How To Make Part Of An Image Transparent In Microsoft PowerPoint
If you've ever inserted a company logo or other image onto a slide with a coloured background in Microsoft PowerPoint you'll probably have been really annoyed when the image looks as though it's contained in a white box. Read this blog to find out how to remove the box and make your image appear transparent.

Posted by Andrew Gould on 19 September 2011

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How To Make Part Of A Picture Transparent In Microsoft PowerPoint

When you insert an image, such as a corporate logo, onto a slide with a coloured background in Microsoft PowerPoint the results can look a bit rubbish.

Wise Owl logo without transparency Wise Owl logo with transparent yellow
We really don't want to see the white rectangle surrounding the Wise Owl logo. We can make one of colours in the image transparent so that it looks like the image contains just the logo.

Making part of an image transparent works slightly differently depending on which version of PowerPoint you're using.

Making Part of an Image Transparent in PowerPoint 2003

First of all you'll need to insert an appropriate image into your presentation.  To do this:

  1. From the menu select Insert -> Picture -> From File...
  2. Browse to where your image file is saved and then double-click on it.
Inserting an image

Here we're inserting a small JPG file, but you could also use GIF or PNG files.

Once you've inserted your picture, you should see the Picture toolbar appear automatically.  If you don't see this toolbar, from the menu choose View -> Toolbars -> Picture. Then:

  1. Select the picture you inserted earlier by clicking on it with the mouse.
  2. Click the Set Transparent Color tool on the Picture toolbar.
The Set Transparent Color tool

Click this button to choose which colour to make transparent.

  1. Hover the mouse over the picture you have inserted and then click on part of the image that is the colour you want to become transparent.
Making part of an image transparent

Click in part of the picture to make that colour become transparent.

 

Making Part of an Image Transparent in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010

To begin with you'll need to insert an appropriate image file into your presentation.  To do this:

  1. From the Ribbon, select Insert -> Picture.
  2. Browse to the image you want to insert and double-click on it.
Inserting an image

Here we're using a small JPG file, but you could also use GIF or PNG images.

When you've inserted the image into your presentation you can make part of it transparent.  To do this:

  1. Select the image that you want to make transparent.
  2. In PowerPoint 2007 from the Ribbon, select Format -> Recolor -> Set Transparent Color.  In PowerPoint 2010, select Format -> Color -> Set Transparent Color.
Choosing recolor in PowerPoint 2007 Choosing Color in PowerPoint 2010
Choose this option in PowerPoint 2007. Choose this option in PowerPoint 2010.
  1. Click on part of the image that is the same colour as the one you want to make transparent.

The End Result

Once you've done this you should find that every part of the image that was the same colour as the one you clicked on is now transparent.

The transparent image

We should probably have chosen a better background colour.

 

It's worth mentioning that you can use this same technique in all of the other standard Microsoft Office applications, but it's most commonly used in PowerPoint.

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