How to Make a Picture Transparent in PowerPoint? (Detailed Step-by-Step Guide for All PPT Versions)

Team Superside
Team Superside
Jul 18, 2018 | 5 min read
Ways to Make a Picture Transparent in PowerPoint

Use Cases

There are many reasons you may want to create transparency in a picture—and there are several transparency options in PowerPoint to achieve what you need. You may need to remove the background from an object, adjust the transparency on the whole picture, or make a part of the picture transparent.

Some reasons for this include:

  • Using a logo without the white box background
  • Removing unnecessary detractors from a photo
  • Editing a portion of the photo out
  • Creating a dynamic style with background images
  • Adding watermarks
  • Layering photos with other images or content
  • Producing new graphics from prepared ones



Make the whole picture transparent

  • Select Insert Shapes.
  • Choose a shape and draw it to the same size as the picture you want to use.

Insert shape to presentation

  • Select the shape.
  • Click Format.

Format the shape

  • Under Shape Outline click No Outline.
  • Right-click the shape and select Format Shape from the menu that populates.

Select Format Shape

  • A pane will appear on the righthand of the deck. Click the Fill icon.

Menu on Format Shape

Menu under Fill

  • Press the arrow next to fill to bring up fill options.
  • Select the circle that says Picture or texture.

Select Picture and Texture option

  • Choose between File, Clipboard, and Online to obtain your picture.
  • Locate the picture that you want to insert. Select the picture and then click the Insert button.

Locate and insert picture

  • Use the transparency slider or number box to adjust the transparency of the image.

Set the transparency

The image result

Make part of a picture transparent

  • Click on the picture to select it.
  • Choose the Picture Tools Format tab that appears at the top of the page.

Select the picture and click Format

  • Click the Color button to open the color menu.

Click color button menu

  • Choose Set Transparent Color and click the color you want to make transparent.

Set picture transparent

Note: When you print pictures with transparent areas, the transparent areas are the same color as the paper. On your screen or a website, the transparent areas are the same color as the background.


Make the Whole Picture Transparent

  • Select the picture or object you want to make transparent
  • Select the Picture Format tab.

Select picture and select picture format

  • Click the Transparency button.
  • Preset transparency options will populate.
  • Select one of the options or choose Picture Transparency Options for more choices.

Select Transparency options

  • In the Format Picture pane open the Picture Transparency section.

Select the transparency section

  • Drag the transparency slider or write a percentage in the box to set a transparency.

Set the transparency

Note: You can vary the percentage of transparency from 0 (fully opaque) to 100% (fully transparent).

Make part of a picture transparent

  • Select the picture to change the transparency of a color.
  • Click the Picture Format tab.
  • Select Color.

Go to Picture Format and select the Color

  • Select Set Transparent Color.
  • Click the color in the image you want to make transparent.

Click Set Transparency image and choose the color

Note: Though colors may appear to be the same, it is likely there is a range of a colors within a picture. You cannot make more than one color transparent.

PowerPoint Online

You cannot make a picture transparent using the online PowerPoint program.

Remove the Background of a Picture Mac & Windows

  • Click the picture.
  • Under the Picture Tools tab, click the Remove Background button.

Select the image and click Picture Tools

  • The default background (what the software sees as the background) will be colored magenta. This marks it for removal. If parts of the image are marked for removal, but you do not want them to go, or parts you do want to get rid of are marked to stay, follow these steps:

Picture in magenta is the removed background

  • Click Mark Areas to Keep and use the drawing pencil to mark areas to keep.

Click Mark Areas to Keep

  • Click Mark Areas to Discard and use the drawing pencil to determine areas to remove.

Then click Mark Areas to Discard

  • Click Keep Changes or Discard All Changes to exit the background removal process and see how your image will appear.

Select Keep or Discard the changes

  • You can go back in to the Remove Background process to adjust any parts you removed or kept unnecessarily.
  • Save the edited picture by right clicking on it and choosing Save as Picture from the menu that populates.

Save As by right click the image

Note: Unless you save your image as a picture once it is edited, you will lose any background removal done outside of your presentation (i.e., You cannot use that same picture in a banner. It will go back to its default outside of the presentation unless you save it as a picture).


Example pictures
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