How to Crop a PDF in PowerPoint

By Filonia LeChat

Microsoft PowerPoint offers many of the tools you may require when putting together your next business presentation, including tools to import files directly onto your slides. Bringing a PDF, or portable document format file, into your PowerPoint presentation means you’ll only have to direct employees or other associates to a single file, not multiple ones. When you need to obscure or remove part of the PDF, you can still effectively crop it out without leaving PowerPoint, but you’ll need to perform a bit of a workaround.

Start PowerPoint and click the "Insert" tab. Click the "Object" button on the ribbon.

Click the “Create from File” option on the "Insert Object" dialog box.

Click the "Browse" button, browse to the PDF to crop on the slide and double-click the file name. Click "OK" to close the dialog box and insert the PDF in its entirety.

Click the framed blue border around the PDF. Press and hold down the "Shift" key, then drag a corner of the border in towards the middle. This doesn’t crop the PDF, but it shrinks it slightly to fit the size of the slide. Shrink it to your preferred size.

Click the "Insert" tab again if it is not still enabled. Click the "Shapes" button on the ribbon. Choose the first rectangle shape.

Position the cursor near the first part of the PDF to crop, such as the bottom third. Press and hold down the left mouse button and drag to form the rectangle, which appears with a dark blue border and blue middle.

Click the orange "Drawing Tools" tab. Click the "Shape Fill" menu and click the first white square. This doesn’t make your rectangle transparent; it just fills it with white, obscuring the PDF as if that part was cropped out. Click the "Shape Outline" menu on the ribbon and choose "No Outline" to remove the blue border.

Right-click the white box and select “Copy.” Right-click outside of the white box on the PowerPoint slide and select “Paste.” Drag the new box onto the next area of the PDF to crop, such as the top third.

Repeat the copy-and-paste process to add a third white box to the slide. Click one of the circles in the corner and drag to form a new size, such as a tall, thin vertical box. Drag this box over the PDF, such as running down the left side. This serves to effectively “crop” that area. Repeat to add additional white boxes as required until the PDF is custom-cropped to your preferences.

Click the "File" tab and select “Save As.” Type a name for the file. Saving this PowerPoint presentation will not overwrite your original PDF. Click the “Save” button.


This is a workaround for cropping PDFs in the default white PowerPoint background. PowerPoint slides are white by default when you begin a new presentation. Several of the PowerPoint theme templates also have white backgrounds.