How to Cite Images in Microsoft PowerPoint (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 20, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When creating a PowerPoint presentation, using images can help make it more engaging. If you include images for which you don't own the rights, it's important to cite their ownership. Learning how to cite images in PowerPoint can help you create professional presentations while avoiding unwanted copyright claims. In this article, we discuss how to cite the images you use in PowerPoint, when to cite them, the different citation styles, and how to draft citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago formats.

How to cite images in PowerPoint

When citing any images used in your PowerPoint presentation, follow these steps:

1. Collect relevant information

Start by collecting information about the images you wish to cite. Depending on your citation style, you can collect the image number, location you accessed it, and a brief one to two sentence description of the image. You can include this information in the citation to prevent a copyright claim.

When choosing which images you wish to use in your presentation, ensure the source of the images is original. Avoid using websites that have reposted other artists' work. In the event the image you want to use is on one of these websites, follow their citations back to the original source. This can help you avoid lengthy chains of citations.

2. Choose your citation style

After collecting the relevant information on the images you plan to use, you can choose a citation style to use throughout your presentation. The layout, information, and style of your citation may vary depending on whether you choose the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago citation style. While each citation style is unique and suited for different situations, be sure to maintain one style throughout your entire presentation, especially if you are citing a combination of written and visual works.

3. Embed your citations

When using PowerPoint, you can embed your citations directly in the notes section below the slide that includes the image. This ensures the citation is easily accessible to viewers without disrupting the content of your slides. If a slide requires multiple citations, you can include them in alphabetical order in the notes section of the slide. Using a reference number that matches the order in which your presentation addresses the images is a great way to organize your citations.

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When to cite images in PowerPoint

Any images, written work, videos, or music that are not originally produced by you or the business you work for requires a citation. Citations ensure the copyright of other people's work stays intact and they receive credit for it. Any features licensed by Microsoft, such as graphics, word styles, tones, and music, don't require a citation. It's good practice to always use a citation if you use an image from an external website.

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Different citation styles

There are over 200 styles of citation to choose from, but the three dominant styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago. When choosing which style to use, it's important to consider the type of information you're citing, the information you have access to, and the style used throughout the rest of your work. All three styles are simple to use and easily embedded in your slides.

How to cite images in MLA format

Follow these four steps when citing an image in MLA style:

1. Cite the figure number

The citation associates the figure number with the order in which the image appears in your presentation. It references the image using the abbreviation "Fig." and follows it with a number. Format the figure and number in boldface and place a period after the number. For example, if the image is the first one you use in your presentation, cite it as "Fig. 1."

2. Briefly describe the image

This description is one to two sentences long and captures what the image depicts. Many websites include this description in the caption of their images. Following the description, if the image has a title, write the word "from" followed by a colon, and then the title in quotation marks. For example, you might use:

Fig. 2. Dog jumping over a fence in the fields of Golden, British Columbia from: "Jumping Dog."

3. Identify where you accessed the image

Following the description and title, you can include the full citation of the image. Start by writing the publishing date of the image, followed by the link of the site where you accessed it and the date of access. MLA style doesn't require you to include a full list of citations at the end of your presentation. For example, you could write:

Fig. 2. Dog jumping over a fence in the fields of Golden, British Columbia from: "Jumping Dog," 29 July 2001, photos.com/en/image34550. Accessed 15 Jan. 2022.

4. Include a Creative Commons licence

The last portion of your citation includes a reference to the Creative Commons. Citations require a Creative Commons licence to reproduce or reference any unoriginal work. The citation publishes the licence below the image online, but if you cannot locate it, you may decide not to include it in your presentation. After listing the licence, close out your citation with a period. For example, you could write:

Fig. 2. Dog jumping over a fence in the fields of Golden, British Columbia from: "Jumping Dog," 29 July 2001, photos.com/en/image34550. Accessed 15 Jan. 2022. Creative Commons CC0.

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How to cite images in APA format

Follow these five steps when citing an image in APA style:

1. Cite the figure number

As in MLA format, you can start your citation by referencing the figure number. The number can follow the order of its reference in the presentation. APA formatting italicizes the figure and follows it with a period. For example, you might write, "Figure 1."

2. Include a description

Since the image in your presentation is a replication of the original, you can describe the image. As the citation associates the title with the original artwork, you can't attach it to the reproduced work. As an alternative, you can include a description that depicts the contents of the image. Close the description of the image with a period. For example, it might say, "Figure 1. Cars driving on a highway with mountains in the background."

3. Include information on the location of the image

The next portion of your citation includes the image identifiers. Start your citation with the words "Adapted from" and then add the title of the picture, the artist's full name, and the location of where you sourced the image. In APA formatting, you can include a direct link to the website of the image. This is an example of how it might look:

Figure 1. Cars driving on a highway with mountains in the background. Adapted from "World in Speed" by Fiora, 2011, retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/images/fiora/74892947

4. Reference the Creative Commons licence

The Creative Commons licence shows that you have permission to replicate the image in your presentation. The licence number is typically easy to find, but if you cannot locate it, that may show that the website reproduced the image illegally and you may want to reconsider including it in your presentation. Place a period at the end of the licence information to close your citation. This is an example of what you might write:

Figure 1. Cars driving on a highway with mountains in the background. Adapted from "World in Speed" by Fiora, 2011, retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/images/fiora/74892947. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

5. Prepare a reference list

Since APA formatting doesn't require you to reference the image directly in the presentation slide captions, you can include it in the references page at the end of the presentation. This makes it easy for presentation viewers to access the original copy of the image and can prevent copyright claims.

How to cite images in Chicago style

Follow these five steps when citing images in Chicago format:

1. Cite the figure number

As with APA and MLA, Chicago citations begin with a figure number. This number matches the reference number of the image in the presentation. Begin your citation with the word "Figure" followed by the number and a period. For example, you might write "Figure 1."

2. Add a caption for the image

In Chicago style, you can add the title of the image and the artist, followed by a brief description. This sentence ties the image into the rest of the presentation and can be no longer than a few words depicting the scene. Italicize the title of the image first, then follow with the author and description. For example, you might write, "Figure 1. Skies of Hot Air by Ronald Gomez depicts a hot-air balloon festival in Southern Ontario."

3. Add a full citation

In Chicago style, you can include a full citation for the image in the footnotes of your presentation. You can also include it underneath the image in your presentation, but footnotes provide a clean look. Your citation can include the title, artist, where you sourced the artwork, materials, and dimensions. For example, you might write, "Ronald Gomez, Skies of Hot Air, 2013, oil on canvas, 230 x 397.0 cm, accessed 11 Jan 2022, http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/goac/23341."

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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