Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Setting a Transparent Color and Removing a Background
Setting a Transparent Color and Removing a Background
The Transparent Color feature, which you also learned about earlier in this chapter, can be
used to remove one of the colors from the photo, making the areas transparent that were
previously occupied by that color. For example, suppose you have a scanned photo of your
CEO and you want to make the background transparent so it looks like his head is sitting
right on the slide. This feature could help you out with that.
To set a transparent color, select the image and then choose Picture Tools
Set Transparent Color. Then, on the image, click an area that contains the
color you want to make transparent.
Setting a transparent color sounds like a great idea, but in reality it does not work as well
with photos as it does with clip art. For one thing, it replaces all instances of that color,
not just in the background. So, for example, if you have a picture of a man with a white
shirt on a white background and choose to make white the transparent color (because you
want to drop out the background), the man’s shirt becomes transparent too.
Another reason it doesn’t work that well on photos is that what looks like one color in a
photo is not usually just one color. Think of a blue sky, for example. It probably consists
of at least two dozen different shades of blue. If you try to make one of those shades of
blue transparent using PowerPoint’s transparency tool, you’ll probably just end up with
splotches of transparent areas.
So what’s the solution? One workaround is to use alpha channels in a third-party image-
editing program to create true transparency and save the image as TIF or PNG. (JPEG format
does not support alpha channels.) An easier way, however, is to use PowerPoint’s Remove
Background command. It can do the trick in many cases and is easier to use than most
photo-editing programs.
Remove Background. The Background Removal tab becomes available, and the areas of the
image that PowerPoint plans to remove appear with a purple wash over them (shown in
Figure 11.25).
To remove the background, select the picture and then choose Picture Tools Format
If PowerPoint has correctly guessed at the edges of the image subject, click Keep Changes
to accept the background removal as is.
If it has not gotten it quite right, do any of the following to make corrections:
PowerPoint-generated border. A dotted border appears around what PowerPoint
thinks is the central part of the image. Drag the selection handles along this border
to expand it to allow additional parts of the image to be preserved if needed.
To include more image sections. Click Mark Areas to Keep and then drag on the
image, in the purple shaded areas, to delineate additional parts of the image that
should not be removed.
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