How to Cite Pictures in PowerPoint

Cover for how to cite pictures in PowerPoint

Whether you like to create PowerPoint presentations from scratch or prefer using PowerPoint templates to design your slides, it’s pretty likely that you will be using a few pictures. Third-party images used in presentations should be duly cited, especially when attribution is mandatory. Citing pictures in PowerPoint requires knowing the licensing information and the format for the referencing format you are using.

How to Cite a Picture in PowerPoint

Identify the License of the Picture

Pictures can have different types of licenses attached to them. The given license is often mentioned on the website or below the picture. Some pictures are in the Public Domain, such as historical pictures of major events and famous people, the rights of which are waived off. In comparison, other licenses might require attribution to the author. The most common are Creative Commons licenses, which might or might not require mandatory attribution to the author.

Insert a Text box to Add Licensing Information

To add a license, you can add a text box below the image via Insert > Text Box.

How to cite a picture in PowerPoint
Learn how to cite in PowerPoint

Group the Image and Citation

You can group the image and citation together so that they can be adjusted when you need to move or resize the image. To group the image and cited text, select both the image and text together and right-click on either of the two slide objects. Select Group > Group to bind them together.

Grouping image and citation in PowerPoint
How to Cite a Picture in PowerPoint

Once grouped together, the image and citation can be resized and moved on the slide together via drag and drop.

Image and citation grouped together in PowerPoint

How to Cite Photos in PowerPoint using Different Referencing Styles

Below is a list of various citation methods you can use when citing images in PowerPoint. Since most images used in PowerPoint presentations are taken online from different websites, we have mentioned the method below to cite such images. For images taken from books, artwork, or maps, see the respective style guide to refer to the citation format.

Harvard Style

To cite an image taken from a webpage using the Harvard Referencing style, you must specify the author or authors, year of publication, title (in italics), publisher’s name, URL, and the date the image was accessed.

Format: Author’s Last name, First initials. (Year), title, image website’s name, viewed date, month, year <URL> Available at: URL. (Accessed: date).

Example: Moore, J 2022, 3D SWOT Analysis PowerPoint Template, image, SlideModel, viewed 11 November 2022, <>.

Harvard reference style for image citation in PowerPoint
How to Cite in PowerPoint using the Harvard Reference Style

MLA Style

MLA is another widely used referencing format, which is often used for citing research. Like other referencing formats, the citation in MLA depends upon where the image was originally viewed. In this case, we will demonstrate how to cite an image from a webpage using MLA style.

MLA Format: Author’s Last name, First name. “title or description of the image.” Website’s Name, Day, Month, Year, URL.

Example: Moore, John. “3D SWOT Analysis PowerPoint Template.” SlideModel, 22 Nov. 2022,

MLA citation referencing style for images in PowerPoint
Cite a Picture in PowerPoint using the MLA Reference Style

APA Style

The American Psychological Association, APA style or APA format is widely used in academic writings such as journals, books, or articles. The citation style uses an author, and year format. Using APA style, you can cite images from web pages by following the example below.

APA Format: Author. (Year). Title of the image [image type]. Website. URL

Example: Moore, J. (2021). 3D SWOT Analysis PowerPoint Template [Clipart]. SlideModel.

APA citation referencing style for images in PowerPoint
Cite a Picture in PowerPoint in APA Style

Chicago Style

When citing an image from an electronic source using the Chicago Style, use the full note when citing the image the first time and the concise note for citing the image after the first time. Moreover, you can use a bibliography to mention the cited sources at the end of your presentation.

Chicago Format: Below is the format for the full note, concise note, and bibliography format using Chicago Style.

Full Note: Author’s First name, Initials of the Last name, the title of the image, Year, URL.

Concise Note: Author’s Last name, the title of the image.

Bibliography: Author Last name, First name, or Initial. Title of the image. Year. URL.

Example: Below is an example of the full note, concise note, and bibliography format using the Chicago Style.

Full Note: John, M, 3D SWOT Analysis PowerPoint Template, 2021,

Concise Note: Moore, 3D SWOT Analysis PowerPoint Template.

Bibliography: Moore, John.  3D SWOT Analysis PowerPoint Template. 2021.

Chicago citation referencing style for images in PowerPoint
Cite a Picture in PowerPoint using the Chicago Style

Closing Thoughts

The use of citations for different types of images and where they are placed in the presentation can differ from one citation style to another. The above list provides a basic overview of how to cite images for each mentioned citation method. However, there might be additional requirements to cite an image. This is why referring to the respective citation style guide when referencing images is recommended. You can also use an online referencing web app to generate citations for your PowerPoint presentations.

Presentation Skills, Presentation Tips
Filed under