Every day I see someone asking in my Facebook Groups about how to get images for their blog posts. The responses are typically to use PicMonkey, Canva, Adobe Photoshop, or the like. I’ll be honest and say I have tried all of the above at one point. But I find that using a program I already have works best … and there’s no cost!
(yes, this image was made with PowerPoint!)
Almost from the beginning of this blog, all images were made with PowerPoint. I did make one in PicMonkey, and one using Canva, but went back to PowerPoint and haven’t looked back! I created my templates and it now takes me all of 2 minutes to create my Pinterest images and my Featured Image for my blog list.
Here’s why I love PowerPoint….
- It’s free (well, not really… but I’ve already absorbed the cost since I bought it in the past and I use the whole Office suite every day)
- Changing the size/orientation of the slides is super easy, so template creation is a breeze
- You can build the image at 200% to ensure the details are perfect
- Tons of fonts, shapes, colors to fully brand your images
- Image editing built right in! (brightness/colors/trimming)
- Converting a slide to a JPG or PNG file is simplicity itself
So, how do you make an image in PowerPoint??
I’m glad you asked!
For this tutorial, I’m going to show you how I created my Pinterest Board Covers. Since every blog theme is different, sharing my templates that work for my site may or may not help you. But Pinterest’s board covers are the same size for everyone! So I’m giving you my template so you can follow along with the tutorial if you’d like.
Choose your background image
The first step is to choose which image you want as your background. Since my blog colors are black and white, with a splash of red, I found a stock photo that was black and white and used red letters to complete the branding. You’ll want to find something that goes with your blog branding, in order to maintain consistency. Add your image to the blank slide:
- Click “Insert” on the menu
- Click “Pictures”
- A window will pop-up allowing you to browse to find the image
- Locate your image and click “Insert”
Now we have to be creative! Your image isn’t likely to be a perfect square, fitting on this slide in just the right way. So we’ll have to play with it to get it to look just right. Here’s some tips:
- Increase the size of the image so that it covers the whole slide. Drag the image around the slide until the parts you want to show are on the slide itself.
- Make the image smaller and put a frame on it:
- With your picture selected, the “Format” Picture menu should be displayed
- Scroll through the frames shown and choose one that you like.
- Make sure there’s room to add your Board Title to the image
Edit your background image
Sometimes the image is fine the way it was created (mine was, so that part was easy). But sometimes you need to remove part of the background or soften it a bit so that it’s not so bold. Here’s a few ways you can edit your image right in PowerPoint to get the best results:
- If you have a background that you want to remove, click on “Remove Background” in the Format Picture menu.
- The program will show in color the part it will keep, and show the part to remove in purple
- You can change the size of the box to change the parts to keep and parts to remove
- Experiment a bit with it; I’ve found that while it’s not perfectly perfect, it does a heck of a good job!
- If you want to soften the picture, there are two ways you can do it:
- In the Format Picture menu, choose “Corrections”
- Choose the combination of Sharpness/Soften that works
- You can also choose a Brightness/Contrast combo
- Add a “filter”
- Choose “Insert”, “Shape”, and choose the rectangle
- Draw a rectangle that covers your image
- Under the Format menu, choose “Shape Fill” and “More Colors”
- Choose a gray and increase the transparency to about 70% or so.
- Play around with the transparency until you get the look you want
- In the Format Picture menu, choose “Corrections”
Add your text
The final step in creating the image is to add the title of your board. Be sure to use a font that matches your site, and blends nicely. I also added my URL and my penguin logo to the board for additional branding.
Saving the image
Now it’s time to actually save this image in a format we can use on Pinterest.
- Click “File”, “Save As”
- Locate the folder you’d like to save the image into
- Create the name for the file
- IMPORTANT: before choosing “Save”, use the dropdown just below the filename called “Save as type”
- Choose either JPG or PNG depending on your preferences
- Click Save
- PowerPoint will ask which slides you want to export, All Slides? or Just This One. Choose Just This One if you want to individually create your images. I created all mine in one fell swoop and so did All Slides so I had all the images created. Each one was a separate image (named Slide1, Slide2, etc.)
Adding the Image to Pinterest
So now we have our images, it’s time to add them to Pinterest to use on our boards. Here’s what to do:
- Login to Pinterest
- Click the red + sign on the upper right
- Choose “Upload Image”
- Click “Upload Image” and a dialog box will pop up allowing you to navigate to where you saved your image
- Choose the image
- Put your blog URL as the Destination URL. You could do a category archive, or an individual post if you’d like as well
- Click Continue
- Choose the board you want to add the cover to
- Now, navigate to that board and click “Edit”
- In the “Cover” section, click “Change”
- Your new cover should be the first image; if not, scroll through until you find it.
- Click “Save Changes”
Congratulations, you’ve added a board cover to Pinterest that you made yourself using PowerPoint. Good job!
BONUS TIP: You can use PowerPoint for all sorts of image templates. Just go to “Design” and “Slide Size” (all the way on the far right of the ribbon). Choose your length and width and get creating! One caveat: PowerPoint doesn’t use pixels, it uses inches, so I go to http://auctionrepair.com/pixels.html or http://www.translatorscafe.com/unit-converter/en/typography/9-8/ to determine the right size. The first size you try may not be exactly right, but you can tweak it until it’s perfect! And then use and reuse!
Did you try this? Let me know in the comments how it went!