How to Convert a JPG file into A Powerpoint Template

If you are looking for an opportunity to close a deal or wow your colleagues at work, a Powerpoint presentation is a great approach. By customizing a unique and original presentation, you can increase your chances toward getting a yes on your pitch or winning over a new client. One practical way that professionals can achieve this is by sourcing their own JPG image and converting it into a powerpoint template.

There are many ways to accomplish this, the easiest being by simply right clicking “Format Background” (as shown in the screenshot) on any slide under Normal View and inserting the JPG image that you want as your background.


The TLDR Method

If you need a quick answer, this serves as a straightforward approach to creating a template, but will require you to format and insert your background image into each slide. With the Slide Master approach, however, you save yourself some time by customizing a Powerpoint template just one time and having it accessible for you to use as you build your Powerpoint project. The following guide has more steps involved but, for the sake of preparing templates that you can access later, is useful for occupations that require frequent Powerpoint use. Here’s how you can use the Slide Master method:

1. You start first with selecting the image that you’d like to use. You should use images with a Creative Commons license that permits use of photos for commercial and noncommercial purposes. The license must permit alterations, which includes any adjustments made when using as a template. Filtering through Creative Commons licenses can be a cumbersome process, which is why most professionals will either use company stock images already guaranteed for reuse or simply take the needed photos themselves. There are also some online resources such as Unsplash that provide high quality images that are free to use and alter.

2. After you’ve sourced your image, open up Powerpoint and start a new presentation. Determine the size of your layout by going to “Slide Size” located under the “Design” tab. This step is important because you need to select the proper aspect ratio that fits best with the JPG image that you will be using. Select the standard 4:3 for a traditional powerpoint view or, if you want your presentation to have a widescreen style, you can go with the 16:9 sizing.  

3. Next, you look under the “View” tab on the top menu and select the Slide Master option. The “Master” layout will appear, as well as other slides with different formatting. Here is when you determine which format you want to use for your slides (in case you want different formats for the cover, title and inner slides). If you’re a novice at the Slide Master Slide, note that any adjustments made to the very first slide of the Master layout will alter everything else in the presentation, while edits made to other slides will change solely the slides with that format.

4. A prompt will appear displaying different options including one for “Picture or Texture Fill.” Make sure that option is selected before clicking “Insert” under “Picture Source” and selecting the JPG image that you want as your background. Your photo will appear as the background for your slide and ideally, it’ll be one that displays well against the text on the slides. The most recent version of Powerpoint will have a Transparency function that you can adjust so that your text will stand out against the background.

5. Once you have achieved the feat of converting your JPG image into a Powerpoint template, you can go ahead and exit out of “Master View,” back into “Normal” view and go on with building your presentation. Since you’ve already selected your formatting in the Master View, any new slide that you add will have the JPG background already equipped. 

Note that there are some versions of Microsoft Powerpoint that may require extra steps to achieve a customized background (the version utilized here is from Powerpoint Version 16.41 on a Mac computer). Nonetheless, the process is essentially the same in that each method involves formatting the background of your selected slides. Additionally, if you have Powerpoint 10 or an older version of Powerpoint that does not support this option for Transparency, there are other methods to accomplish this. 

One method (displayed in the screenshot below) involves selecting the square shape element located under the Insert tab. From here, you select white as the color (it will automatically default to blue). You would then find the “Format Shape” option after right-clicking on the square element. In the same way that you adjusted the transparency levels in the Slide Master version, you can adjust it for the rectangular element. Once you’re satisfied with its transparency, you can then click on the corners of the rectangle and stretch the corners just enough so that it covers your powerpoint slide. Once you have stretched the rectangle element enough so that it envelops the entire slide, you can adjust the whiteness or “transparency” so that the text behind it, as well as the image, can display clearly.  

An alternative to the Slide Master approach: using shape elements 

This approach using the Slide Master feature or the Shapes feature is convenient for those needing to create an original presentation but who may not feel confident in their graphic design skills. In an especially competitive market and workplace, it’s knowing these powerpoint tips and shortcuts that can really take you far in your project goals. Now that you’re educated on creating a JPG powerpoint template, you’re ready to build your Powerpoint and sell your point.