Is there a way to stop PowerPoint from automatically inserting pictures/icons into an empty picture placeholder on a slide when using the Insert / Pictures and/or Insert / Icons functionality?
For example, if I have a slide that has a picture placeholder occupying 50% of the width of the slide and I want to insert an SVG icon next to it, before adding the picture, the SVG icon is automatically inserted into the empty picture placeholder, even if it's not selected. This is a simple example with a simple workaround, insert the picture first but in some cases, a layout may have numerous picture/object placeholders so this problem becomes more of an issue. It's also a problem when automating PowerPoint with VBA.
Is there a keyboard modifier to prevent this behavior or a setting in options?
FYI, there's is a bug in the picture pasting behaviour relating to non-rectangular picture placeholders which we reported to Microsoft last week.
I updated the first line of the question to make it clearer that this particular insertion behaviour relates to when a picture or icon is inserted from the Insert tab. It's the automatic insertion into placeholders in this case that I want to prevent.
The placeholder deletion idea is an interesting workaround from an automation perspective. When not using VBA, we're trying to find a solution to train thousands of corporate users on how to avoid this annoying default behaviour.