How to Cite Images in PowerPoint

Many images fall under copyright laws. You cannot use these images without proper citation or attaining permission from the owner. To add licensed images to your PowerPoint presentation, you must mention where it is from and give credit to the author. Today, I will provide a simple guide on citing your pictures in PowerPoint for all versions.

Note: under Creative Commons copyright laws, some images are free to use on the internet without the requirement of citing the source.

Details to Include in Your Citation

These details should generally be included when providing a citation to a picture in PowerPoint. Note that not every citation style requires all the points in this list.

  • Name of the artist/creator or institution.
  • Title of the image.
  • Date of creation of the image or the nature of work of the picture.
  • Date the photo was posted/published online by the author.
  • The date you accessed the online image.
  • Name of the institution, website, or person that owns the image.

Ways to Place your Citation on a Slide

There are two main ways of presenting your citation in PowerPoint:

Insert Citations Using a Text Box

Text Boxes allow you to add text anywhere on the slide. You can use one to place a citation next to your image.

  1. Select the slide that contains the image you want to cite.

    Slides pane
    Click the slide with the picture.
  2. Go to the ribbon bar at the top of the PowerPoint interface and click Insert.

    Insert tab
    Select Insert to access more PowerPoint tools.
  3. Click Text Box in the “Text” section within the Insert tab.

    PowerPoint Text Box tool
    Click Text Box.
  4. The cursor will change from a pointer to a cross. Click and drag the cursor under or beside the picture you want to cite. A text box will appear on the slide. Double-click inside the text box to display a blinking cursor to start writing your citation.

    PowerPoint Text Box
    Position the cursor where you would want a text box to appear. The Text Box will resize as you type.
  5. Here is an example of how the citation will appear in the Text Box in MLA style.

    PowerPoint Text box example image citing in MLA
    The text is typed inside the Text Box.

Insert Citations Using Footnotes

  1. Type the image number in the Text Box, followed by the picture description and a footnote symbol.

    PowerPoint footnote citation
    Use numerics as the footnote symbol.
  2. Highlight the number, proceed to the Home tab and select the Options icon in the “Font” section.

    PowerPoint Font options icon
    Ensure that the footnote symbol is highlighted.
  3. A dialog box will pop up. Select Superscript, then click OK.

    PowerPoint Font Dialogue box superscript tool
    Footnotes are easily identified with superscript formatting.
  4. Next, go to the Insert tab and click Header & Footer.

    PowerPoint Header Footer tool
    Click Header & Footer to insert a footnote on the slide.
  5. Select the Footer check box and type the footnote symbol followed by the full citation.

    PowerPoint Header and footer dialogue box
    Start the citation with the footnote symbol.
  6. The footnote citation will appear at the bottom of the slide.
    PowePoint Footnote section
    Footnotes appear at the bottom of the slide.

    Here is an example of a footnote in APA format:

    PowerPoint footnote citing example in apa
    The footnote symbol should appear as a superscript.

Citation Formats

There are different citation formats to use when citing images in PowerPoint. We will look at three popular citation formats for this article.

Citing in APA Style

  1. APA recommends that pictures be identified as “Figure 1″ with ascending numbers for images coming after.PowerPoint Italics toolItalicize the word “Figure 1” and the website name.
  2. Image title: Type a short description of your picture. For example, the image’s title can be “A walk on the beach.”

    PowerPoint Citing Picture Description
    Type a title for the picture to describe it better.
  3. After the description, enter the following text: Adapted from “Website title.” If you cannot find the title of the source website, replace it with the picture’s field of work. For example, the image I have used in the presentation would be “Physical health.”
  4. After the website title, type “the creator’s name, the year of publication, and the website URL.” If the date is not included, type “n.d” to represent the words no date.
  5. Add the Licensing information at the end of the citation if the picture’s owner has allowed you to use the image. If not, end the citation with the Url.

Here is an example of what the complete APA citation should look like: 

PowerPoint Cite image in APA
If you did not download the picture from the internet, or there is no direct web address link to it, replace the URL with the location of the source.

Citing in MLA Style

  • MLA requires you to assign numbers to pictures. Type “Figure 1.” before the citation.
  • Creator’s name: Type the author’s last name, separated by a comma, and lastly, the first name. If it is a company, type the full name.
  • Image title: Type the image title in quotation marks.
  • Website title: Italicize the website title
  • Date of publication: Enter the date of publication of the image in the format: DD/MM/YYYY
  • URL: Copy and paste the source URL.
  • Date of access: Indicate your date of retrieving the picture. E.g., Accessed 20 Dec. 2021.

Here is an example of what an MLA citation should look like:

PowerPoint Cite image in mla formart
The citation should be beside the picture.

Citing in Chicago style

  • Creator’s name: Write the last and first name of the author separated by a comma.
  • Date of publication: Enter the date of publication of the image in the format: MM/DD/YYYY.
  • Image Title: Type the title of the picture in italics. Chicago requires that the word “[Photograph]” is typed after the image title.
  • Website title: Italicize the website title.
  • Location: If the source is a museum, Include the physical location.
  • URL: Copy and Paste the source URL.

Here is an example of what a Chicago style citation should look like:

PowerPoint Cite image in Chicago style
Always indicate the image number just in case you have other images to cite in the presentation.

Note: Regardless of the citation method, remember to include a bibliography of works cited at the end of your presentation.

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