Learn How to Make an Image Background Transparent in PowerPoint

Use the transparency adjustments on one color or an entire graphic

Birch flowers with transparent background.
 Getty Images

Need to make an image transparent? It's not hard to do with these two Microsoft Powerpoint tips. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make all or part of a picture transparent.

About Making a Picture Transparent in PowerPoint

If you have ever added a logo on a white background to a PowerPoint slide, you know you end up with an ugly, white box around the logo on the slide. That's fine if the slide background is white and there isn't any type nearby for the graphic to obscure, but more often than not, the white background is a problem.

PowerPoint provides a quick fix to get rid of the white (or any other solid color) background on the image. This little-known tip has been around for a while when it worked with only PNG and GIF files. Now, you can turn the solid color background of a graphic transparent even on PDF and JPEG images. 

How to Make Part of an Image Transparent

You can make one color in a graphic or picture transparent. When you do, you see through the image to whatever is underneath it on the slide. 

  1. Place a picture on a PowerPoint slide either by dragging and dropping or by clicking Insert > Picture on the ribbon.
  2. Select the image by clicking on it. 
  3. Go to the Picture Format tab.
  4. Click Color and then select Set Transparent Color.
  5. Click on the solid color in the image that you want to make transparent.

Only the one solid color you select turns transparent, so you can see any background or type beneath it. You cannot make more than one color in an image transparent using this process.

How to Change the Transparency of an Entire Image

If you'd rather change the transparency of an entire image, you can do that too and just as easily.

  1. Select the image on the slide by clicking on it. 
  2. Click on the Picture Format tab and click the Format Pane.
  3. In the Format Picture pane, click the Picture tab.
  4. Under Picture Transparency, drag the slider until the picture shows the amount of transparency you want.