PowerPoint Tutorial- How to Remove Background of Pictures in a Minute

PowerPoint Tutorial- How to Remove Background of Pictures in a Minute

March 6, 2019
Blog Category: Uncategorized

What is one of the biggest pet peeves of a designer, whether it is a newbie or a pro designer? It is none other than an unwanted and an ill-fitting background in the picture he is using.

Every once in a while, we encounter images with an ill-fitting background which need to be corrected as they can break a presentation. They can turn a good presentation into a bad one in a flick of a second.

So, how do we remove the background of the images? What is the best and the most economical tool to do so?

With the advent of technology and its advancement, several tools have emerged to help us in doing so such as Photoshop. However, not all have access to this expensive software.

In such a case PowerPoint can be utilized. Microsoft PowerPoint offers a bit of a picture editing wizardry such as the Remove Background tool.

This tool is especially helpful where you want to bring a particular object in the foreground into focus to highlight it. Remove Background option is one of the most brilliant features in PowerPoint. It helps you to remove unwanted parts of the inserted image such as the sky, grass, etc.

Let us learn how to use this magical tool and make editing photos and images in PowerPoint a breeze.

REMOVE BACKGROUND

In order to remove the background of an image, you first have to insert an image to your slide. Go to Insert and click on Pictures. Select your desired picture and add it to your slide.

For instance, let us take this picture of a flower and see what happens if we select Remove Background.

Flower Picture with Background

Once you have added a picture to your slide, select it and click on Format.  When you click on Format, Remove Background option appears towards the right side. Click on it. After clicking on Remove Background, it automatically tries to determine which portion of the image is the foreground and which is the background.

Choose Remove Background

PowerPoint automatically marks the background portion with purple color as shown in the picture below. This means that this portion will be deleted if you remove the background of the image and the other part will remain as it is.

Automatic Selection of the Background

This is how the final image will look without the background.

Flower Picture without Background

Removing background of the above image was fairly easy as the image is not that busy. Also, the image is quite simple and has contrasting colors to the background. However, removing the background of complex image requires a lot of time and effort.

In this case you have to further refine the figure and for it two options come handy in the Remove Background tool itself.

  • Mark Areas to Keep
  • Mark Areas to Remove

Let us explore these options further with examples.

Option #1 Mark Areas to Keep

Insert an Image following the same steps as stated earlier.

Honey Bees picture with Background

Click on the image and select Format> Remove Background.

Automatic Selection of the Background

As you can see in the picture automatic selection does not select each and every portion which is to be kept so we have to further refine the image. In order to further refine the image, we will have to adjust the shape as well as the size of automatic selection. For this in the Remove Background tool click on Mark Areas to Keep as shown in the screenshot below.

Mark Areas To Keep

Mark Areas to Keep tool gives you a lot of flexibility with which you can choose the areas to be kept and the areas to be removed. This can be done by grabbing the handles and dragging it across the areas to be kept. As you select the areas to keep, PowerPoint will start showing the areas that had been removed earlier.

Note-

  • If you are using PowerPoint 2013 then plus + sign will appear on the areas you want to keep (see the screenshot below).

PowerPoint 2013 Mark Areas To Keep

  • If you are using PowerPoint 2016 then a pencil icon will appear. You just have to drag the pencil in the areas you want to keep.

Once you have selected the areas to be kept, this is the final result (see the image below).

Honey Bees picture without Background

Option #2 Mark Areas to Remove

Contrary to Mark Areas to Keep option is the Mark Areas to Remove. It helps you to select the areas that you want to remove from your image which may not have been selected in the automatic selection.

To do this insert an image to your slide.

Picture of a Bird with Background

Again, click on the image and select Format> Remove Background.

Automatic Selection of the Background ( bird)

As it is evident from the picture some parts of the background are not automatically selected. In this case, you have to manually select the areas to be removed. For this simply click on the Mark Areas to Remove option present in the Remove Background (see the screenshot below).

Mark Areas To Remove

Similar to the Mark Areas to Keep, Mark Areas to Remove is also quite flexible. You can see the results of your efforts simultaneously as you go along selecting the area you want to remove.

Note -

  • If you are using PowerPoint 2013 then minus - sign will appear on the areas you want to keep (see the screenshot below).

PowerPoint 2013 Mark Areas To Remove

  • If you are using PowerPoint 2016 then a pencil icon will appear. You just have to drag the pencil in the areas you want to keep.

Once you have selected all the areas to be removed, click outside the image to get the final image which looks like this.

Picture of a Bird without Background

Let us show you editing of one more image using both the options.

Insert your desired image. We have chosen this image.

Handshake picture with Background

Edit is using both the options (Mark Areas to Keep, Mark Areas To Remove) and click outside the image.

This is how the final image will turn out to be.

Handshake picture without Background

Isn’t it fascinating how a simple tool can totally liven up a picture?

Surely it is!

 So, employ this magical tool and open a whole new realm of creativity.