Formatting Pictures

Formatting pictures in Word can enhance their appearance. Use and format pictures to better suit your Word documents.

Removing the background from an image

Video: Background Removal

Launch "Background Removal" video!Watch the video (3:05).

Removing the background from an image can give it a cleaner appearance. If you're printing your document, it can also save ink.

About Background Removal

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

Screenshot of girlBefore
Screenshot of girlAfter

To remove the background from an image:

  1. Select the desired image, then click the Format tab.
  2. Click the Remove Background command.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking Remove Background
  3. Word will try to guess which part of the image to remove and mark the background with a magenta fill. It will also place a box with selection handles around the image.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Background areas are marked with magenta
  4. Drag the selection handles until all of the foreground is inside the box. After you do this, Word may readjust the background.
  5. At this point, you may need to help Word decide which parts of the image are in the foreground and which parts are in the background. You can do this by using the Mark Areas to Keep and Mark Areas to Remove commands:
    • If Word 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.
    Screenshot of Word 2013Marking areas to remove
  6. After you add your marks, Word will readjust the image.


    Screenshot of Word 2013After adding marks
  7. When you're satisfied with the image, click Keep Changes.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking Keep Changes
  8. The background will be removed. You can adjust the image at any time by clicking the Remove Background command again.


    Screenshot of girlThe finished image