make an image transparent in PowerPoint

How to make an image transparent in PowerPoint

Welcome back to PowerPoint Training Online and in this week’s tutorial, we are going to show you how to make an image transparent in PowerPoint.

Over the years I have always tried to learn how to use PowerPoint for things other than just presentations. I would like to think that I have found many different ways of using it. I have written an ebook using PowerPoint, I have created communication boards using it. Even when I do create a presentation, I will generally use PowerPoint to create graphics for the slide show. One of the things that I wanted to do was to make an image transparent so that it was not overstating everything else on the page. The plan was to have text behind the image.

After some playing around, I found it pretty easy to get the desired effect I was looking for. And there wasn’t just one way to do it either. I found two.

The ‘How to make an image transparent in PowerPointvideo

The ‘How to make an image transparent in PowerPointstep-by-step guide

Method One

Step One – Insert a shape

The first step to making an image transparent is not by adding an image but a shape. To do this make sure you have the Home tab open. Now click on the Rectangle option. Make a rectangle as big as you want.

For the purpose of this exercise, we are going to make it the size of a full slide.

Step Two – Open the Format menu

Now that we have our shape on the slide we need to edit the shape to be an image. To do this we need to open the format menu.

To open the format menu, right click on the shape which was just inserted. You will now see a menu appear. Near the bottom of this list, you will see Format Shape, press this.

From the right-hand side of PowerPoint, you will now see a new window. This is the format window.

Important Note

The format menu must not be confused with the format tab.

Step Three – Picture or Texture Fill

The format menu should be on the Fill tab automatically. If it does not, then press the paint bucket button.

As it is a shape which we have inserted, the fill option should be set to solid fill unless the shape has no fill. In order to fill the shape with an image instead of a colour, press the radio button labelled Picture or Texture fill.

Step Four – Insert an Image

Once you press the Picture or Texture fill button, the options below will change. Press the button labelled File. This will then open the file box. Locate your image and press Insert.

You shape will now be filled with the selected image.

Step Five – Make the Image transparent

Now that we have an image inserted, it is time to do what we wanted to do, make an image transparent in PowerPoint. To do this we are going to still work from the format menu on the side.

If you have closed this, open the format menu again (see step 2).

You will also need to make sure you are still on the Fill tab with the Picture or Texture section open. Within this section, you will see Transparency.

This slider will allow you to set the level of transparency that you want to give the image. 100% will make it completely clear and 0% will leave the image picture perfect.

And there you have it, the first method of how to make an image transparent in PowerPoint.

Method Two

In the second method, we are not going to make the image itself transparent. We are going to use a second shape to give a transparent effect to the image.

Step One – Insert an image

There are a couple of different ways to insert an image into PowerPoint. For the purpose of this exercise, I am going to go via the Insert tab.

Open the Insert Tab, then press the button Pictures. If you were going to use an image from the web then you could press Online Pictures.

This will then open the file box. Locate your image and press Insert.

Step Two – Crop, Resize, and Edit the image

This method will result in the image being furthest back from the front of the slide. This is why we insert the image first and it is also why it is best to make any changes to the image now before we start inserting anything else.

Step Three – Insert a Shape

To do this make sure you have the Home tab open. Now click on the Rectangle option. Make a rectangle as big as the image you inserted in step one.

Step Four – Rearrange the shape and the image

Since we have inserted the shape after the image, it will naturally appear on top of the image. This is what we want.

If you inserted the image after the shape then the picture will be on top of the shape.

To fix this, right click on either the shape or the image. Depending on which one you selected, do the following

  • Selected Picture – Press the Send to Back button
  • Selected Shape – Press the Bring to Front button

Step Five – Open the Format menu

Now that the shape is sitting on top of the image, we should no longer be able to see the image. We need to open the format menu to make create a transparent effect.

To open the format menu, right click on the shape which was just inserted. You will now see a menu appear. Near the bottom of this list, you will see Format Shape, press this.

From the right-hand side of PowerPoint, you will now see a new window. This is the format window.

Important Note

The format menu must not be confused with the format tab.

Step Six – Remove the Shape Outline

Before we make the shape transparent we want to remove the outline from the shape. Within the Format menu, click on Fill tab, then click on Line. Make sure the No Line radio button is selected.

Step Seven – Make the Shape transparent

Now it is time to do what we set out to, make an image transparent in PowerPoint.

Make sure you are on the Fill tab with the Solid fill section open. Within this section, you will see Transparency.

make an image transparent

This slider will allow you to set the level of transparency that you want to give the shape. 100% will make it completely clear and 0% will leave the image picture perfect.

It is also worth noting that you can also change the colour of the shape. This will alter the effect of the transparency that the image has. You can see the difference between using blue and black in the images below.

make an image transparent

Conclusion

And there you have it folks, how to make an image transparent in PowerPoint.

I hope this tutorial was helpful for you. If it was please let us know in the comments below. Or join us on Facebook and Twitter for a chat. Or if there is something you would like to know or learn about in PowerPoint, then just let us know or check out our other tutorials.

Till next time,

David

Microsoft UK IE

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