How to Change Image Color in Microsoft Office/365

Switch up how pictures look when already inserted in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel

What to Know

  • Open the document and go to the image whose color you're adjusting, and then try out various pre-made correction presets.
  • The presets you see will vary by program and version, but most will have Saturation, Color Tone, and Recolor presets to try out.
  • Alternatively, select Color > Picture Color Options, and then adjust via the dial or numerical input for Saturation, Color Tone, and Recolor.

This article explains how to customize image color or recolor options in Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365, giving you greater control over saturation, tone, and transparency. Instructions cover Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) 2019, 2016, 2013, Microsoft 365, and Office for Mac.

Changing Image Color in Microsoft Office or Microsoft 365

When you want to fix or change the color of a picture or apply a sepia or grayscale effect, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Microsoft program as well as a document with images inserted.

    A document in Microsoft Word 2019.
  2. If you do not yet have images inserted, go to Insert > Illustrations, select either Pictures or Online Pictures.

    Insert picture options in Word.
  3. To change the color, you can use the pre-made correction presets or use Picture Color Options for fine-tuning. (Shown in step 7.)

    The presets you see will vary depending on which program and version you are working in, but should include Saturation, Color Tone, and Recolor.

  4. Saturation refers to the depth of color applied to your image. Notice how these presets range across a spectrum of color depths. If you see one that would work well for your project, select it here, among values between 0% and 400%.

    Saturation settings in Word.
  5. Color Tone refers to the warmth or coolness of the image color, and this preset also offers choices along a spectrum. You will notice these values have different temperature ratings, denoting how warm or cool the image tone is. 

    Color Tone settings in Word.
  6. Recolor refers to a color wash placed over an image. This means your image will be treated as black and white, but with other options for the "white". It means the fill or background color, as well as some tones in the line art itself, will take on that color. Presets typically include Sepia, Grayscale, Washout, and other options. 

    Recolor settings in Word.
  7. Alternatively, select Color > Picture Color Options.

    Selecting Picture Color Options in Word.
  8. Adjust the Saturation using the dial or numerical input.

    Saturation settings in Word.
  9. Adjust the Color Tone using the dial or numerical input, remembering that Color Tone is adjusted in terms of temperature and refers to how warm or cool the image hues appear.

    Temperature settings highlighted in Word.
  10. If you wish, Recolor the entire image using the drop-down menu.

    Recolor settings highlighted in Word.

Additional Tips

  • If you want additional Recolor options, try selecting Format > Color > More Variations. This allows you to customize the color shade more precisely.
  •  An interesting tool to use that's located at Format > Color > Set Transparent Color, allows you to make a color in the selected image transparent. After selecting this tool, when you select a specific color in the image, all other pixels with that color will become transparent as well.

From time to time, we have run into a couple of images that just would not respond to these tools. If you are running into a lot of trouble, try testing another image to see if this could be the problem. You may need to find another image format or use another image if the problem persists.

Was this page helpful?