Using Microsoft Stock Images and Icons in PowerPoint

As a Microsoft 365 subscriber, you now have more than 8,000 royalty-free images, cutout people, icons, and stickers (otherwise known as premium content) that you can insert into your PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel workbooks, or SharePoint sites. Before you start, you need to know a few legal rules.

Microsoft Premium Content is for Office or SharePoint Only

The images, icons and other creative content are for use within the Office apps (PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Outlook) or SharePoint site. But what if you’re a commercial customer who sells PowerPoint decks, Excel workbooks, or Word docs? You can include images etc, just as you have always done.

You can still export Office files to a different file format, for example; a PDF file. You can edit or modify an image, include it in any file for any length of time, and send it to any location across the globe. You cannot save any of the images outside of your Microsoft applications for use elsewhere, for example; on your website.

How to insert Images and Icons

When creating your next PowerPoint presentation, click on the Insert tab, click on the Pictures drop-down menu and choose Stock Images. You can browse through a category of images, or type a word into the search bar. Select the image you want to insert and click on the Insert button. You have over 8000 images to choose from!

Example of stock images available in Powerpoint with a Microsoft 365 subscription
An example of the stock images available in PowerPoint with the Microsoft 365 subscription.

To insert stock icons, click on the Insert Tab, click on the Icon button. You can browse through a category of icons, or type a word into the search bar. Select the icon you want to insert and click on the Insert button.

An example of the icons available in PowerPoint with the Microsoft 365 subscription.

Using Images from Microsoft 365 Instead of from a Third Party Stock Image Provider

There is a big difference between using images from within PowerPoint and getting images from a stock image site. Most importantly, you don’t own a license to use the Office content/pictures, so you can’t use the images outside of PowerPoint. That means you’re not allowed to copy-paste the images into documents other than Office, nor can you select the images using the Save As from the right-click menu.

A third-party stock image site, for example; Shutterstock, enables you to do whatever you wish with the images/content as long as you follow the site’s license regulations.


You can:

Use images/creative content in your PowerPoint presentations, Excel workbooks, Word docs, SharePoint Team sites, or other Office files that you sell or share.

You can’t:

Copy and paste images/creative content from Microsoft to 3rd party applications in other contexts, such as websites or merchandise.

Be sure to use the Microsoft 365 Premium Content for your PowerPoint projects. There’s an exciting library from which to choose!

Thank you for reading this blog. I’d love to hear your feedback on this blog.

If you’d like to know how I can help you create slides like these for your next PowerPoint presentation, check out my Services page! 

To see more tips and tricks on slide design and presenting with PowerPoint, connect with me on LinkedIn

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