quote in that box.
  5. Double click in the box to start writing.
  6. Make the font italic by selecting the l button below Font style or on . to press Ctrl+I on your keyboard.
  7. Type “Figure 1.”, followed by a short sentence describing the photo. Finally, type in the reference text according to the style you have chosen. Note that the entire text must be in italics.

Cite a photo in PowerPoint on a Mac

Follow this method to quote a photo on a Mac:

  1. On the slide with the photo, open the Insert menu.
  2. Click in the menu on Text box.
  3. You will see a text box appear. Drag it under the photo. Don’t worry about the size of the box – you can change it once you’ve made the citation.
  4. Double click on the box and a blinking cursor will appear inside.
  5. Click on the l icon under the font drop-down menu or press Command + I on the keyboard to make the text italic.
  6. Type “Figure 1.”and then write a description of the photo in one sentence. Then insert the reference in the style of your choice.

Cite a photo in PowerPoint on an iPhone or iPad

You can quote a photo in PowerPoint on your iPhone using the same method that applies to iPad:

  1. Open the PowerPoint app on your phone, enter your presentation, and find the slide with the photo.
  2. Of the House or Insert menu, choose Text box.
  3. Place the new text box below the photo by tapping and dragging the box.
  4. When the box is in the correct position, tap it again and tap Edit text in the menu that appears.
  5. Press on the l icon in the House menu to activate italic font.
  6. Type “Figure 1.” in the text box. Then insert a sentence describing the photo and then the citation reference, following the APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

Cite a photo in PowerPoint in the Android app

Follow these steps to quote a photo in the Android app:

  1. Open the app and its presentation and navigate to the slide with the photo you need to quote.
  2. You will see a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Find and tap the Text box icon, the letter A in a rectangle.
  3. The text box appears in the center of the slide. Tap the box to start writing.
  4. Another toolbar appears on top of the virtual keyboard. Press l button on this toolbar to italicize your text.
  5. Start the quote with “Figure 1.” Follow this with a brief photo description, then write the reference in the appropriate citation style.

Use images in your presentations correctly

Citing photos in your PowerPoint presentations doesn’t require a lot of extra work, but it makes the presentation much more ethical and professional. In addition, you can avoid any copyright issues if you properly cite the photos you use.

Now that you’ve learned how to insert the right quotes, use illustrative photos to create an effective and interesting presentation. All you have to do is choose the best possible images and your presentation will be immediately enriched.

Did you manage to quote photos in PowerPoint successfully? What citation style did you use? Tell us in the comments below.

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