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PowerPoint Tips
Volume 7, No. 4

Published 09/20/11


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Lately I have received numerous questions on working with photographs. In this issue of PowerPoint* Tips I answer questions on how to easily alter images to work on your background, and what to do in case you accidently distort the proportions of a picture.


Ensuring Your Images are
Never Distorted    

PowerPoint users rarely use images in their original dimensions.  Most of us tend to resize images either smaller or bigger, depending on our needs. It may happen that you accidently distort an image by overstretching the picture either vertically or horizontally. Step one would be to hit the Undo button. However, Undo may not set the image back to its original size, and sometimes you cannot go back far enough to Undo the distortion once it occurs.

To restore an image to the original size in PowerPoint 2003, right-click on the picture and choose Format Picture. 

In PowerPoint 2007, right-click on the image and choose Size and Position. Click on the Reset button under the Original Size section.

Easily Adapt Images to Work on Your Background

Many PowerPoint users may have encountered the situation where they had to insert an image that had a dark or rich background.  The challenge was getting the image to blend in with the background on the slide.  Fortunately, PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 provide a tool that allows the user to render certain colours of the photo as transparent, thus allowing the audience to focus on the central component of the image.

In PowerPoint 2003, navigate to the slide that contains the image that you wish to edit. Then, click on the picture to get the Picture Toolbar. On the toolbar, select the icon called Set Transparent Colour (which is the second icon to the left of the toolbar).  Click on the area of the image that you wish to remove. This will set the colours of that area completely transparent. If you have an image that has a single colour background, doing so will completely remove the background leaving you with only the central image. If the background has many colours, it may be trickier to effectively remove the entire background. We suggest repeating this step on areas of the background that are remaining, in order to remove all the shades that you do not wish to see.

In PowerPoint 2007, the Set Transparent Tool is located under the Picture Tab, in the Adjust section. Click on the Recolour icon to expand the menu, and choose Set Transparent Colour to access the tool.   

Please note that this tool works best on images that have a one colour background. Depending on the desired outcome, images with gradients or complex backgrounds may be trickier to edit. If you find this is taking you more than five minutes then it may be time to consider using a true photo editing software such as Photoshop**.

Please email us or give us a call if you require assistance in making your image(s) transparent.

*  Microsoft® Office PowerPoint®, Excel® and Word®
Copyright © Microsoft  Corporation

** © 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
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