Formatting Pictures

Formatting pictures in PowerPoint, including using the PowerPoint Format Painter, can make it easier to personalize your presentation.

Removing the background from an image

Video: Background Removal in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (2:41).

Removing the background from an image can give the image a cleaner appearance and will allow the slide background—or other objects—to show through. If you're printing your presentation, it can also save ink.

About Background Removal

With Background Removal, PowerPoint uses special algorithms to determine which parts of the image are the background and then removes these areas from the image.

Before removing backgroundBefore removing background
After removing backgroundAfter removing background

To remove the background from an image:

  1. Click the image. The Format tab will appear.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. Click the Remove Background command.
    The Remove Background commandThe Remove Background command
  4. PowerPoint will try to guess which part of the image is the background, and it will mark that area with a magenta fill. It will also place a box around the image with selection handles.
    Background areas are marked with magentaBackground areas are marked with magenta
  5. Drag the selection handles until all of the foreground is inside the box. After you do this, PowerPoint may readjust the background.
  6. At this point, you may need to help PowerPoint decide which parts of the image are foreground and which parts are background. You can do this by using the Mark Areas to Keep and Mark Areas to Remove commands:
    • If PowerPoint has marked part of the foreground magenta, click Mark Areas to Keep and draw a line in that region of the image.
    • If part of the background has not been marked with magenta, click Mark Areas to Remove and draw a line in that region of the image.
    Marking areas to removeMarking areas to remove
  7. After you add your marks, PowerPoint will readjust the image.
    After adding markingsAfter adding markings
  8. When you're satisfied with the image, click Keep Changes. All of the magenta areas will be removed from the image.
    The finished imageThe finished image
  9. You can adjust the image at any time by clicking the Remove Background command again.

As with artistic effects, Background Removal will not work with some clip art images.