How to Make Powerpoint Pictures Transparent

By Dylan Buck

PowerPoint is a program that allows you to present and record information, combining words and graphics for an in-depth communicative tool. Adding graphics can strengthen the visual power of your information, and editing these graphics within the PowerPoint program is relatively easy. One useful technique is setting transparency for certain areas of a picture, in order to view typed information behind the picture.

Things You'll Need

  • PowerPoint
  • Graphic

Selecting Picture

Step 1

Insert or paste the picture or graphic you desire on a slide in PowerPoint.

Step 2

Access the picture toolbar. If the toolbar is not already in view, right-click the picture and select "Show Picture Toolbar."

Step 3

Select the second-to-last icon on the far right of the picture toolbar. It should read "Set Transparent Color" if you pass over the icon. Click once.

Step 4

Move your mouse over the picture. You should now see the icon in place of your regular arrow. Select the color or area of the picture you wish to make transparent and click once. The selected area should now be transparent.

Step 5

Select the "Set Transparent Color" on the picture toolbar again if needed. Otherwise, you may now select and drag the whole graphic with the added transparent coloring to another location on the slide, or simply click outside the bounds of the picture to another part of the slide to release the drag function of the mouse on the picture.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you plan on including information on the slide behind the picture, it is best to type the information prior to inserting or pasting the picture.
  • You can always go back and add more transparent areas of coloring to your graphic by following the steps above.
  • To undo transparent coloring, select the last icon on the far right of the toolbar, "Reset Picture," to reset the effects editing of the graphic and return the picture to its original state.