How to Cite a Picture in PowerPoint

Graphics and pictures can make a presentation much more effective. Luckily, the internet is full of excellent images you can use for this purpose, but not all of them are free to use. However, when you decide to insert a licensed image into your presentation, citing its source and its creator is necessary.

How to Cite a Picture in PowerPoint

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

Why Cite an Image?

Just because an image is available online, it doesn’t mean it’s free for use. In fact, the author or copyright holder of a picture can demand their work be taken down if used without permission. According to copyright laws, downloading and using images is illegal unless they are approved for use, and simply providing a link to the source page won’t resolve the issue. That’s why proper citing is important.

APA vs. MLA vs. Chicago Style

There are several styles of citing images. All of them include references and textual citations, but they vary format-wise. Here are citation and reference formats for the most common styles:

APA Style:

The citation provided in the text should contain the author’s last name and the year when the image was published in brackets, i.e., (Author, year).

Reference should include:

  • Author’s last name and first initial, separated by a comma
  • The year of publishing in brackets
  • The title of the image and, in square brackets, its format
  • The name of the website from which the image was taken
  • URL

All the points should be divided by a full stop.

MLA Style:

The citation in the text will only contain the last name of the author in brackets.

Reference should look like this:

  • Author’s last, a comma, and then first name
  • Image title in quotation marks
  • Site name, written in italics, followed by the date of citation (in DD-Month-YYYY format), and the URL, all separated by commas

Chicago Style:

Chicago style might not require a reference entry; a citation within the text might be enough. However, if you need to insert a complete citation, the entry will include:

  • 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 in between

You should separate each point with a full stop.

Now that you understand the different citation styles and how they should look, here’s how you cite a photo on 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 citations will be the same:

  1. Go to the slide that contains the photo you need to cite.
  2. Click on Insert in the menu bar.
  3. In the toolbar below the menu, click on Text Box.
  4. Click and drag under the photo to create a box. You’ll insert the citation in that box.
  5. Double-click inside the box to start writing.
  6. Make the font italic by selecting the I button under Font or pressing 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’ve chosen. Take note that the entire text should be in italics.

How to Cite a Photo in PowerPoint on a Mac

To cite a photo on a Mac, follow this method:

  1. While on the slide that contains the photo, open the Insert menu.
  2. In the menu, click on Text Box.
  3. You’ll see a text box appear. Drag it under the photo. Don’t worry about the box size – you’ll be able to change it once you’ve created the citation.
  4. Double-click the box, and a blinking cursor will appear inside.
  5. Click the I icon located under the font type drop-down menu or press Command + I on the keyboard to make the text italic.
  6. Type Figure 1., then write a description of the photo in one sentence. After that, insert the reference in the style of your choice.

How to Cite a Photo in PowerPoint on an iPhone or iPad

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

  1. Open the PowerPoint app on your phone, enter your presentation, and find the slide with the photo.
  2. From the Home or Insert menu, choose Text Box.
  3. Place the new text box under the photo by tapping and dragging the box.
  4. When the box is in the right position, tap on it again and tap Edit Text in the menu that pops up.
  5. Hit the I icon in the Home menu to activate italic font.
  6. Type Figure 1. in the text box. Then, insert a sentence describing the photo and, after that, the citation reference, following either the APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

How to Cite a Photo in PowerPoint on the Android App

To cite a photo on the Android app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app and the relevant presentation and navigate to the slide with the photo you need to cite.
  2. You’ll 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 will appear in the center of the slide. Tap inside the box to start writing.
  4. A different toolbar will appear on top of the virtual keyboard. Tap the I button on this toolbar to make your text italic.
  5. Start the citation with Figure 1. Follow this with a short photo description, then write the reference using the appropriate citing style.

Use Images in Your Presentations the Right Way

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

Now that you’ve learned how to insert correct citations, you can create an effective and interesting presentation with the help of illustrative photos. All that’s left to do is pick the best possible images, and your presentation will immediately be enriched.

Have you managed to cite photos in PowerPoint successfully? Which citing style did you use? Tell us in the comments section below.

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