When PowerPoint was first introduced in the late 1980s, clip art was helpful in breaking up text heavy slides, or adding color to a presentation. But it's our opinion that we've outgrown clipart. Today's presentation visuals command more sophisticated images. There are many resources for free or low-cost photos; we'll share some of those at the end of this article.
Clip art served its purpose, but it's time to move on. One of the downfalls of using clip art in a presentation is that people tend to use many different styles of art all in the same presentation
It's kind of like using lots of different fonts in the same presentation, a design no-no! If you absolutely have to use clip art, make sure throughout your entire presentation you use clip art that has the same design style.
Now we're going to share with you some slides using clip art and then the same slides using photos. What do you think looks more tasteful?
Its true that using photos in place of clip art for your visuals can make your file size larger. We’ll address the file size issue in our next newsletter. In the meantime, there are a couple of things you can do to help:
- Be sure the image you insert onto a slide is the size you want it to be. In other words, if you have room on your slide for an image that is 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall, don't insert an image that is 8 by 12 and then resize it in PowerPoint. Bring it in at the right size. This will affect your final PowerPoint file size.
- Make sure the resolution of the photo is correct for PowerPoint. Your image doesn't need to be higher resolution than 96 dpi. You can use a program like Microsoft's Photo Editor or Adobe Photoshop to resize and adjust the resolution of your photos before inserting them onto a slide.
With access to the many free or low cost photos on the web, there’s really no reason not to use photos in place of clip art in your presentation. (A word of caution here, don’t just go out on the web and copy images for use in your presentation. You could be violating copyright laws.) Go to sources like those listed below and graduate from clip art to professional, sophisticated images!
(Make sure when you do a search at this site, that you choose Photos as the media type so you aren't tempted to use all the "cute" clipart that comes up in your search results!)